How We’re Doing It
If you have been following our story you have seen that we have been able to make some amazing financial progress. We have saved around $6,000 and paid off over $13,000 in debt! We never would have guessed that we could have accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. We didn’t win the lottery, we didn’t inherit anything from Great Uncle Ed… this has been our money ALL ALONG. We have control of our funds now (and our future)!
As young soon to be newlyweds, the biggest and hardest change that we have made was to our entertainment and food (groceries/dining out) budgets. The first time we really sat down and crunched the numbers we were shocked to see how much we had been spending in these two categories. We couldn’t believe it! Right away we knew we had to take control of this section of our budget if we wanted to get ahead on our finances. On average, we were spending anywhere from $500-$600 a month on groceries. That is a huge number for only two adults, and that didn’t include going out for dinner either. Our entertainment spending was right around the $500-$600 area as well.
We have cut our grocery budget down to $300 a month (nearly in half!) and have stuck to it by being more intentional about meal-planning. Both of us thought this was going to be very tough to follow, and it was in the beginning. But now, we feel like looking back we were so wasteful! The other not-so-fun part about creating and analyzing our spending was getting our entertainment budget down to a reasonable amount. No more random trips to the mall (after grabbing brunch and a yummy coffee) where we look for anything that catches our eyes. This week at our monthly meeting, we plan to re-assess our budget and makes some changes since we paid off a few loans and credit cards!
Aside from seeing the digits change in our bank accounts, we find ourselves having more intentional conversations about money. Instead of talking about how to get ourselves out of a hole, we are planning for how to save and invest our money. We think about both the short-term and the long-term. We use all the tools listed in our blogs from week 1 onward – DIY home projects, meal planning, meal prepping, eating out less, taking a break from adult beverages, bake your own dog treats, clip coupons/use paper coupons/store apps, take advantage of birthday deals from retailers, and bring unused items in your home to consignment. Using all of these tools while sticking to our budget has gotten us to where we are right now!
We applied for Project Money because we never thought long-term about our finances, which caused so many disagreements with one another! We have been together nearly six years and have been having far less (any!??) arguments in the last three to four months because we are on the same page with money! As we sit now, precisely 12 months from our wedding, we are feeling so much relief!
Peace, love, and financial freedom,
Scott + Megan