Self Expression Magazine

Skip It

Posted on the 07 October 2013 by Kcsaling009 @kcsaling

Simple

Times are tight, government shutdowns notwithstanding, and we’re all looking to see how far we can stretch a dollar. My husband and me included. Granted, we’re very grateful that I’m still getting paid during the shutdown, but that doesn’t mean we waste it. Most of our money goes toward investments, paying off debt, and budgeting for travel and home renovations. So despite how we may live, we’re not independently wealthy. We wish we were, but we’re not. We’re just people.

But we’re smart about what we spend money on, and we’ve learned a lot about downsizing our lives over the last month and change to get everything into our 1000-square-foot townhouse. Scott and I have realized that a lot of the things we’ve given up, we don’t even miss. And we’re looking for even more ways to downsize – it gets addictive after a while.

Just to show you what kind of things we’re downsizing and going without, here’s a little list of what we’re skipping these days:

Downsizing

  • Clothes. We live in Hawaii. Being a weatherman in Hawaii has to be the easiest job possible, because all you have to say every day is “80 degrees, partly cloudy, with a chance of rain in the afternoon.” We don’t need to maintain the wardrobes we once had.
  • Meat. With our jobs being less the physical occupations they used to be and more sitting at desks being involved, we’re just not active enough to be the carnivores we once were. Cutting back on the number of meals where meat plays the main role has helped our fitness and our wallets simultaneously.
  • Gas. We have one car and two motorcycles. The motorcycles get 50 miles to the gallon. They’ve become our primary transportation. And Scott working at home saves us a ton not only on gas, but not having to buy his train ticket to the city each month like we did in New York? Bonus.
  • Dining Out. We’re not giving it up, but we’re seriously cutting back on the number of times we go out to eat. And when we do go out, we try to go for brunch or lunch. Brunch and lunch menus are significantly cheaper than dinner menus at a majority of restaurants.
  • Movies. We live in Hawaii. I”m not clamoring to go spend a bunch of money on bad seats and overpriced snacks unless something truly awesome comes out {yes, we’re going to see the next installment of The Hobbit and the next Thor movie}. In the meantime, we have On Demand.

Skipping

  • Dry cleaning. A lot of people hate our digital uniforms, but I can’t tell you how excited I was when the Army said we could just throw them in the washer and dryer. That cut down on our bills a lot. The rest of our stuff, we just iron at home. No dry cleaning.
  • Manicures and pedicures. I’ve never been one to get my nails done, but I do love a good pedicure. I wear boots every day and run, so if I don’t get pedicures, my toes tend to do gnarly things. So I’m not giving them up, I’m just doing them myself.
  • Dress-up clothes and shoes. Okay, it sounds like rank heresy, especially for a girl who loves fashion, but I quit buying high heels and fancy dresses completely when I discovered Rent the Runway. Why should I buy an outfit for a special occasion when I can rent one {see: no dry cleaning}?
  • Bottled water. We have a filter at home and carry our own REI clear bottles around with us. Buying bottled water is a thing of the past.
  • Salon visits. It was fun to get short hair, but not only am I over not being able to put my hair up in a ponytail, I’m over the price involved in keeping my hair short. And that’s about all I use a salon for. I pluck my own eyebrows, I definitely don’t tan, and I’m so over dying my hair.
  • Gym membership. I love and swear by CrossFit, but I am not paying a small fortune to get certified on their weights when I’m already a certified strength trainer {and I argue that a lot of boxes teach the wrong techniques}. Instead, I download the workout of the day {WOD} from the CrossFit site.
  • A second car. This one really only works for us because 1) Scott works at the house and 2) we have two motorcycles, so whoever doesn’t have the car isn’t stranded. But it does work for us, so we’re saving on a car payment, gas, registration, insurance, and maintenance for one whole vehicle.

The things that we have cut back on and skipped entirely allow us to spend our money on refurbishing the house, paying off debt, and traveling like the crazy people we are. So we’re not independently wealthy, sorry to disappoint you. We’re just good at prioritizing. And I’ll bet a lot of you are, too! What day-to-day things are you skipping or cutting back on so that you can use those savings to go do fabulous things? I’d love to hear!

What are you spending money on and where are you saving?

KCS


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