Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The New Frugality

One of the best lessons I've learned in my adult life is how to budget, I think.  I'm not saying I get it right 100% of the time, but I'm generally pretty good at saving, setting targets, and not being too frivolous.  And now I've decided to be really ambitious, and aim to kill my student loan...while still making mortgage payments.

Crazy?  Mayhap, but undoubtedly worth it.

I graduated university a decade ago this year, and while I don't regret for a moment the loans I had to take out in order to earn my degree, it feels like high time I prioritised paying them off.  I already contribute through my paycheck, but now it's time to really dig deep and finish this.

Glamourous and fun?

Perhaps not, but I'm kind of excited!  I've worked out the places where I can afford to make savings, and the ones where the thing I pay for adds to my life.  So for example, magazine subscriptions, expensive drinks out, fancy coffees and taxis are out....Weight Watchers, my phone, charitable donations and bargain lunches with the girls stay.

I've also taken time to work out *where* I'm most likely to slip up - for me it's buying gifts and treats, spoiling Matthew, entertaining, and spending when on holiday.  I still intend to do all of these things but am hoping to decrease my spending across the board!  I'm also looking at our meal plan, with an aim to lower our food bill and increase the healthiness of what we consume.  It's going to be a learning curve!

I've made a spreadsheet and a list and am hoping to make the savings I'm aiming for this year.  I've tightened my belt successfully in the past (to pay off my credit card), and I hope I can enlist the same motivation and enthusiasm in this endeavour!

I think we're all looking for savings and ways to stretch our money at the moment, whether it's to pay off debts, save for a home or a wedding, put money towards our children's future or that rainy day, or just to keep us in the black in this ever challenging economy.  I'll keep you posted as I try to save through 2013.  I'm sure there will be tips to share, successes (and failures!) to report, and no doubt a few mad moments to recount!

Image source

And of course, if you have any tips or resources you would like to share, please leave me a comment - I'm sure there are plenty of us in the same boat!

6 comments:

  1. The Mr and I have always been frugal with our money and have always tried to budget accordingly. Having recently moved back home & also having both secured new & better jobs (I was offered one just today!), we sat down to reassess our financial spreadsheet tonight so we can budget more effectively and to also ensure our DD's are in our joint account are going in at the right time. We split all the house essentials (eg. rent & utilities) down the middle, then we take into account our own essentials (eg. phone, travel costs, savings, pet supplies) and then add in any extras (eg. contact lenses, holiday fund & spending money) so we know exactly what's coming in & going out. We've done this for the past 3 years & it seems to work really well for us & our future goals. There have been amendments & comprises but never any disputes.

    Good luck in tackling to pay off your remaining student loan! I'll be keeping an eye out for some tips as I think I will be in the same boat in a decades time too!

    - xo Amy

    P.s Happy new year!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Amy :) Matthew and I are pretty frugal by nature and run our home fairly economically, but last year saw a lot of spending when we bought our house. No real regrets on that - it was buying fun and useful things (paint, utensils, furniture, cat beds!), but this year saving and paying off our mortgage as much as poss comes to the fore :) Good luck to you too!

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    2. PS Happy new year to you too!

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  2. Well, it's not for everyone, but doing the vegan diet has been helpful because it forces you to cook at home more, which means cooking from scratch, which means cheaper, healthier, and yummier! Mr. RK hasn't gone vegan when we go out to eat, but he is doing it with me here at home, and he's happy too.

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  3. PS Thank you for keeping in charitable contributions. I believe it comes back :)

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    Replies
    1. Me too, hon. That was one of my non-negotiables :)

      I'm planning on doing a lot more cooking from scratch this year (which I really enjoy), and as we're trying to be healthier too many ingredients are cheaper - turkey and peppers are a lot cheaper than beef and wine!

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Thank you for your comment - I do read them all but it may take me a little while (a couple of days) to respond during busy times. I love reading what you have to say!

Have a wonderful day!

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