Happy Tuesday, Fancy Oatmeal Readers!
This morning has been a time of reflection, decision making, and simplifications. I know, that’s a lot to have to deal with before the sun has fully risen in the sky, but that’s how I roll. I’m a deep person who cares about the real issues.
Since the moving process is generally over and the majority of supplies have been replenished, it’s time to get back to some basics of budgeting and asking yourself, “how important is this?” The two years that Dear Hubby and I spent in Alaska without the “luxuries” of shopping malls, impulse buys, and Joneses with whom to keep up with, it helped to recreate a simplified perspective on life. I will take full ownership of my desires, and a few too many follow-throughs, of wanting to have everything NEW! FRESH! EXCITING! LOOK WHAT I CAN BUY!!! However, the sheen has worn off and I decided that with the peace of having the apartment to myself, I would take advantage and really investigate where some of our funds are going. It’s also a nice kick-in-the-pants when paychecks have been on hiatus and we’re living on
Adjustments that have been made:
- Cancelled my Audibles.com account. I have replaced spending $$$ on audio books and switched over to free Podcasts on iTunes. - Monthly savings of $15
- Changed our Netflix account from 3 Blu-Rays/Streaming to only streaming. We have SEVERAL of those Red Box movie stations near us, so if we do need a movie, we can hit that up. - Monthly savings of $22
- Walking more. I go for a 3.5 mile walk, almost daily, to return Netflix movies, pick up an odd purchase of bandaids or envelopes, or to use one of my Starbucks gift cards (iced tea in FL only for this gal). Not getting in the car, even for those few miles, saves us on gas, and wear-and-tear on the car. Have ya seen me drive??!?? – (Anticipated) monthly savings of $20
- Created a paper budget, and actually writing down our purchases. It’s important, especially as tomorrow is the first day of August and we should be back to a “normal” spending routine, that we really follow through with our budget. (Anticipated) monthly savings of between$20-$200
- Eliminated debt. While spending money each month doesn’t sound like savings, it actually is. By paying off the balances of three of my credit cards, there are three monthly payments I won’t have to spend. Late last week I officially paid off the last credit card! Monthly savings of $250 a month
- Investigated the fine details. While on the phone with my credit card company, I found out that of the two credit card accounts that I have open with them (credit cards are the devil, BTW) that one had a yearly fee of $75!!! Our advisor at the bank said it’s best to keep credit card accounts open, with a zero balance, ONLY if they do not have an annual fee. The card that I had planned to use, in cases of emergencies only, just happened to be the one with an annual fee. SEE YA! Yearly savings of $75.
And the overriding question about either specific items (Netflix, Audible.com) or purchases that create debt on our credit cards, is:
In 6 months, will I be glad that I made this purchase?
And you know what, that has made all the difference.
So how has this applied to my running/working out? Some might say, “Why spend money on a gym membership when you can run outside and buy some weights for your living room?” Well, the simplified answer is, “You’re right.” The justified/long answer is a question: Can both my husband and I get the same results, mentally and physically, by doing something else? No.
Once the school year begins, my time table will be much more limited; I cannot run outside before work. As a single woman in the dark, it’s not safe. My safety cannot be monetized.
Also, we cannot afford to purchase the equipment that we both utilize on a daily basis outside of a Snap Fitness gym membership. I spent some time thinking about this, and realized that while I love the weights routine that I have been following, I am not utilizing all that the gym has to offer – AKA I am not utilizing my money fully. So I did a quick change up, and decided to use the machines to perform my upper body workout as opposed to straight hand weights.