Having enjoyed both the Christmas season credit card bill and seen our appalling tax bill (thanks for that tax cut, jerks!), it’s time for us to get our financial house a bit more in order. We’re generally pretty good financial eggs, but we have a serious weak spot for dining out (the winter is long and the cats make us crazy, so we go out). I haven’t run the 2018 credit card report, but I’d bet dollars to donuts (both of which are on there) that the biggest category for us is dining–we’re not really shoppers and don’t travel much. Since I’m feeling broker than usual, so I’m putting us (well, at least me) on a Frugaler February. Frugaler February is about spending but also about what I choose to eat and do.
Here are the rules:
- Eating in restaurants is limited to once a week.
- Coffee out is fine if it means I’m working in a coffee shop on my projects for a couple of hours. Muffins and related yummies are now generally on the no-go list (the expanding waistline is real, and I like baking more than coffee shop muffins).
- Don’t shop much–this is generally easy. Buy mostly essentials/needs, avoid the rest.
- I must move this body at least 3-4x/week. I’d gotten one good week in in January, after having an endless cold, only to spend most of last week injured. Ha. So this category needs work.
- Less booze. I like to imbibe. A glass of wine at night is fine by me. But maybe fewer nights? And probably not out as much, since booze is big money when it’s not happy hour.
Other areas of effort include thinking about my karate studio membership: I go there for a kickboxing class (it’s like a high-energy self-defense class), but it’s an 18 minute drive with no traffic and a half an hour with it–that’s why I don’t go as much as I ought. It was easy in the summer, but I’ve barely made it in since October. Renewal is March 1. It’s a serious chunk of change, especially since we also have gym memberships and pay for training. I like doing it, but I don’t know that I like doing it at a rate of $100/month. So this needs real thought.
Four days in and tho my husband has no idea we/I’ve been doing this, things are going well. All we’ve purchased are groceries and cat food, including a pie we took to a night with some friends and ingredients for something to bring to a superbowl party last night. I stocked up on ground turkey because I had a digital coupon making it $1.48/pound, but it didn’t scan correctly so I’m headed back there for an adjustment today (and they’ll likely have to give it to me for free–state laws say if something scans wrong, you get it free here). We have enough food to basically not shop but for lunch supplies and some fresh veg for at least a week or two. The issue will be sticking to it when we’re tired or bored.