Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Changes in the Two Grad Students Househol

So recently Dental Student and I reevaluated our budget (not just our Havi budget that we feature monthly) and decided that we needed to make some general cutbacks!  I was reading my favorite magazine, Real Simple, (which Dental Student's parents awesomely got me a subscription to through Cousin Danny's magazine fundraiser for his school band) and saw some fun ideas for cutting back.  

Here is how Dental Student and I are starting:
-Dunkin Donuts.  I live for iced coffee.  Specifically, Dunkin Donuts.  But my addiction is costing us $100 a month, and now that DD cancelled their rewards program, its time for Law Student to cancel her addiction.  Dental Students brother and sister-in-law gave us a Tassimo, so I'm going to suck it up and try for at-home coffee.
-Weight Watchers.  I am a Lifetime Member, but once in a while needs the push of eTools (a function you need to pay $39.95 for).  I decided this $40 a month is not worth it, when I could ask relevant questions and points values in meetings.  I also just learned eTools may now be free for Lifetime Members! Score!
-Eating Out.  I was having way too many meals out of the home.  Although I make breakfast and lunch for us everyday, and Dental Student cooks 4 times a week, we decided that we should only eat out once a week, and that includes nixing pizza night.  We also have a weekly Fresh Direct grocery budget of $60 we always stick to,so  that gives us more than enough food!
-Havi.  We are going to aim to only do three walks a week instead four a month for a little extra pocket change.

We need your help!  What are simple cutbacks you've made and can suggest to us?  We're thinking of doing a monthly budget feature of our own...

Also, we cannot afford to donate right now.  But some of our awesome friends are doing great fundraisers, so we wanted to help by promoting!

Our Waldo Bungie - Makes the most awesome pup sweaters ever!  She did a quick feature of them today! LOVE THEM, were saving up to get Havi one, they are only $30!  Sometimes the money goes to their foster pup, Ginger Rogers (we are not sure if they still are doing this fundraiser).
Sirius Republic - Havi pines to be a Sirius Republic girl, maybe for Hanukkah!  Sirius donates a portion of their funds to shelters.
SuperLevi - Havi loves to help her blog friends.  SuperLevi's awesome foster parents are being amazing as per usual!  There is an awesome raffle going on where the money goes to SuperLevi's eye care fund.  You can participate in a fundraising walk, and receive a bandana or shirt.  

-Frequency.  I used to blog every weekday!  What happened to that?!  It made me so happy to update you on my life, get your comments, and learn from you.  I need to bring this back.
-Facebook.  I'm uploading everyday from now on...look out!

I turned 25 yesterday, and its never too late to turn it all around.  These are the Blog and Monetary changes were making.  Have you made any changes recently?!


  1. Happy Birthday!

    I really hope you start posting more again, I love the updates! Cutting back to save money is never easy, but I think you've identified some fairly painless ways to do it. We spend way too much money on food so I feel like we're constantly trying to cut back on that. Good luck!

  2. We have been bad about posting every day too - but you're a LAW STUDENT - we all understand that you are busy! :) Thanks for featuring our sweaters today - right now Ginger has all the money she needs (score!) so we are just pooling the "donation" money for either future fosters or if we hear about another pooch that needs our help!

    As for cutting back, like Kate said, you've identified some fairly painless ways of cutting back, which is really good. Although the not eating out thing can be hard...

  3. Happy Birthday from a fellow Scorpio. Sounds like you have a good plan of action! I too had to give up my coffee addition (Starbucks Mochas). My parents gave me a keurig for xmas last year so I try to only use that.

  4. Happy Birthday!! A way of budgeting that works for us and also gives us some flexibility is we set aside a portion of cash from each of our paychecks that we separate into envelopes for groceries, going out, coffee and Molly. For example we take out 200 bucks every two weeks to cover us for groceries (this includes cleaning supplies, hygiene stuff etc) then we spend the money as needed but once the envelope is empty we have to make due until we reimburse ourselves. It helps us alot in the going out department because instead of saying we will only go out to eat once a week (where we could spend who knows how much) we say we can spend this much money for two weeks and do what we want with it. Just some food for thought!

  5. Recently, I started making sure that all meals I make give us dinner at least 2 nights. I freeze a lot too. So if I make lasagna, 1 goes in the freezer and 1 provides 2 nights' dinner. I have been saving almost $50/week on groceries since I started this, giving us an extra $200/month! We get a little sick of leftovers but we paid for Hurley's training class this month with our savings from last month so it's totally worth it!

  6. Happy Birthday!

    I use the crockpot to cook a lot. It allows you to get cheaper, tougher meats and since you just dump it in and cook low and slow all day it always turns out great!

    Stop on by for a visit

  7. I'm probably not a good person to ask about saving money. I suck at it. coking vs. ordering in is a good way to start though. I also have sucked big time as far as posting. life is too tiring and difficult to post regularly sometimes! :(


  8. cooking, I meant...coking would actually cost money, I believe! :P

  9. Happy Birthday! I know this isn't a popular one, but when I had to save money after I left my job to do student teaching, I stopped drinking. I realized how much it cost, not to mention it made me fatter and sleepy. We also got rid of cable because now you can watch everything on the computer. E rides his bike everywhere instead of taking the train. And the public library is fantastic (and free)!

  10. I just cut out the DD too... and the weight watchers! Saved me approx $170 a month. Also, switched car insurances to decrease that amount. So hard because I'm trying to lose weight and eating healthy is expensive! So I figure with the money I save from weight watchers, that can go towards healthier foods. I've landed myself pretty far in debt and trying to dig myself out and also need to get a new car as my lease is up on my current one. Stressful time - especially with holidays near. I tried to write my own blog about budgeting and losing weight and organizing... but found myself talking like Corbin too much, so scratched that idea! Love your budget features though... definitely helpful to keep my mind on track!
    -Corbin's momma Jenn