Financial Lockdown

Last week I posted about being on "Financial Lockdown" under strict orders of my GF. Now I didn't do anything overly bad and I am not in dire straits that forced this to occur, it is just that I am currently unemployed and any real slip up in the matter of money could prove disastrous down the road if I stayed unemployed. I look at it this way, every $1 I save is a $1 longer I can stay in this house. There are cool blogs out there that are all about proudly saving until it hurts and I have enjoyed them greatly but have never buckled down and done what I could do to save 'til it hurts.

So in reality I am not a big spender, my bills are pretty low, my mortgage is decently priced (although I am trying to get it lower), and I don't really buy much, so what made my GF force me into the lockdown? The answer is eating out. No, not the $10 meals at sit down dinners, but my occasional $6-$7 meals that are a quick pizza or sub that seem to sneak into my diet now and again. In January, while still employed, my eating out roughly equated to 7-8% of my "brought home" income (not gross). That is actually pretty low for me, usually I would eat lunch out 2 to 3 times a week and I would say that it would more typically affect my budget by 10%. 10% isn't bad right? Well wrong, really that is 10% going to only me, and when I have a GF, a future brother-in-law, 2 dogs, and a cat that I typically feed with groceries, it comes out pretty selfish. Not to mention, 'out' food doesn't really keep the whole diet in check. I am also not counting my stops as the local QT for the occasional soda and cupcakes. I can't be trusted when it comes to my stomach, so I get why she did it and why I agreed to it.

After the lockdown, what did I learn about myself? Well eating at home ain't all that bad, never has been in fact. I enjoy cooking and without a job, I find myself grilling, stir-frying, and baking at least a couple of times a week. A college favorite, PB and J's are made when I am ready to snack and I stay out of stores. My killer is soda pop, I go in and out of full on addiction to it. Currently I am on but when the last 2-liter is emptied I will try again to keep away from the Dr. Pepper.

What else? When you are in the savers mentality everything becomes a chance to save. My GF wants to make a garden on the south side of the lawn, that can be a lot of money right? Well, we are probably going to get some limestone rocks from my parents house to border the garden and most of the plants will likely be re-purposed from other spots in the yard. The only spending I see will be some planting soil and maybe a couple of $10 plants. Another example is in my garage, I finally grabbed my bicycles from my parents shed and needed storagefor them in my garage. $3 in hooks and some scrap 2" x 4"s later everything is hanging. Not bad, I think.

Great, what else? I don't shop for anything but groceries really. My GF and I look for things to work on around the house and not things to buy. We hang out with friends at their homes (no one is forced mind you, everyone is worried about excessive spending too) not the bar. We go 'out' to places we have long-not-used gift certificates for if we are feeling the urge, and generally look for free fun.

To me it is really not that bad. I have always wanted a simplified lifestyle, and this was just yet another way of achieving it. In a month, my GF may give me all of my monetary freewill back and I feel as if this lifestyle should continue. We'll see...

1 comment:

Atlas@mymoneyshrugged said...

Ya I used to eat out and it killed my budget! If you learn to simple life and pretty much everything starts to simplify. And if you simplify then you save money because you dont buy anything that is going to make life more difficult. When you do get to eat out you enjoy it just slightly better than you remembered.

At lease this is how I feel