Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mind On My Money

Lately I've been on a bit of a spending binge and I'd really like to clear my palate of it. Not going to be terrifically easy since I'm hosting a party in a few weeks, then two weeks later going on vacation, followed quickly by hosting a baby shower for my bestie. But it's better I start thinking about this before all those things come and go and I'm left with nothing but receipts. Looking over our budget and our spending over the past few months I noticed several different things. One- we've been spending far too much money on eating out, particularly fast food. An average of $250 a month! Although that also includes when we were out of town and when we were moving, both times when grabbing a quick bite often feels like the best choice. But generally that just turns my stomach. We could use that money for things so much more valuable than the fleeting french fries and milkshakes. So that is definitely the first spending area we're targeting. Everytime I think about a quick run through the drive thru I need to remember that it's costing us $250, not $2.50. Two- my husband is a text message machine. Sometimes he manages to keep it under control, but we pay a few bucks a month for a specific number of texts and on occasion he goes over that amount. Most recently by more than 100! I've looked over our used minutes and we can scale down one more plan tier, which will save us a little. And I'm trying to figure out the differences between all the message/media/data options to see what would cover his usage without increasing out bill too much.

In addition to needing to rejigger our spending I keep thinking of things I want to spend money on! I recently decided that I want another tattoo. It might sound strange, but it's something I feel pretty strongly, and excited, about. So I need to save up some money for that. And then I also want to sign up for an online photo class through TCU. I could theoretically take on a second job, but I tend to get accustomed to how much money we make and then my fear of never having enough takes hold again and I feel like I can't live without what we're bringing in. So I'd trap myself in a second job whose income we don't truly need. We make decent money, have a house, no debt (aside from the mortgage), and save 30+ percent of our income. We're not talking about dire straits, I just want fun money without negatively affecting our current cash flow.

I posted our old TVs on Craigslist and someone is hopefully coming today to take them away. Then we'll hopefully sell the old entertainment center and I'm considering posting a couple pairs of worn-once shoes on eBay. Combined with cutting back on our eating out and slowing down my husbands texting fingers maybe these things will get us back to a better money place.

P.S. Look for posts soon about the last two purchases I made prior to the belt-tightening as well as probably some tattoo indecisiveness.