Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the budget

Last week, Kathy and I went to a local sportsbar, sat down with our bank statements and a sheet of paper, and hammered out our budget.  Yes, I had to bribe her with beer and football to get her to do it, but it was definitely time well spent.  We came up with a live-able budget where we can set aside a decent amount of savings each month, as long as I don't freak out and quit my job on the spot.  It will give us flexibility later in the year if I do decide to freak out and quit my job on the spot.

Then, we taped our budget to the inside of our closet door, and starting on the 15th, we're tracking expenses.  Earlier this week, I said to Kathy, "You know, in the kitchen at work they cut the sponges in half.  I mean, really, you never need the surface area of the whole sponge, and then you only have to buy them half as often."  So we cut our sponges.  We have also started washing out our ziplock bags.  I am constantly on the lookout for other tricky little ways to cut costs.

Now, considering the size of our monthly grocery budget, saving $2.39 on sponges every other month is not likely to make much of an impact.  Even adding in the washed-out ziplock bags and our other money-saving ideas is not likely to make much difference.  But lately, we've kind of been feeling like our entire life is out of control.  And so, reclaiming some control by cutting our sponges in half feels really good.

Cut Sponges in Half

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