For 37 years now I have been a SPENDER. Not one ounce of SAVER in me.
BUT, I’ve gone from a 3-(expensive)-meals-out-a-day-single gal (GOSH I miss those days!) to a mother-of-four-get-your-butt-in-the-kitchen married gal in just 6 short years. Times change. Taking the family to Italy this summer made me realize that there’s a whole lot more interesting things to see out there than the insides of the Mall (well, actually, I never really liked Malls – I prefer those uber-expensive outdoor street-lining shops.) (GOSH I miss those days…). If I could become a SAVER (thinks me) rather than a SPENDER, I could be outdoor street-lined shopping in Greece (or Paris, I’m not that fussy) once in awhile.
SO, here we are, two months into my new SAVER attitude, and this is what I’ve done so far:
1. Discontinue daycare. $200/m.
This will actually cost money in the long run, but don’t tell Husband. Homeschooling is a license to be a SPENDER with a cause…
2. Discontinue nanny. $700 – 800/m.
This is making it harder to actually work – which I’m sure will surface a whole new blog on juggling caring for your 4 kids without daycare or nannies, working for yourself, feeding the masses, driving the masses everywhere they need to go, homeschooling, financial planning, retirement planning, yada yada yada… BUT, for now we’re getting by, so discontinued it remains.
3. Cancel house phone. $40/m.
This is in progress, but will be happening shortly. With our cell phones, won’t be needing it.
4. Put Mother Bear on a budget… $800/m.
This is a generous estimate – I’m sure we’re saving more because I’m sure I was overspending by more than that. I limited myself to $100/day for EVERYTHING – food, gas, school supplies, grad photo sittings, library late fees, shoes… you name it, EXCEPT Christmas gifts and hotels when we travel (other travel expenses will have to fit into the $100/day).
5. Put Mother Bear on a tighter budget. $300/m.
I figured that if I was still able to buy lots of shoes and go to the spa, I could probably be doing more to save our family money… I limited myself further to $90/day.
6. Change cell phone plans. $30/m.
I’m not really sure how much we’re saving by changing to cheaper plans, but anyhow… The cheaper plans actually allowed for more time, so I’m anticipating the elimination of extra minute billing.
7. Cancel Cable TV. $50/m.
We actually did this awhile back (a year ago?). Even the teenagers say they don’t miss it, but that’s probably because you can see pretty much whatever you want an hour or two after it ends on YouTube… (YouTube’s free!).
TOTAL SAVINGS SINCE SUMMER: $2,170.00/month!
Shouldn’t take long for Husband to treat me to a “job well done” weekend in Paris, now, should it??
Well, I have some more ideas for next year, just to make sure.
1. Reduce Bank Fees. $??/m.
Hopefully Husband will look into that for us. I have no idea what fees we’re paying or why or what can be done about it. We’ll get into it soon.
2. Pay off High Interest Debt. $150/m.
We’re currently carrying a debt with about $150/m of interest. We should be able to pay off 1/3 of it in the next few months, and the rest in about a year from now.
3. Sell Stuff.
Now that I’ve been banned from collecting any more children by Husband, I guess it’s time to sell all that pre-terrible-two stuff we have downstairs overflowing from our storage room. Maybe we’ll even sell enough for a real nice dinner out while we’re in Paris…
4. Smarter Food Shopping. $50/m.
Oh, I’m guessing at that amount. BUT, it can’t hurt to buy things we ALWAYS use in bulk or on sale or whatever. We’ll see. Next year.
(P.S. I also plan to plant an Heirloom Tomato garden… Have you SEEN the price of a few Tomatoes these days???).
5. Reduce Child Support by half. $200/m.
Well, we can’t reduce THE CHILD, but in a year Kid #1 will be 18!
(Note to future self – Kid #1 will suddenly be costing FAR more than $200/m in University costs…).
Ok – I guess I need more ideas than that…
It becomes like a contest – like trying to find THE perfect pair of knee-high black leather boots. How big CAN I get that “SAVED/m” number?? I wonder…
OOOoooh, but the higher that number gets, the more I’ll enjoy that trip to Paris…