Monday, April 23, 2012

Survival Mode

Sallie and I are going to go into survival mode over the next few months.

I'm sure most of you have heard by now, but the transmission on our Accord was going out. That on top of the other things we needed fixed (timing belt, normal belts, AC, side view mirror, OBD connectors) we were looking at about $4500-5000 in repairs to maybe get our car running for a few more years. Plus, we just dumped about $900 in there to get it to pass inspection. It was time to move on. (On a side note, we found out that our car was a total at one point, but the title was wiped by a salvage yard, so we wouldn't have been able to sell it anyway.)

So we had to get a new car. That on top of student loans, medical bills, and normal bill stuff our pocket books are going to be hit hard for the next few months. But I'm trying to stay positive.

Instead of looking at this like, "wow, we're broke" I'm seeing it as an opportunity to simplify and get back to things I used to love doing.

So I've been looking at my life objectively over the past few days and figuring out ways to cut back on spending.

The obvious one is not to go out to eat every weekend. Sallie and I really enjoy trying new restaurants and having a glass of wine, but that obviously can add up quickly with two people eating.

So I have a bunch of beer I've brewed sitting in the basement. That'll save some money there. But we're also going to get the garden going again with easy to grow veggies that we eat often. We still have some seeds from last year for lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and bell peppers. (Which never grow) I'm going to start making more bread instead of buying it. And instead of buying chicken, beef, and lunch meat every week, we'll just pick one or the other, and start eating things like tuna and PB&J.

Basically, we're going to get as "do it yourself" as possible. This weekend, I'm making pizza dough and sauce from scratch, and for about $10, we'll have 6 mini-pizzas that'll last us several meals.

We're also going to keep the AC off for as long as possible, and when we do turn it on, we'll keep it at like 78 degrees instead of the 75 we had it at last year.

Then there are easy things, making sure lights are turned off, unplugging things that aren't being used, take shorter and less showers, go outside and walk around the park instead of watching TV, etc. All practical things that we've taking for granted since graduating.

Then extra stuff we had is getting cancelled. Netflix is going to stream only, Xbox live isn't getting renewed, Sallie's Birchbox and magazine subscriptions are all getting cancelled. They were nice, but an un-needed expense.

I'm also going to use this to get back to free activities. I used to walk around the neighborhood picking up trash and listening to podcasts, which I haven't done in about a year. I'm going to start writing again. And I'm going to attempt to hook up with that brewer and maybe help out in the brewery.

So staying positive, deep breath, let's do it!