Monday, March 7, 2011

Less is More March- Week 1

So this month we're focusing on our budget and trying to eliminate extemporaneous spending (see more here). The first week was a little bit harder than we thought it would be.

Money spent
Here's the breakdown of what we spent this week:
52.38- Groceries/coffee
41.31- Gas
14.75- Personal items
8.50- Dry cleaning (seriously Jeff, you had to wait until this week?)
3.19- Redbox rental (had we returned this on time it would have only been $1 and not this month)
31.35- Books for bible study
50.00- Money owed to Jeff's brother (he's killing me here)
198.29 total spent- $48.29 over budget

Money saved
During this month we're taking the opportunity to look at our monthly bills and see if there are ways to cut or eliminate them
Comcast bill: Savings of $50 a month
We were paying $155 for cable and Internet.  With all the commercials touting $99 a month for Internet, cable and phone we were a little perplexed as to why we were paying so much.  So Jeff called Comcast and was able to negotiate our bill down to $105 with a new home phone thrown in too.
Life Insurance: Savings of $39.01 a month
A few years ago we took out some life insurance policies.  Last year we opened a few new policies with another company but never closed the old ones.  We were way over-insured but I just never got around to canceling. I thought the company would make it really difficult to cancel the policies (since I use to work for one and know all about retention policies).  Well, a five minute phone call later and that was that.

Thoughts on this week:
- Jeff and I need to communicate more on what our upcoming plans and money needs are going to be.  We do talk about it but I think we mention things randomly and aren't actually paying attention to each other.
- I'm really happy with how little we spent on groceries this week.  $50 is not too bad!  We had mostly meatless meals this week (barely and roasted root vegetable salad, homemade pizza, lazy man's lasagna... the rest is escaping me)
- I do like the challenge of not spending money.  It was nice not really having to go anywhere.  We did take a few trips to the library but hung out at home the rest of the time.
- Hanging out at home has its advantages. I repainted the dining room and kitchen using paint we had in the basement.  I love how the rooms came out.  The colors work perfectly in those rooms (though I have no idea what rooms these colors were in before).  Next up is painting and framing in a chalkboard on the kitchen wall (using supplies we already have).

Next week:
This week's budget is $180.  I have to buy diapers and groceries tomorrow.  My birthday is on Wednesday and we're hoping to go out to dinner one night to celebrate.  We'll be using gift certificates so that shouldn't cut into our budget too much.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad we were able to work something out when you called us. If you need further assistance in the future, feel free to contact our team.

    Mark Casem
    Comcast Corp.
    National Customer Operations