About two years ago we decided that we wanted to make a reality of dear husband’s dream of opening his own business and to leave his job and his permanent paycheck. A year later I followed…. While it is great to follow your dream and making a reality of it, we knew that our income would subsequently go down, at least for a certain period of time, and that we had to cut down our expenses to make things work financially.
The changes as well as the expense cuts came gradually and over time. Changes are not always easy to make but I have found that if you stick with something over time, it tends to get easier and often even becomes something that you do automatically.
Here are 8 of the things that helps us:
We have a budget. For us the budget is like a wish-list and check-list of how we want our spending to look like. We set the categories and we set the numbers and it is entirely our responsibility that we stick to what we decided on. Read more about it here.
We have a shopping list. Actually we have two! One that follows our weekly meal plan and the groceries we need for that and one that has all the regular stuff on it and where we add things that have run out. Sounds confusing? I know, but for us it works.
We buy basic. At our house, dear husband does most of the grocery shopping. He does it better and it ends up cheaper and means that I hardly ever go so it really is a win-win situation 😉 His secret is to buy lots of basic products like grains, eggs, dairy, fruits, vegetables, meat and chicken. We try to stay clear of processed products as they are often more expensive and tend to be less healthy.
We shop less. The main trip to the supermarket is done once a week, normally in the beginning of it. Towards the weekend we might go again to fill up on things like milk and eggs, if we forgot something or if plans change (and they sometimes do!). It is quite remarkable, but I have found that if you go less, you buy less….
We try to stay clear of take-away. In my book take away is often a result of poor planning and for us, not always worth the expense. Instead we try to incorporate things like pizza and hamburgers into our meal plan by cooking the home-made version.
I cancelled all coupon and special deals mails. I used to receive a ton of mails with different deals. First of all it was a massive amount of mails and secondly it was not really for things that I needed anyway. So I let go of the temptation.
We try to drive less. I used to make fun of those who drove everywhere until I realized that I was no better myself. In the last few months, we are trying to use the car less and walk and bike more to places that are anyway nearby. On most weekends we stay close to home as well. Exploring the surroundings in walking distance can also teach you a thing or two plus there is no nagging and no stress of the long car rides.
I wait. I read somewhere of the 30 day waiting rule. If you really want to buy something that you see, try not to act on the impulse but wait 30 days to see if you still want it. Works wonders for me and normally takes much less time that 30 days.
That was that. Now I would love to hear your tips.