So Justin and I made a deal. We are giving up…plastic! Credit cards, that is. We’re both pretty bad when it comes to using the plastic money. He is a lot more financially savvy than I am, but we need to get it all under control and get ourselves out of the debt that we have control over. Obviously I cannot pay off my car easier than I can pay off my cards, so that’s our goal. The cards gotta go! You’ll see on the right of the page I added a new little section for my debt-to-be-eliminated. I got the idea from an awesome blog I recently became a fan of, My Daily Dollars. She even has a section dedicated entirely to a wedding on a budget, and in case you haven’t read anything before this post, weddings are my other obsession. score one for me =)

This world is pretty crazy. Money is really the center of living. I can safely say that with Justin in my life I could be poor as dirt and it wouldn’t matter as long as he was poor as dirt right there with me, but since we are not poor (we actually make more combined income that the family average for the city of Butler, which I’m very proud of) we do like to indulge more often than not. I have a very serious blessing in my life, when I graduate I will not have thousands of dollars in college loans floating over my head. My parents are seriously amazing and helped me every step of the way. This is a major factor in why I chose to do my growing up a little pre-maturely. They pay my school bills, but I save them any further financial struggle by paying for everything else. This motivates me to go to work every day. If you know me, you know I hate my job with a burning passion. Unfortunetly, the job pays better than some when you actually have that 4 year degree in hand, which is kind of depressing, but it pays the bills and then some.

Anyway, to get back to what I was getting at. Justin and I have two very expensive goals for the next couple years. One is to purchase a house. The market right now is great for first time buyers, and I’ve been researching like a mad woman so we do not get trapped into any serious home-buying mistakes. The other expense, of course, is the wedding. Granted the affair is not for almost two years, it’s still going to be quite the pricey party.

So here’s a couple things we’re changing about our lifestyle:

  • Cash only. As I stated before. We’re a bad credit card couple. We’re going to stick to only having $100 each, cash in hand, per month. This is for silly extras like going out and whatnot.
  • Save the drinks for the weekend. We have a habit of picking up a six-pack a few times during the week to have after work. There’s really no need for this, and it is almost always bought on credit. Now we take that money and save it for something fun on the weekend.
  • Create a budget. This still needs to be done. I need Justin’s math brain for some help with this. That and he’s an excel pro, he has tracked every financial move he’s made since he was 16 on this massive excel spreadsheet. It’s absolutely amazing. Kinda frightening, but amazing 😉
  • Manage the kitchen. We spend a lot in food. We eat out way more than we should. When we’re at work it’s super easy to order pizza, Chinese, or run up the road to McDonald’s or Wendy’s. Not only is it unhealthy, it’s not financially smart. I’m going to get a head start on being a kickass 50’s style housewife (I was so born in the wrong generation). I’m essentially in charge of what enters our kitchen. I found a couple pointers online, as well and another great website, Almost Frugal Food, which is a great read, and another by the same person, href= target=”new”>Almost Frugal. A nifty thing about this author is she lives in France, lucky. (btw, any blogs I find worth mentioning you can find to the right on the blog list) I also recently signed up at Coupon Mom. I know, don’t laugh. I’ll be a mom one day, I’m just practicing.
  • It’s the groceries I want to master. I never pictured myself a coupon person. My mom never did, but with prices rising lately, it seems almost silly not to. even if I spend an hour working on it (which I’m sure I’ll do at work, ha) and save just 10 dollars off the bill, I’m sure it will be worth it. There’s another website, that actually sounds kind of fun, the only catch is you have to pay. It’s not very expensive, only $1 to start at $10 every 8 weeks. I’m a little wary of paying for something like that just yet, so I may ask around. Don’t suppose anyone out there has used it? Let me know if it’s worth getting in to.

  • Savings Account Justin has his own savings account, and I will be starting mine next Friday My goal will be to put away $100-$200 dollars a month to savings.
  • Work More My actual scheduled hours per week is 32 every week. I am going to aim to do about 40-46, which I used to do, I’ve just been lazy lately. It’s always open overtime here, so after 32 hours I can work as much as I want. After you hit 40 hours you also get time and a half, so I’ve seen $1,000 paychecks, and those are beautiful. So after this week it’s back to the grind, especially with the holidays quickly creeping up.

    So, that’s it for now. I will start my grocery shopping adventure here soon and share my results, I’m kind of excited to see what the results will be!