Archives for posts with tag: stop spending so much money yo

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about money and spending and ways to save. Between the Hawaii trip, student loan payments that are going to kick in soon, a possible rent increase when my lease is up on October, and now possibly a flight to South Africa in March? I really need to look hard at how I spend money and where I can cut back. Part of this is making a budget and actually sticking to it, which involves me pulling the cash out of the bank for my grocery and gas (which is cheaper when you pay in cash anyways!) so that I know exactly how much I have and how much I can spend, and I think more about what I actually NEED to get through the week.

My best friend and our moms are doing a read along of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, but I’m totally slacking about it OF COURSE. But like Pam has said, “the print is large and it’s going to help get my finances in order”, help me learn to relate to money in a different way, and I’ve read a few blogs about how this book helped revitalize people’s finances, including one woman who lived super frugally and was able to save the cash to buy a house in a couple of years on one salary! A WHOLE HOUSE while making (probably) less than $50K a year. I don’t really want to go as extreme as living on rice & beans and never going out with friends or doing anything fun, nor do I want to give up Netflix, but I can find ways to be more frugal and get rid of debt and save money. I don’t want to be paying for school loans for the next 30 years.

Today, I read a post at Get Rich Slowly which linked to a NY Times article about money and happiness. It talks about how buying stuff doesn’t make people as happy as they think it might, and they link to a woman who pared down her belongings to 100 items and now lives in a 400 sq ft apartment with her husband. Again, I don’t really want to go that drastic, but I have SO MUCH stuff I can get rid of: my bookshelves are full of books I’ll likely never read, my closest is full of clothes and shoes I don’t wear, my underwear drawer is practically overflowing! Who needs that much underwear?! Not that I’m planning on giving my underroos to Goodwill, but I DEFINITELY need to cut back.

That article also suggests buying “experiences” rather than stuff and thinking and waiting and creating antici….pation before purchasing anything to increase it’s happy making qualities, and I was glad to know that I’m already doing this to a degree. My trip to Hawaii is going to be full of experiences: scuba diving all over, snorkeling, hanging out with a good friend, eating amazing food and having a really wonderful relaxing vacation with my feller. I’m hoping to keep extra spending as low as possible while we’re there, but I know I will want to bring home souvenirs (MMMM KONA COFFEE), but I also know that, for the most part, my memories and the pictures we take will end up being what I enjoy having the most. As for creating anticipation, I feel like I’ve been waiting FOREVER to get my Hobbit Feet. I’ve set aside money for them every week to save up, and I think having that slow build before I finally get them (tomorrow, hopefully!!) is going to allow me to enjoy them even more, especially since I’m able to buy them free and clear and not have to feel guilty about about putting another charge on my credit card.

Unfortunately, a lot of things live in the “someday, eventually” category, like “when I get my Christmas bonus, I’ll…” or “when I (hopefully!) get a tax refund…” or “When I’m splitting rent, I can save SO MUCH MONEY”, and it’ll be great when all those things happen, but until they do, I’ve got to focus on frugality and saving dollars wherever I can. I’ll just keep on keepin’ on, and trust God that he’ll provide like he’s always done, even when it seems like there’s NO WAY.

Advertisements

So I decided to become one of those people who spends as little money as possible at Walgreens through the use of coupons, and let me tell you, it is kind of exhilarating. Since I’m so new, the planning stage is kind of stressful, but once I get to the store and walk away with buttloads of stuff for ridiculously cheap, it’s AWESOME, and the planning stage isn’t even THAT bad. It’s totally an adventure trying to figure out how to get the best stuff as cheap as possible.

For example, yesterday I spend a total of $35 and got 3 toothbrushes, 1 tube of toothpaste, 3 conditioners, 1 body wash, 3 bars of soap, 2 really nice razors, 2 packs of nice disposable razors, 2 cans of shaving cream, eye drops, a birthday card, wet wipes, 2 deodorants, and … I think that’s it. But it’s a lot! A lot of stuff that I use regularly! Not necessarily brands I normally use, but I’m not that picky. There are very few things that I’m super adamant about needing ONE! SPECIFIC! BRAND! And being able to get all that stuff for so cheap just makes using it that much nicer. I’m pretty sure things smell/taste/work better when you can get them on super discount.

I also got a beater and brand new tags still on bathing suit for super cheap at Goodwill yesterday. A bathing suit that actually COVERS MY BOOBS, OMG. Which is practically unheard of! It’s amazing! And $7! I think it fits so good because it’s normally a $40 bathing suit. See? Shit is better cheap.

Yesterday was a good shopping day.

I’m going to Hawaii in three months, and my biggest concern, besides trying to make my wobbly bits less wobbly, is money. This is pretty much going to be the most major vacation I’ve ever been on; my family didn’t take a vacation that didn’t include pitching a tent and not showering for a week until I was in high school, and in college, I spent so much time working hard for the money that vacations were practically out of the question. Most of the major trips I have been on were school related, not that I’m knocking that! I had a GREAT time in NY, DC and Italy on those school trips. This trip is a Big Fucking Deal for me, is what I’m saying. (Not that I’m going to go all Crazy and have really high expectations or devolve into a crying mess when things don’t go as planned or anything; I’m just REALLY EXCITED like a hyper puppy with a new toy, like Sirius in that one Shoebox Project (the relevant part starts pg 27) where the Marauders are thinking like their animal selves (and I TOTALLY just outed myself as a COMPLETE nerd), so DON’T WORRY.)

And I’ve become kind of obsessed with finding ways to save money. Like if I work three more hours a week, I earn an additional $60 before taxes. Or getting cash for the farmer’s market from my bank instead of the convenience store ATM saves me $4 a week. Or getting 1 DVD from Netflix instead of two saves me $6 a month. And while all those little things are great, more of a dent would be better. Like, I want to be one of those people who never spends money on toiletries. I’ve been reading Get Rich Slowly recently, and he has a ton of great information and resources and get posts and stuff, like this lady who lived on $12,000.00 a year (this article has A TON of interesting links). And I have a list of other blogs and posts to read, like Frugal Babe, The Krazy Coupon Lady and Common Sense with Money. I’m gonna start buying the Sunday paper for the coupons and paying more attention to mailers because if I can put a little bit of work into it and save some money, it’s totally worth it.

Additionally, I’ll be doing a STUFF purge. I’m gonna try to sell the books I will never read (bye bye The Two Towers and 1984) because even $5 for a stack of books helps; that’s a cheap lunch. I wish I knew of a place to sell used clothes close by (and also, that I had nice enough clothes to be worth selling) because I have SO MANY shirts and pants and skirts and STUFF that I don’t wear!

Also, I need to put that $35 currently living in my sock drawer in the bank.

I was REALLY lazy this weekend (seriously, I was conscious on Sunday for a total of about 3 hours), but Saturday, I did drag my butt out of bed to head to Half Moon Bay to hang with one of my girlfriends. We had brunch, enjoyed the sunshine and wandered around downtown Half Moon Bay for a couple of hours. I ended up with a sunburn.

We drove into SF (yay one hour drive /sarcasm), prayed for close parking, FINALLY finding a space after driving around 10 minutes, accidentally driving up a majorly steep alley with no outlet, which resulted in having to SLOOOOOWLY back out into traffic. It took me about 10 minutes to squeeze into the TINY space, during which time I almost got ran over by the trolley, then we had a 5 minute walk to my friend’s apartment for sunblock and then on to the stores! We stopped for midday Beverages and had a fruitful hunt for dresses, though did not find one for her cocktail party this weekend.

And then I got a speeding ticket on my way home.

So, a slightly annoying, but overall good day and rest of the weekend.

Also, I am potentially going on Vacation to Hawaii in the next few months (I mean, I’m definitely taking myself on at least a vacation, but it might actually be a Vacation) (and also, I’m trying to go on a cruise next spring), and two things need to happen before then: saving money and getting fit. Saving money is going to be a pain, but not too difficult. I need to eat out less (she says as she’s about to order lunch) and cut out frivolous spending (good thing I just bought some new yarn!). Unfortunately, I have a speeding ticket to pay soonish, a dress to purchase, I can’t find my good yarn scissors, etc etc etc. Hopefully, I can get these couple of things taken care of in the next week or two and then REALLY REALLY focus on not spending money I don’t have to. Which means I might start drinking less. HAHAHAHAHA. No. I’ll just start drinking more cheap vodka.

UNFORTUNATELY, this also means that I’m not signing up for the pole dancing classes I was going to take (seriously, those women are in REDONKULOUS shape), nor am I going to join a yoga studio. Which means I’ll be running and using some of those (many MANY) workout DVD’s I own. I guess I’ll be spending a lot of quality time with 30 Day Shred and MTV Yoga and friends because taking my boobs bathing suit shopping just MIGHT be more frustrating than taking them bra shopping. And oh yeah! I need a new one of those TOO (MAH MONIES). I also need to make sure I’m eating better all the time. Bye bye, Target spinach & goat cheese pizza. Hello, cooking at home (SIGH) and keeping good, easy food handy (this will probably involve a lot of carrying food back and forth from my home fridge to my work fridge to the feller’s fridge).

And so, in the interest of being healthy, I ordered the meal that does not come with pasta, and I said no to the foccacia bread. Which was very hard. That shit is BOMB.