Friday, July 25, 2008

A Penny Saved...

With gas prices reaching an all-time high, the stock market on shaky ground, grocery-bills rising and the cost of a Starbucks latte higher than ever, I decided this was the best time to cut some unnecessary spending. I have credit cards and student loans waiting patiently in the wings to be paid-down. My husband and I sat down and talked about ways we can lower monthly spending on frivolous items and apply that saved money to lowering our debt and raising our savings. (I love reading up on msn money articles at work on how to do this. I also had a great talk with a friend at lunch yesterday that motiviated me to make some lifestyle changes.) So here they are, in no particular order:

Emily's life-style changes and the projected annual amount saved.

1. I am saying goodbye to the blonde highlights. As much as I love being blonde (I was a blonde child), it takes its toll in the long run. Not only do I need my hair touched up every 12 weeks or 4 times a year, the cost of conditioner rises too as my hair gets more tangly and dry when it's blonde. The next salon visit: dye it back to natural please. My kids will thank me for a college fund.
Projected annual savings: $520

2. While on the topic of beauty, there will be no more manicures and pedicures. While I only get this done a few times a year (and usually only for special occasions), the cost can add up.
Projected annual savings: $110

3. In addition, at the risk of being confused for a man, I am going to be stopping salon-visits for eyebrow and other facial waxing. I'll buy a $2.00 pair of tweezers and a $4.00 bottle of Nair. Ok, I will have one more waxing only because I am in a friend's wedding in 2 weeks and that is the worst time to be confused for a man. (I look horrible in a tux.)
Projected annual savings: $252

4. No buying clothes. I know I know, it sounds drastic and cruel. The truth is, I have clothes coming out my ears. I have 2 dressers, a closet, under-the-bed drawers and still not enough space. I make it a point to give old clothes to the poor at least twice a year. I still have too much! Buying clothes is an unnecessary addiction that I need to overcome. It's not like I will be walking around in rags if I decide not to spend half that paycheck on the season's hot outfit from Macy's.
Projected annual savings: ##ERROR number is too high for publishing## OR $1100

5. My husband and I decided that we will be going out to dinner once a month. We were married on May 24, so the 24th of every month will be date-night. (Thanks for the idea, Sardoniccatholicdad.) It works out great for us since I am such a great cook anyway. I mean, who doesn't love 365 ways to cook Ramen?
Projected annual savings: $1900

6. I love eating at Subway. It's convenient, fast and very yummy. I met Jared and I took the Subway challenge to eat healthy back in '02. A Sub sandwich is only $4.00. Hm, I'm feeling a bit thirsty, add a coke. Do I want a bag of chips, you ask? Sure! Now my bill is $6. Ah, it's only $6. Well guess what, it was $6 yesterday and it will be $6 tomorrow too. Subway is dangerous. Time to revert back to the PB&J days, or at least last night's leftovers. Subway, I'll see you once a paycheck now.
Projected annual savings: $936

So there you have it, my list so far. Overall, I can save my husband and myself a whopping $4818 per year. Dang! With that money, I can buy myself a new computer and a big screen TV! I down debt and save.

I may be a dark-haired, bare-nailed, bushy-eyebrowed, mustache-sportin', naked emaciated girl 365 days from now, but I will be able to fill up the gas tank and pay down some student loans! Now if you'd excuse me, I've got to run. It's time for some Chipotle!

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