Friday, May 16, 2008

Time for Cost Cutting

Looking over my finances for the next few weeks is giving me a panic attack.

It's not even that things are drastically out of hand, it's just that I'm never 100% on top of my costs anymore. For a financial neat freak like yours truly, that's hard to handle. All the lists in the world won't make up for the fact that I have a lot of things to buy in a short period of time. I also don't get a big enough paycheck to cover it all in one shot. Enter the credit card. That thing is a blessing and a curse. Usually just a curse.

Other than reminding myself that things will ease up soon and that this is just a particularly strenuous month or two, I'm looking at ways to cut costs. There are obvious things like:

Don't buy new clothes for a while
Bring lunch to work
Have a glass of wine in the backyard instead of going out for drinks on a patio
No more buying "stuff" unless it's essential
Be prepared to say no to outings where I know I'll spend money

I'm also thinking about using up what I've got stored in my pantry... And I mean REALLY using it up. I've stocked up on a pretty impressive number of things: fish, tofu, grains, baking stuff, spices, noodles, soy milk, legumes... The list goes on. But I never seem to deplete my collection. Since I get a box of fresh veggies and fruit once a week from Life Organic, I should be able to make do with what I've got instead of always making small grocery trips for the extras. I wonder how long I could do this for? My food wouldn't be super rich or fancy, but it would still be very tasty. I would allow myself to get things like milk, eggs and yogurt if need be, but otherwise? I'm going to see how much cupboard space I can free up.

If you've got a suggestion to help cut costs, please let me know. I'm all ears. I used to be the queen of frugality, and I think I need a refresher.


Marie-Adèle said...

Happy (late) birthday! I fail... ;_;

Re: money: use your sewing machine! :D Not only will you be using stuff you already have, you can always ask your mother for anything you're missing, right? And it'll keep you occupied, thus less likely to go out and buy stuff.

Like I should talk *eyes her closet full of fabric and the sewing machines that have been languishing, unused, for too long*

XUP said...

Have a big freakin' yard sale, flog your CDs, get rid of everything that isn't essential. How many jobs does the BH have? Can he handle another one? You're a journalist - can you sell a freelance story or two? Saving money.. get rid of cable, switch your phone & internet to something cheaper, no more restaurants

Andrea... said...

Great ideas, both of you.
Unfortunately on the drive up to see my puppy, my mom and I got a $300 speeding ticket. So much for cost cutting. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Sheety about the ticket - but yeh about the puppy.

Two things I did (and sometimes do again) during a tight time. I took out $100 each week and that’s all I spent; if I had some left over I rolled it to the next week. I also designated every second day a "spend nothing day".