I had always been frugal, diligent with my finances. Even at 19, when I bought my first condo, I instituted a $100/week budget for myself. Much like today, I put everything on my credit card, and kept a tally on my phone, so every time I swiped, I had to deduct the amount I had left to spend for the week.
After I met my then-boyfriend (now-husband), we soon merged our finances and spending habits – my $100/week budget became our $200/week budget, which was synced with ease back in BlackBerry’s glory days via BBM groups. It took a bit of effort on our part to remember to manually type in how much we just spent on what, then do the calculations on how much we had left, but we got into the habit and kept to it for the most part.
But then we bought a house, got engaged and had a wedding to plan for. We had been frugal for so many years, we decided to finally live a little.
Fast forward to today, and it seems like maybe we’ve lived a bit too much, hence our $14,206.19 Home Equity Line of Credit balance. It was a rude awakening to realize it might even be a stretch to pay off our loan in an entire year. And so even though I just wrote about the 21 reasons you should use your credit card for every transaction, we’ve decided to go on a Crash Cash Diet.
I admit – it’s become way too easy to swipe every time we want something. Craving chips? Grab a few bags. How about chocolate? They’re on sale if you buy 2, so grab 4. Wardrobe feeling a bit scarce? Go see what’s on sale online, then Google a promo code to score a great deal. Drooling over a steak and lobster? Save some money, skip the restaurants and make it at home.
Granted, I stopped working in June 2014 to go back to school and only started working again between August – December 2015, then went to Asia for a month. (I’m still waiting for the paperwork to go through so I can get back to work.) And it’s not like we were splurging on crazy things all the time (at least, it doesn’t seem like it.) It’s just that since we bought the house, we have literally nothing to show for our money! Where has it all gone, other than my waistline?
That’s the other thing (of which I alone am 100% guilty of) – we spend way too much on groceries, way too much on meat, and end up wasting way too much food that spoils before we get a chance to cook it.
So, starting today, Friday, January 22, 2016, we’re going on a $140/week Crash Cash Diet.
The Crash Cash Diet
- We will withdraw $140 cash every Friday, to coincide with our paydays and when the new sales start every week at my grocery store.
- $60 will be for groceries for the two of us for one week.
- $40 will be for household expenses (e.g. toilet paper, kitchen stuff, cleaning supplies, etc.)
- We each will have $20 of our own money which we can spend however we like and can accumulate week to week if we don’t spend it.
- Gas will be exempt and will continue to be paid for on credit card.
- All other recurring expenses already being paid for on credit card (e.g. phone and internet bills, insurance, etc.) will continue to be paid for on credit card.
To be honest, I think this will be incredibly tight since a) I love to eat and b) I love to eat real good and c) we have our pup on a premium food because of the associated health benefits, but it costs almost $75/bag, which lasts about a month. This is nearly double our weekly budget for household expenses, so we will need to somehow save a bit each week to be able to afford it at the end of the month.
So yes, it will be tough, but we’re up for the challenge and can’t wait to see the results!