Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: First Budget Meeting

My husband and I had our first sit down talk about our budget.  I was feeling angry from the minute I got up knowing it was coming, but we went through with it and I'm glad we did.  I decided that it seemed like a good idea to go out to dinner and discuss it on neutral ground with no distractions.  Plus any excuse to go out before the hammer comes down. 
It went great!  We chose a less expensive place close to home and sat outside, we couldn't help but have a nice time.  We agreed before we left home to do this process in stages and that stage one is getting all the information together.  Luckily I had written out our expenses and due dates already.  Then we chatted about where we can make cuts and what expenses are fixed.  It was nice to be on the same page and talk about the future. 
Places we can make cuts are on electricity, I'm having the dryer looked at since it takes 90 minutes to dry a load.  I turned heated dry off on the dishwasher and we agreed to turn on lights when we leave home.  My husband also agreed to use the Safeway rewards card which was a shocker!  Comcast seems to be the hard one to nail down.  They make it very difficult to compare plans apples to apples, but we are going to look at that for the next meeting.  It was great to find out how much less we're spending on transportation since we moved.  All in all I would call the first meeting a success and I can't wait to pick out a budget conscious restaurant for the next meeting.
As far as my diet goes I'm definitely stagnant.  I am getting a lot of walking in which I love, but I'm also taking all the great opportunities I have been getting for free parties through work.  Oh well, at least they're free.  And with all this walking I am racking up calories/dollars on my fitbit for The Weightless Project, I'm up to $19.85 since I signed up!!!  I do love summer!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: The Budget Talk

One of the things I love most about my husband is, for the most part,  he likes the same things I do.  The only problem with that is we both like to go out to eat and spend money on having fun.  Some relationships have conflicts about money because one is a saver and one a spender, we have conflicts because we each try to be the saver every once in a while and everyone ends up feeling resentful.  I really think we have started to reduce the amount of money we're spending, but it's not enough.  With goals such as; pay off credit cards, save for a condo and still go on vacation we need to make some serious changes. 
We have decided to sit down and make a budget.  I'm not entirely sure what that means, but it pisses me off immediately.  My husband is a computer guy so he seems excited about making spreadsheets in google docs.  I don't enjoy change so all I can think about is "how is this going to affect the fun that we have?"  My rational side totally gets that being out of debt and having a secure future will make my life more fun in the long run, but the other side of me wants to go out to dinner to make myself feel better about feeling bad about needing a budget! The first thing I need to do is make a list of our monthly fixed expenses, so at least I have a project that I can focus on.  This weekend we have several cheap and fun things planned that will help me visualize how this is possible.  I can have plenty of fun and still save for the future, right?! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: Forming a Plan

I actually surprised myself while writing my last post.  I had intended to talk about my weight and how to make progress on losing some of it, but I ended up taking a look at the big picture.  I came away with several questions for myself that required some thought.  It ended up boiling down to this, I would like to weigh less and have more money in savings.  All, of course, while not affecting my lifestyle. 
This is a work in progress, but I really feel more aware of the choices I'm making since I began questioning everything.  I find myself at the store thinking twice before I buy something and I have passed on several things I didn't need already.  I have also chosen an inexpensive pizza dinner over a fancier option I may have wanted in the past.  They have a wine I like, and their outdoor area was just as nice as some of the more expensive places.  And you know what, I had a great time!  Here are my ideas to save calories and money while still living the city lifestyle.

Restaurant Reductions:
  • If I want to go to a high end place try lunch or better yet happy hour
  • Have snacks and a few drinks at happy hour and have a light dinner on the patio at home
  • Eat breakfast and lunch at home most of the time - keep a few things on hand
  • Make a list of fun less expensive places - a patio is a patio
  • Make a list of cheap and easy weeknight meals I can make-it's hot and salad is easy
Reduce Overhead:
  • Look into getting a cheaper cable package - after Game of Thrones of course, lets get real
  • Wash full loads of laundry and dishes
  • Find out why I pay a monthly bank fee - find cheapest option
  • Save electricity: keep blinds down to use less AC and turn off lights when I leave
  • Shop around coupons and sales more
There are a lot of fun things I want to do, going out is one of them, but I also want to weigh less while doing even more.  I'm really enjoying being more thoughtful about what I'm doing.  I just may make some progress yet.