Bad day at work? Time for a trip to Starbucks – their birthday cake pops are a great pick me up. Something not pan out the way I expected? That means a trip to the nail salon to soak my tension away while I get a pedicure. Getting divorced? I’ll remain in the same expensive @$$ neighborhood because I’m too afraid of change. Need a new car because the divorce decree required that my ex keep our car? No worries, I’ll just buy a new car – one that I actually want but horrible with gas.
The point? I get what I want. But that’s the problem.
These are just a few of the things I’ve learned (and accepted) about myself over the last few months. In particular, my person boyfriend pointing out that much of my discretionary spending is emotionally based and even going as far as saying that I lack the ability to sacrifice for my goals. He’s hardcore frugal and would split a penny in two and spend them if he could.
Seriously, this was a hard pill to swallow because for a long time I’ve prided myself on spending wisely. But in all honesty, that went out the door at the start of this year. I was recently divorced and operating emotionally instead of with a level head as it relates to my finances. Admitting this was hard but that’s the reason why I started writing about my financials here – accountability and documenting the journey. Back to basics.
Where does that leave me?
Making some hard decisions how I need to and should cut back. I’ve taken the following actions to cut my expenses:
Apartment: moving to a cheaper place, saving $950 per month. My current place runs me around $1700 for a 1BR with utilities. My new place will be around $750 including everything. Could I live with my new beau? Yep, and I’d save even more money. Should I? Nope. I don’t believe in living together before marriage.
Cell phone: switching my plan to a family plan with the man, reducing my cell phone bill from $120 to $50 per month. That’s a savings of $70 per month. I am switching from TMobile (have I mentioned how much I hate TMobile?) back to Verizon. There’s also the option of going from a contract phone to a pay as you go so this is still up in the air. Virgin Mobile would be the front runner of I decided to go without a contract.
My car insurance is around $60/month and that’s as low as it’s gonna get with a $500 deductible. I’ve also fancied myself a new Starbucks addiction so I’ve resolved to stick to black coffee with Almond Milk and Stevia since that grande Cinnamon Dolce with 9 pumps and extra whipped cream, birthday cake pops and a bistro box got me 7 extra lbs over the last 2 months. Ooops!
There are also some other random recurring expenses that I need to take a look at this weekend.
What I won’t give up
Shoot me. I do love my car and it runs me the same amount in gas as my previous car, but it’s still horrible on gas. Does it mean that I run around less on the weekends? Yes. But it’s perfect and I can afford it.
My Love For Whole Foods
The man also seems to think Whole Foods is too expensive but I do prefer to eat organic as I can’t tolerate the taste of my fruits and veggies with pesticides. Still, we’ve come to an agreement where I will try out shopping at the local market which offers local farm fresh fruits, veggies, meats and fish at a lower cost than Whole Foods. I plan to try it out for a month and see how I like the quality of their food. Quality food is one of the areas I’m not willing to give up and I don’t foresee that changing any time soon.
Bottom line is being more mindful around my spending is key. When the idea was first presented around moving yet again I resisted it big time! I hate moving but I got an offer I couldn’t refuse which means saving almost $1000 a month – frugalistas REJOICE!
Anything else you think I should reduce? What else wold you cut back on if you were in my position? This weekend I plan to review my spending over the last 30 days to see what other areas I can cut back on. Admittedly, I’ve gotten out of hand over the last 4 months and this confession is the first step: admitting I’ve got a problem. My name is Ginger and I’m an emotional spender. What about you?