Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Our Spending Diet

I stumbled upon this blog a few weeks ago after seeing an article on CNNMoney.com. Anna Newell Jones is the author behind andthenshesaved.com, a blog about saving money by means of "The Spending Fast" and this year, "The Spending Diet." I was instantly hooked. I read every post in one weekend! I was inspired by Anna's will power of going a whole year without spending on "wants" but only "needs." She gave up brand name foods and eating out, lived by her "make do and mend" motto mending the clothes she had instead of buying new ones, made homemade gifts, and even passed up a cheap plane ticket to Portland (that takes will power!). She outlined specific guidelines to follow and stuck to them, saving about $18,000 by the end of the year!  Amazing!

Since our move, Zach and I have been struggling to get our savings habits back in order. The move, as well as transitioning down to a single income while taking out more student loans each semester hasn't helped out our savings account. We definitely have some dinero in savings, but we aren't where we'd like to be. We have things we want to do (buy a house), places we want to go (Europe, please!), and hopefully a family to support one day (don't get excited yet, mom).

Can I go back here please? Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italia

So starting today, for the month of February we are going on our own "Spending Diet." Here are our guidelines (basically the same as Anna's guidelines):

Our Spending Diet

Can Spend Money On:
Rent
Utilities
Internet
Cell Phone
Car Payment
Gas
Insurance
Food
Food for the Pup
Netflix

Cannot Spend Money On:
Starbucks :(
Clothes
Handbags
Shoes
iTunes Music
Video Games
Movies
Eating Out
House Decorations
Toys for the pup
Anything we can live without

We each get $100 cash allowance for the entire month to spend on whatever we want. (We're not that good yet)

To cut down costs as much as possible, we decided to drop our cable and only use our Netflix Instant Watch (it's awesome!) to get our TV fix in. Other than that, we will just try to live as cheap as possible. Our main goal is to eliminate all our consumer debt and save some money to do some of the bigger things we've been wanting to do/accomplish.  Wish us luck!

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