Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spending Diet Update - How We're Saving

Prepare for two blog entries today.  I want to share both how I am succeeding at the spending diet and where I've failed, so I'm going to put them in two separate entries.

First, how we're saving money!  I have great news on this front.  Because of a great tax refund and some control (some) on my part, I was able to pay off three credit cards in the month of March as follows:

My individual card:  $1577
Lowes (new dishwasher): $181
Justin's individual card: $294

I am also about to schedule a $1,500 payment to our large joint credit card.  That is over $3,000 toward credit card debt in one month, so I am patting myself on the back for that.  Usually if we got a refund, I would be out happily spending away at the things I have been wanting - namely an iPad and a new camera.  Friends, I am using my phone camera, since the Kodak is really dying, and it takes pretty good pictures.  Enough for my needs at the moment.  I am proud to say I turned down an offer of a used Nikon (?) from a Facebook friend because I just didn't want to spend the money, regardless of how much I wanted it.  I also refrained from running over to Best Buy and getting that iPad I so desperately think I need.  (I pat myself on the back for this now because the next blog entry will be about where I've not been quite so good about leaving that money in the checking account alone.)

We are working at saving in small ways.  Two that I'm going to share are pizza night and movie night (or afternoon, in this case).

We used to get Papa John's every single week.  Sometimes twice!  At $40 a pop, that added up to a lot of money being wasted.  Now we are doing this:

It's actually better pizza at a fraction of the cost and here is the result:

Joey will eat either one, although he loves getting delivery.  The point is, though, that he will eat either one.  If we take just a bit of time, we can have homemade, delicious pizza and not put out that $40 a week or more.  I also decided last night, a night we usually order out, that we have plenty of leftovers and food in the house and it was just plain silly to get Chik-Fil-A when we have food already here.  Score another one for thinking about it before spending!

Another way to save.  Movies out are damned expensive these days.  The snacks cost as much as the movie and our local theater charges $12.50 for an adult and $7.00 for a child under 12, of which I only have one now.  Add on the cost of popcorn, those huge drinks you're never going to finish, and a box of candy, and you've easily spent $40 for two hours in the dark with people who are taller than you blocking your view and talking.  I haven't been to the movies since the sixth Harry Potter film came out and I have no intention of going in the near future.  Here's our solution:

And the result:

A movie we already had and popcorn that was in the pantry.  No cost to us and a couple hours of enjoying Joey's company.  We're planning another one for later today.

So there's where I've saved over the last few days.  And I'm extremely proud of paying off those credit cards and getting to work on the big one.  My next entry won't be such a happy one for me though, as I must fess up to hopping off the diet wagon on a couple of occasions lately and feeling just a bit guilty about it.

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