Seeing as that we’ve spent buttloads of money in the last 3 weeks for home renovations and the earnest money for a new house, we have decided that we do want to cut back a bit to get prepared for the 20% downpayment we’ll be expected to hand over sometime in August or September.
Instead of going on a complete spending freeze though, we are going to concentrate on things that will make the most impact financially without making us give up what we like the most. Our first two attacks will be on our big annual vacation and our food budget.
Mr. BFS and I have an ongoing tradition of taking a one week vacation every summer. We either hit Las Vegas or take a Caribbean cruise. This summer was going to be a Vegas summer, but buying a house trumps a week long Vegas trip. So we are now planning to save most of that $2000-$2500 instead.
BUT, we aren’t cancelling the vacation idea completely. We will hopefully be substituting it with a different fun outing either by ourselves or with our friends, but we’ll keep it to $500 or less. We are thinking of either a trip to a Louisiana casino or heading to San Antonio like we did in college. I know we could skip the vacation altogether, but we do truly enjoy our tradition and need the time out for our sanity. So we are living up to the blog’s name and budgeting in the fun stuff. The $1500 saved will help cover a few of the upgrades we are choosing for our new home.
We splurge alot in our daily lives. We have a biweekly housekeeper that we adore, Jacqui. We have a great lawn guy. I am even a personal finance blogger that does indeed love having cable with a DVR. But, as I’ve written about before, our biggest splurge every month is on food. We spend a ton on our cravings. So we are now going to suck it up and start keeping to a stricter budget.
I’ll detail this more after we are at it for a little bit, but the general plan is to keep an running tally of what we’ve spent and keep the totals to $300 or less for eating out per month and $300 or less for groceries each month (that’s $600 total a month for the two of us). That is still excessive for 2 people (yeah, I know), but since we have been splurging so much lately on nice restaurants (at least two $40-$70 meals a month), it will be an initial improvement to just cut back a bit. We can hit it harder once we are back in the habit of not being crazy. Baby steps people…baby steps.
Are you cutting back anywhere right now for achieving a different goal? Or what areas do you think you can cut back in without effecting your lifestyle much?