So as most of you have seen, I have been working hard to reduce the money my family spends each month. I have more than cut our grocery bill in half by couponing and we are working hard to stop going out to eat as much.
I decided that it's time to kick it up a notch. Last night, I mentioned to my husband that I would like to set a challenge for us. I want to see if we could live off only my paycheck and put all of his in savings or use that money to cut down on our debt.
We are starting with our next paychecks (the second half of the month). I'm a little weary about how this challenge is going to go, but I figured it was worth a try. I really started tracking our spending and realized that we spend a lot of money on frivolous things.
Unfortunately they way we've been looking at it is, we have money in the bank, we can spend it. However, we keep pushing medical bills and credit card bills aside and only pay the minimum. So, my plan is right when the paycheck comes in, to automatically transfer it out of our checking account, and into our savings account. That way we won't "have the money in the bank" to use. Once the money is in our savings account, we can withdraw money only to chip away at the debt.
We're going to start living as if we are a one income family and really cut back on the luxuries we've been indulging in.
Here's some ways I plan to do that:
- Of course, continuing my couponing.
- Look for deals on websites like Groupon for movie tickets, museum tickets, etc. instead of paying full price.
- Research for free things to do in my area.
- Go to the park or walk around the mall instead of going to places where we have to spend money. However, we must be careful in the mall to not make impulse purchases.
- Use restaurants.com to get gift certificates to local restaurants instead of paying full price.
- Cut back to only going out for dinner twice a month.
- Cut back to buying lunch once a week.
- Start a gift closet (Thanks for the idea Tricia!). Buy gifts while they're on clearance (or free) and keep them in the closet. When birthdays/baby showers/Christmas rolls around, look to see if there is anything in the closet that person would love.
- Attempt to find another couponer who would want to participate in a stock pile swap, where we can trade items we have an abundance in to get items we don't have but need. (If anyone in the Gwinnett County or Lincolnton area is interested, please let me know!