At the beginning of this month, Mark and I met with a financial planner to discuss our financial goals and the best way to achieve them and his sage advice had an effect on our spending immediately.
Since January 1st, 2011, we have gone out to eat TWICE (to local restaurants where we each got an entree and one alcoholic beverage, paid with a coupon and ended up spending only $20 for dinner). All other food has been prepared at home and neither of us have purchased a single non-essential item. We’ve paid our bills, bought groceries and filled up our gas tanks and THAT’S IT.
And surprisingly, we do not feel bored or frustrated with our new-found fiscal discipline. We’ve gone to friends’ houses several times, done snowshoeing and sledding and filled our evenings with business trips, gym workouts and delicious homemade dinners.
Also surprisingly, we found an extra $350 in our monthly income that was mysteriously disappearing previously and is now going towards paying down debt!
We are so thrilled about how gloriously not-painful this first month was and look forward to Month 2 of this financial experiment!
[Side note: We each have a tiny percentage of our paychecks deposited into our own personal accounts for fun, selfish purchases (or gifts for the other!). For example, I went out for $6 martinis with a girlfriend last week and used my “funny money”. Our funny money purchases don’t count towards our joint spending goals. This allows for a BIT more wiggle room and fun!]