Saturday, June 26, 2010

Our Financial Overhaul

This year and for the next few years, we are focusing our attention on how we can live on less and put more money into building our savings and paying down our debt.  With our recent downsizing or pairing down of our belongings, it gave us a look into what more we can do in terms of saving money while keeping the clutter out.  We are brainstorming ways we can pay down debt quicker while simultaneously saving along the way.  We are committed to making this change happen beginning this year and for the next few years to come.

So far, some of the things we have been looking at are:
1. We are in the market for a new internet and cable plan while cutting our landline phone.
2. Our purchasing habits have been pretty lax lately but it is now time to get back to being frugal.
3. We will be running the dishwasher less.
4. When doing laundry, we will do it right away instead of dewrinkling them over and over again.
5. We will be going back to drinking soda stream instead of purchasing canned sodas.
6. We will be eating out much less and will utilize Mommy's Diner more often for home cooked meals.
7. The kids will police themselves in making sure lights and tv's are off when not in use.
8. We will turn up the thermostat and utilize the fans more often to keep energy costs down.
9. We will utilize the grill more during the summer so we don't heat the house.
10. We will turn off the lights when we are watching tv.
11. We will use the pool pump to help keep the water in the pool clean so it does not need to be changed out as often.
12. We will cut down on the amount of cleaning products and try to use natural products including baking soda, vinegar, newspaper, borax.
13. We will cut down on the amount of processed foods and try to make them fresh (i.e. mashed potatoes, fries, etc...).
14. We will try to eat out of our freezer and pantry to keep costs down.
15. We will try to utilize rechargable batteries.
16. We will search in books and online for simple delicious recipes to try with items we already have.
17. We will try to reduce wasting food by freezing leftovers.

We will continue to do the following to keep costs down:
1. We will continue to make our own laundry detergent because it is saving us money.
2. We will continue to combine errands so that we save on gas.
3. We will continue to use as much free light as possible.
4. We will continue to utilize our local library for books, cds, dvds and magazines.
5. We will continue to use coupons.
6. We will continue to utilize Freecycle.
7. We will continue to grow a garden to help cut back on dollars spent on food, canned, fresh and frozen.
8. We will continue to save used paper and use the back of the paper to print some things or do artwork on them.
9. We will continue to have regular maintenance on our vehicles (i.e. oil changes, recall items, paint protection, etc...) to keep them current and running great.
10. We will continue to keep our tires inflated to the recommended amounts and drive near speed limit to reduce our gas usage.
11. We will continue to search for the cheapest gasoline or purchase it on base.
12. We will continue to have yard sales to sell off stuff we no longer need.
13. We will continue to consign our unused items at the thrift shops.
14. We will continue to make our purchases work for us by joining customer loyalty programs, online rebate programs, online coupon code sites, etc...
15. We will continue to request samples as often as possible to try new products and so we do not have to pay for those items.
16. We will continue to utilize Craigslist to sell items we are no longer using or have a need for.
17. We will continue to use to trade dvds, books, cds and video games.
18. We will continue to share the crops from our garden to try to help end hunger in our neighborhood.
19. We will continue to recycle our aluminum cans for money.
20. I will continue to do online surveys for points to redeem for gifts.
21. I will continue to scan all my purchases for the National Consumer Panel to make my voice heard with manufacturer's and earn points every time I scan or do their surveys.
22. We will continue to wash our clothes in cold water to save money.
23. We will continue to make some of our food from scratch (pizza crusts, cinnamon rolls, bread, muffins, cookies, cakes, etc...).
24. We will continue to take advantage of any/all deals for free admission for military members.
25. We will continue to carpool when possible.
26. We will continue to wash our own vehicles versus going to car washes.
27. We will continue to look for either free or inexpensive events, activities, parks, etc...
28. If we travel, we will continue to look for the best deals available to us.

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