(Closed) Reducing Expenses – Post Wedding

posted 7 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
Member
1729 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

Coupons & reward clubs…seriously for everything. I am not an extreme couponer…but i do check coupon matchups at the stores before i go…and i have all the rewards cards for just about every store including GAS, which tends to be a huge saver.

I also when me and my Fi moved in together made up calenders of each month put PAYDAY in green..and and on each day a bill was due put that down in red, then i printed out each month and put it on the fridge..actually SEEINg the amount of red and how often…tends to make you spend less and less.

Post # 4
Member
4824 posts
Honey bee

Have you started with tracking what you actually spend in each category and what you can spend? Its hard to determine where you can cut expenses if you dont know what you are spending right now.

Once you know that look at the categories and methodically go through each one to see where you can cut and where you want that money to go (Retirement, another category, christmas spending, vacation account etc)

Really get to know your local grocery stores. Unless you are an extreme couponer the store with the best weekly deals is probably not the cheapest place to shop for an entire cart. Each chain has a different demographic and marketing plan and layout and overhead. Make a list of 10 items you buy most often and make note of their prices at several different chains.

For example, near us Foodmax prices are literally about 1/2 what the everyday prices are at Safeway. Even shopping the sales at Safeway isnt going to save me money over shopping at Foodmax for most things.

Make a list of your weekly meals so that you can use ingredients twice to ensure nothing goes bad. Try to have at least one meal based around beans or lentils (cheap and filling protein). You can often make stuff cheaper than buying (bread, dressing, soups, most packaged anything you find in the center aisles). 

Then look at your monthly bills. Do you really need your cell phone plan with that many minutes? Do you use them all? What about energy conservation? Do you have good seals on your windows or doors? Would putting plastic up in the window and using a towel under the door save energy? What about energy saving lightbulbs?

Wash with warm water while doing your laundry.

etc.

And then TRACK what you spend. Use excel, quickbooks mint.com. It doesnt matter as long as you do it.

 

Post # 5
Member
1944 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

@lefeymw:

Great points but quick question; how does washing with warm water reduce expenses and conserve energy? Our water heater is electric so using warmer water many situations actually raises our bill.

Post # 6
Member
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

my husband and i sit down and do a budget the first of every month…as soon as we get paid we move that money into savings, pay our bills and then we know exactly what wehave left and we then know what we have for fun and if we want to put a bit more in savingings or what not. We also discuss big purchases and i swear having a joint account keeps you so much more accountable for your spending, you think about it more knowing someone else is looking at it (at least for me) . One thing we started doing was eating at home for lunch and dinner, we usually only go out to eat once a week, usually a friday or a saturday night. We religiously grocery shop every 2 weeks and we know what we like so we usually buy the same things each time so we always find coupons for those items we always buy.

Little things here and there help  a lot but contstantly communicating about budget is huge!

Post # 7
Member
4824 posts
Honey bee

@MissGreen: Well vs Hot, not vs Cold.  a Lot of people wash in hot water.

Post # 8
Member
3375 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011


Post # 9
Member
2893 posts
Sugar bee

I make a couple big meals every sunday and divide them into plastic containers for lunches every day that week. Given it costs an avg. of $10-15 to buy lunch at our work cafeteria I’m saving big bucks there alone.

I rarely get starbucks. Have a coffee maker at home and I probably hit up startbucks a couple times a year, that’s it.

When I really need to save I record every purchase and bill I pay and I find the hyper awareness causes me to spend less. You’re more aware of impulse purchases that you really never needed in the 1st place.

We also go out to eat twice a month vs. 4 or more like we used to.

We keep the heat a degree or 2 lower than we like and just wear slippers and a sweater. Keeps the heat from kicking on so often.

Paying off my debt has been my biggest money maker so far. By having nothing extra to pay for I’m now able to save about $300-400 a month that once went to credit cards.

Painting my own nails and reserving manicures for special occassions like big holidays or vacations.

Turn lights out in rooms you aren’t in. Yeah. I’m super guilty of that one. 😉

Hope some of this helps, I’m sure I repeated other suggestions. 🙂

Post # 10
Member
7173 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Knowing what you are spending money on is key.

Once you know that (like how much you spend for groceries, going out, household items, clothing, housing costs, car costs, etc.) then you can figure out what you are willing to either cut out or cut down on.

For us, our biggest line items are always food, going out, or gifts for other people.  I’m trying to be more mindful and creative in the gifts department and we are trying to cook more vs. go out.  

Post # 12
Member
7173 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@bobsoon2bewife9887: we still go out, just not as often.  We couldn’t restrict it all in one swoop.  We started reducing the times we’d go out slowly and are now down to 1 night a week for dinner and 1 brunch on the weekend.  It doesn’t feel like we are restricting ourselves but if we cut down to that immediately, I’m sure it would have.  It’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s helped our bottom line tremendously.  Also, creative ordering while dining out also helps the bill – ie: one glass of wine vs. a bottle.  or, one cocktail instead of two.  You have to play around with what works for the two of you, but you can still save without it feeling like you can’t go out and enjoy! 😉

Post # 13
Member
1327 posts
Bumble bee

Our biggest spender besides our cars is food, between the two of us we spend $500 to $600 per month plus we eat out a few times a month. I am really bad for not making meals from scratch and buying frozen lunches and FI tends to buy lunch out a lot so thats where a lot of our money goes.

My water bill is included in strata, but I always wash laundry with cold water.

Post # 14
Member
2550 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

 

Commuting- Its cheaper to drive my lil convertible instead of his truck.  I do love sitting higherbup but the cost to fill up the truck is ridiculous.

Grocery shopping- I do all the shopping cause I do all the cooking. I discovered when he shopped it was based on his eyes.  I shop for meat and paper supplies monthly because it was either on sale or I purchased it from Costco.  Fruit weekly cause we have tons of options around us.  Cleaning supplies when they r on sale.  I buy the majority of our alcohol from sores such as Trader Joe or Costco.

Eating Out-  We believe in eating out during Happy Hour when we do go out.  Yes, we’re the early birds.LOL Its just cheaper if we want drinks.   Love weekday restaurant specials like Taco Tuesday/Saturday.  Also we love wkend brunches.  Cheaper and quieter cause its soo much easier to have a conversation.  

We bring lunch to work.  DH will eat out more cause of his job while I bring lunch everyday.  Its really easy for me because my co-workers are of the same mindset.

Sales, Sales, Sales- I buy almost everything on sale.  Clothing, Electronics, Food, and other items.  I have expensive taste so I’m willing to hold out.  I believe in buying used items or refurb.  

 

 

Post # 14
Member
2550 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

 

Commuting- Its cheaper to drive my lil convertible instead of his truck.  I do love sitting higher up but the cost to fill up the truck is ridiculous.

Grocery shopping- I do all the shopping cause I do all the cooking. I discovered when he shopped it was based on his eyes.  I shop for meat and paper supplies monthly because it was either on sale or I purchased it from Costco.  Fruit weekly cause we have tons of options around us.  Cleaning supplies when they r on sale.  I buy the majority of our alcohol from sores such as Trader Joe or Costco.

Eating Out-  We believe in eating out during Happy Hour when we do go out.  Yes, we’re the early birds.LOL Its just cheaper if we want drinks.   Love weekday restaurant specials like Taco Tuesday/Saturday.  Also we love wkend brunches.  Cheaper and quieter cause its soo much easier to have a conversation.  

We bring lunch to work.  DH will eat out more cause of his job while I bring lunch everyday.  Its really easy for me because my co-workers are of the same mindset.

Sales, Sales, Sales- I buy almost everything on sale.  Clothing, Electronics, Food, and other items.  I have expensive taste so I’m willing to hold out.  I believe in buying used items or refurb.  

 

 

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