Thursday, April 30, 2009

La Frugalista, part 2

So, the whole financial crisis and recession thing has given me even more permission to embrace my inner cheapskate.

Here a just a few of the ways we have "cut back" without really having to feel the pinch...

*Cable TV. We have gone back and forth on cable through the years. I think that I have finally convinced Ed that we don't watch it, and we don't need it. When there are sports he wants to watch live, I have given him my blessing to go across the street to the neighborhood sports bar for a root beer and some alone time. $50/mo savings

*Cell phone. We were able to cut way back on our phone expenses because Ed was issued the crackberry for work. We also started skyping. $40/mo

*Refinance. I'm hopeful we can refinance our house....I'll find out in a few days if we qualify. I'll be really disappointed if we don't, since we put down 20% on our home when we bought it. $300-400/mo

*Stamps. I finally got around to setting up our bill-paying online which will save us a little in postage each month. $5/mo

*Home cleaning products. I am making a lot of our home cleaning products these days. I like the smell of vinegar and lemon in our house, but Ed does not. Maybe when he starts cleaning the house, I will let him pick our cleaning products. I also stopped purchasing napkins and I am keeping a very limited supply of paper towels on hand. $10/mo

*Garden. I am hopeful that my garden will be profitable (meaning that I will harvest more than I spend) this year. Last year I barely broke-even, but I learned a lot during my rookie gardening year.

*Health club membership. I never actually signed up, but I had budgeted for it this year. Right now, I have plenty of workout options between biking and running the Reston trails, renting pilates dvds from the library, and the mini-trampoline I purchased on craigslist for $10. $90/mo

*Eating Out. My goal is to eat out 2 times a month instead of our usual 4. With the exception of our vacation, I think we've been on track with this. $40-50/mo

Total potential savings: approx $550/mo

Final thought:

This recession sucks eggs. It's hard to see friends lose their jobs, and worry about your own. It's hard to see people losing their homes, their money, their hope. It's hard to see everyone suffer because of the sheer greed of a few. I do understand the fundamental necessity of recessions, but not the pain. Don't mistake this post as excitement for our current economic situation, but rather a small, silver lining.


Erika said...

Way to save. We've done a couple of those things too, like cable and our cell phones, but I'd never thought of making my own cleaning products. Look at you Miss Homemaker you...that would for sure save $$$ but I'm not sure I could handle the vinegar smell. OH, and the amount you can save on the mortgage if you refinance...I called Jon and told him to look into that right now.

Chloe said...

This is a really good post - thank you. We let go of our home phone because we both uses our cells (and the husbands job pays for his) and that saved some dough. I also let my gym membership go because we have a treadmill and bike at home - that saved about $40 a month. Way to go!