Thursday, January 7, 2010
Slimming it down
For once this post is not about losing weight in the Lewis Family. Today Anthony and I had a "family meeting" of sorts and came to the conclusion that we have to really work on our financial health this year. When I went into my last year of Graduate School Anthony decided that he would ask me to stop working and focus on school and he would take care of the bills. That was all well and good except that we didn't make any changes to our spending. We kept spending the same amount and we quickly got into debt. We used Credit cards when we couldn't afford things, were late on our bills, got behind and now we are just in a really bad place.
We both knew it was time to stop doing the things that we had before and start being financially mature. The first steps we took were to stop spending money on things like dining out and starbucks. We have been pretty good about this for the past several months. We still were hesistant to cut out any more of our lives as we were very selfish. Now we have decided that we need to cut down our monthly expenses considerably and start paying on debt more seriously. It has been hard since my caseload is taking a while to build and since we only have one car working, a full time job for me is hard to do.
Today I started this process by immediately cutting down our cell phone plan by $100 per month. This alone will save us $1200 this year. That is amazing. The second thing I did was to cut down our netflix account. I got that bill lowered by $15 per month equaling $180 this year. The third thing we are working on is our cable/internet plan which we currently pay about $100 per month for. I would like to lower that by at least 50%. Another course of action that we want to do is get rid of our storage unit. We got the storage unit when Anthony moved out of LA and we have paid about $160 a month for it for 2 years. It was such wasted money because if Anthony actually loved and needed those things why are they sitting and collecting dust? We are going down next week on Anthony's day off and emptying out what we can with the car and then following up with a truck and brining my bike to our house. That will save us $1920 this year!!!!!
All of that to say we are also planning to lower our utility bills by being wiser with energy, lowering our grocery bill even more (although we are very good about this), and reducing our use of gas by taking walks to Wal-mart & Target instead of driving when we need only a few items...we get exercise that way and save Gas. We live very close to so many places that this would be great. We are right next door to CVS so sometimes we are literally steps away from the things we need.
I am going to use our family blog to show you the savings each and every day that something changes. I am going to use it as a place to show how I manage our grocery budget, free things that are out there, ideas for reducing debt, etc... I figure if we need this makeover, many do. I am excited yet very nervous for my self-discipline and financial maturity to begin. God is doing big things with my 30th year!