belt tightening

Posted: October 11, 2008 in everyday life
Tags: , ,

No, this isn’t a post about weight loss, although i really wish it was for so many reasons. It’s about money. With the crazy economy I’m sure that this comes as a surprise to no one.  Times are tough and we are all feeling the pinch. Being the la di dad de unaware person that I am, I though we were ok.  In fact, I was just talking to a neighbor about this yesterday.  Hubby has a steady income that, as of today isn’t in danger.  we bought our house before prices skyrocketed.  We avoided the lure of refinancing.  all sounds very well and good, right.  Well, what I forgot is that while hubby’s base salary hasn’t gone down, he hasn’t been getting those wonderful bonuses that we have become so dependent on.  I didn’t realize how the little things have been adding up.  About 6 months ago we decided to put our nose to the grindstone and pay off some lingering debt.  apparently it was a case of too little too late because that debt, while less, is still there but now the money we were using to pay it down is going to skyrocketing gas, electricity and food prices.  Living the way we are now, we can no longer afford to pay much more than the minimum payments.  As any fiscally responsible person knows, that’s just treading water.  In order to continue the financial plan we started we need to make several tough changes.

This is the plan we came up with

transfer all balances to one cc with a 0% transfer rate

cancel unnecessary services–lawn care, maid, cable, gym, pest control–all of these things we can either do without or do on our own

take the kids out of extended day at school-hubby works from home so he’s here but it’s just easier for him to work wihtout the kids around

apply for financial aid for me at school

eat out only once a month

get rid of our 150 gallon fish tank–noone had time to take care of it and it ups our electricity bill

absolutely do not buy anything that we don’t need unless we have cash to pay for it–that means no more mani-pedis for me and bringing my lunch to school instead of buying.  forgoing my daily latte.  Isn’t it funny how most of the sacrifices arw mineand not Neil’s.  Of course, I tend to be the one who spends the most so this makes sense.

Finally get around to putting my laptop on ebay.  I had to get a mac for school and I’ve just been holding on to it for sentimental reasons


close my etsy store–i don’t sell that much and it’s just a monthly cost

If we make these changes we’ll have close to $1000 a month accessible to pay off our bills.  If we stick to it we should be able to pay off the majority of our debt within that interest free year.  by then I should be close to done with school and will be able to help out financially.  It’s not going t be easy to live without the little perks we’ve become accustomed to but if they economy continues the way it’s going we will be able to breathe a sigh of relief without all that crazy debt weighing us down–

  1. Karen says:

    good for you to get out of as much debt as possible! we are CC free too. It can be done..just takes getting used to.


  2. laura says:

    we had a similar discussion last night Lily – come over to my house anytime for a latte (ask Michelle!) my coffee pot is always going! I even bought pumpkin spice creamer today for my coffee so I can pretend I’m at Starbucks with my much beloved (albeit stupidly expensive) pumpkin spice latte.


  3. JulieP says:

    I’ve been trying to cut back as well. I make more lattes at home…stretch out the haircuts and hightlights…shop at Winn Dixie instead of Publix (if you only knew how much I despise Winn Dixie but it’s so much cheaper)…cancelled internet service on my cell…am going to cancel the 2nd landline we’ve had for over 10 years…etc. All little things but things we don’t necessarily need. It’s going to get worse before it gets better so I figure every little bit counts.

    Keep at the studies…that’s your golden ticket.


  4. pam says:

    Good for you on taking the cut back steps. We are going to stop eating out so much and buy only what we need!


  5. Melanie says:

    Good for you for trying to pay back that debt, Lily. You can do it!


  6. Carol says:

    Hey Lilly, Good for you, we’ve been doing the cc payoff ourselves, it’s crazy. It’s just amazing how much money we put out for things, that we really can do ourselves. We got a deal with my hairdresser, she cuts our familys hair for free, and my hubby (he’s a maintenance person) does repairs and things for her shop that would usually cost her minimum of $85 to $100 just to have someone come look at.

    Here is a great blog, I’ve read this woman’s book, and she’s got a great website too. Check it out:


  7. Sasha says:

    YOU GO GIRL .. you gonna be debt free like me in NO TIME. LOVE IT ..


  8. April says:

    You go girl!!! It’s tough to tighten up, but you can do it. I’m sad though….no more gym dates???


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