Monthly Archives: February 2008

Saving Money

Early last year, Trish and I became increasingly aware that we needed to become more attune to our spending habits. I had been tracking my (then our) income and spending very carefully for a long time, and noticed that our total net worth was not-so-gradually decreasing.

Over the past nine months or so, Trish and I have taken actions to improve this situation. It wasn’t as easy as it seemed it would be, but we’ve now finally stopped the seemlingly perpetual downward motion. I feel very proud of the changes we have made in our lives in order to do this.

A lot of people think that they have to compromise a lot in order to save money, but we have found that to be not true. Through saving money in some areas and even spending more money in other areas, we have both balanced the budget and improved our lives.

We have a great home that we love extremely, in a much better location than the last place we lived. We have a wonderful car that gets great gas mileage and actually helps us save more (on gas and monthly payments) than when we drove two cars. By getting a thermostat to control our gas fireplace, our energy spending has decreased and the house is more comfortable. We eat a little healthier by making our own meals instead of buying them out of a box or at a restaurant. Not only does it taste better but it costs a lot less as well.

We have dropped our monthly grocery spending from $600 to $350. Our gasoline spending has gone from $120 to $50 per month. The car payment is now $390 instead of $410. We eat out only once a month, dropping dining out costs from $300 per month to $100 or less. We got rid of all the extras on our cell phone plan (Internet, text messaging, etc) and our cell phone bill dropped from $130 to $70.

And we rarely miss having two cars, or eating out, or having extra cell phone features. Overall I feel much better about the entire situation, and yet we’ve decreased our bills and essentials spending by over $700 per month! It was hard to do it at first, but now it has become natural and we don’t hardly think about it.

Woohoo.