Monday, December 15, 2014

Tightening the Belt Financially

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I know it's unusual to see a post about frugality this close to Christmas.  Most people wait until after the holidays to start saving money and trying to cut back.  Possibly we would be the same, but right now it's a time of high spending for us and we're trying to save all we can.

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

It is less than six months until the wedding.  (Talk about expenses.)   Plus I decided it was time to do some major renovations on the house.  When I won a bad kitchen sink contest, I don't think that's being wasteful.  The living room carpet is about 60 years old.  The entire house is paneled.  I would like to get the house looking a little more 2000s and a lot lets mid-century retro.  (Which would be cool if it was the neat designs of mid-century!)

My fiance and I have started reading The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.  In a way this feels odd to me because I've always been good at managing money.  But I also know it's time to cut back.

I'm going to have to be a "spending saver" for a while.  Flooring for the house.  Drywall.  Wedding expenses.  But I'm going to try and cut back in other areas.

One thing that I'm cutting out is my rather regular fill up of my soda mug.  I found a 100 ounce refillable mug a while back.  For under $1.50 I can get it filled with Diet Pepsi.  (Love that stuff.)  But if I did that every day for a month, it would cost over $40.  I need to get myself used to drinking water, but for now I'm making iced tea.  A five pack container of generic Crystal Light costs about $2.50.  Because it makes five mugs, that's about $15 a month.  I'm still spending money, but less than I would be otherwise.  And that $25 I save?  Two months of that and I have saved enough for a high end can of paint for the house.

Over the next few months, I will be spending more money than it cost me to get through college back in the 1980s/1990s.  But I want to make wise decisions about how I spend my money.  I feel like so many of these house repairs are needed. This was a fixer-upper when my parents bought it and while they put $10,000 into it in the mid-1980s, not too much has been done since.  It's also been difficult living in the same house after both my parents passed away.  (I helped Mom out the last few years of her life.)  By painting the rooms, making things more "mine" will help me realize it's now my house and I can let my personality show through.

I'm excited about fixing up the house -- and terrified of the cost of it.  But I know it will be worth it in the end.

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