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Financial Cleanse

September 28, 2009

After the wallet binge that was our wedding and honeymoon, we’ve decided to do a financial cleanse for the month of October. We’ll be flushing the toxins from our accounts which means… no going out to dinner, no beer at the grocery store, no impromptu Target or Old Navy trips to make me feel better, no strawberry limeades from Sonic EVEN during half price happy hour, no flaxseed peanut butter bars EVEN with my employee discount. Zilch. None of that. Our only expenses in October will be bills, gas, and groceries. (And, god forbid, any medical situations or transportation emergencies.) I’m apprehensive about this endeavor. We have a trip to a Notre Dame game planned, which usually means lunch and/or dinner out somewhere. Plus, I was a doof and planned the Gar-blog sale for October. (Which means I’ll be selling but you guys will all get first dibs on everyone else’s stuff!) Our regular Friday nights with the neighbors will have to become taco/spaghetti/chili nights at home (and the neighbors can supply the beers). The Renee-is-too-tired-to-cook-so-let’s-pick-up-Chipotle nights will just have to become Renee-needs-to-suck-it-up-and-at-least-make-mac-and-cheese nights. But, despite my apprehension, we need it. We need a month (at least) to build up our accounts to their pre-fun pre-wedding/pre-honeymoon numbers. And if that means candlelight picnics in the living room with Two Buck Chuck and Ramen? So be it. (And I’ll take pictures.)

How do YOU save money?

23 Comments leave one →
  1. mrssoup permalink
    September 28, 2009 6:55 pm

    We haven’t had money to spend on fun stuff in….far too long. It’s what happens when you have a baby and your husband stays home with her. We’ve cut everything down to the bare minimums and do what we can with what we have. So lots of meals that can be used for multiple days. The biggest thing has been making a list for grocery shopping. And sticking to it. We are not allowed to buy anything not on that list. It’s hard when soda or chips are buy 1 get 2 free or something, but even that $3 adds up.

    Other than that, we spend time with each other and our families. It works, and we survive. Now if only we could get our emergency fund built up past $20 before needing it again for car and medical bills, life would be good!

  2. September 28, 2009 7:01 pm

    Oh lady do I know this game all too well. (I call it a game so I don’t cry) Coming from a consistently broke college kid, I have no dinero to spend on anything extra. After looking at my Mint summary I realized I spent way too much on random food while at work. So this month will be cheap for me, too!

  3. September 28, 2009 7:28 pm

    i will definitely need to hop on that financial cleanse soon too, i’ve been spending so much freaking money lately and i still have a wedding to save for, haha. we have definitely cut back on eating out by a lot and i think it’s helped. i also make my lunches daily so that definitely is a saver.

  4. September 28, 2009 8:26 pm

    About 3 times a year Dan or I declare, “OK, that’s ENOUGH!” and we get all money serious.

    Wanna see the purse I just bought?


  5. September 28, 2009 9:12 pm

    hey, belle, i got photo tagged, and i’m tagging you in return! can’t wait to see your 10th photo!

  6. September 28, 2009 9:46 pm

    We did the EXACT SAME THING after the wedding and honeymoon. The only expenses allowed were $50/week for groceries, gas and bills. We did OK…we had a couple events planned (much like you do), and we let it slide for them.

    But overall, it was a success. Once we made a VERY conscious effort to spend as close to nothing as possible, it was RIDICULOUS how much we managed to save.

    Starbucks and Potbelly really did a number on my wallet.

  7. September 28, 2009 11:19 pm

    I need to do this.

    I think being a nomad makes you budget, but it also puts the need on more random expenses.


  8. September 29, 2009 12:24 am

    What a freakish brilliant idea! Maybe I can jump in once the whole move is over, probably because I won’t have any money left.

  9. September 29, 2009 12:26 am

    Also, can you help me come up with a new blog/screen name? I’m drawing a blank at anything creative or fun. Brainstorm anyone??

  10. September 29, 2009 12:56 am

    Oy, am I ever on the same page as you right now! Only that ‘wedding/honeymoon’ thing was called ‘fall school tuition’. I think you win.

    I’ve taken to using Mint, and have grown incredibly fond of it. The budget tracking is fantastic! I’ve also taken to keeping spreadsheets (I know) of my bills so I can track how much I spend every month against what I earn, and also have a clear idea of what I spend every year on things. It’s intimidating, and I can’t believe I’m putting in all this effort, but so far it’s been 100% worth it.

  11. September 29, 2009 8:59 am

    I”m right there with you this month. No extras. Having fun at home. Getting chores done. Blah blah blah.

    I recently cut a lot of my bills. For example, I have high speed internet….I guess there are 3 levels of high speed internet. I saved $15/month swithing to the lowest tier from the middle tier & can’t even tell a difference. Those little changes add up.

  12. September 29, 2009 10:08 am

    I’m right there with you! I moved last month and now it’s time to tighten up so I can put some money back in my accounts after moving expenses.

  13. September 29, 2009 10:28 am

    Um save? I thought I was supposed to stimulate the economy 🙂 Well, seriously, I’m a fan of little things that add up:

    making lunch and dinner instead of eating out
    drying my clothes on clothesline to save energy/lower bills
    limiting trips in the car
    no cable
    no gym memberships
    using the library for books and DVDs

    Unfortunately, I have a way of unintentionally wasting money sometimes, so for me it’s kind of like these little things just make room for all the stuff I spend money on.

  14. September 29, 2009 12:14 pm

    I also just got married in August and I think this is a brillant idea. I’m going to see if I can get my hubby into the idea!

  15. September 29, 2009 4:52 pm

    I’ve only done this maybe a week at a time. Never a month. I ought to try… Maybe. (Oh, who am I kidding? It’d be near impossible to stick to. I don’t have enough willpower.)

    Best of luck. I just save money by putting away any excess each week and only allowing myself a certain number of cash for spending each week. The rest hits the savings or pays off credit cards.

  16. September 29, 2009 6:45 pm

    If I had the ability to make an iced caramel macchiato at home, this would be a possibility. But! This is a fabulous idea. I’m going to steal it. And be minimally-successful, I’m sure.

  17. September 29, 2009 9:57 pm

    I totally relate, even though I’m not married or I didn’t just spend a LOT of money, but for some reason I feel like this is what we [me and my bf] need to be doing, just in case, b/c this economy IS CRAZY.

    Btw I’m TOTALLY the same way on this one: “The Renee-is-too-tired-to-cook-so-let’s-pick-up-Chipotle nights will just have to become Renee-needs-to-suck-it-up-and-at-least-make-mac-and-cheese nights.”

  18. September 30, 2009 9:58 am

    Well, I used to go to Target during my lunch hour once a week and we all know Target has a $25 minimum cover charge. I’ve stopped doing that and instead bring a book to read during lunch.

    I go to the grocery store once a week to stock up on lunch to have at work so I’m not always going out to eat, even if I want to.

    I’m ok with eating cereal some nights for dinner.

    If we go out to eat, we try to split the $5 dollar foot longs from Mr. Goodcents or make sure we have leftovers.

    It is definitely hard to cook after a long day of work though, I totally understand where you are coming from on that.

    Also? I still need to send you your bachelorette party/wedding present. I’m a slacker. Sorry =(

  19. September 30, 2009 12:03 pm

    Maybe for Gar-blog you could trade items with someone… something they want for something you want… and then no money is exchanged. Technically then, you’re not buying anything!

  20. October 2, 2009 12:25 am

    I just came back from a vacation in New York, so I’m broke for at least the next month (it was my first vacation in four years, and muuuuch needed). Besides not wanting Ramen for dinner again, the hardest part is the disparities of income among friends. Some people can go out every weekend… and some people can’t. Guess which group I’m in.

  21. October 2, 2009 1:41 pm

    Husband and I had this talk last night since we’ve had a few emergencies the past few weeks so we really can’t spend money this month other than on bills. It’s going to be hard but I’m definitely looking forward to it since the Holidays are coming up!

    Good luck!

  22. October 4, 2009 11:54 am

    Our big thing is designating personal spending money each week for ourselves that is for entertainment and personal expenses only. It can be as much or as little as we like but we set it at $60 and when I have left over money I only take out as much as will top me up to $60 for the next week. It’s great because I don’t feel so poor or deprived but I have definite limits. Even $20 a week for each of you might help you to feel less guilty if you forget your lunch or if you ‘need’ a bite out with friends =)

  23. October 8, 2009 10:08 am

    Good for you! I know I’m totally late on this, but how is it going?

    I need to start building up my account for a fun wedding/honeymoon stuff. Even though it’s more than a year away…

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