February 2, 2011


While my goals to lose a few lbs. by dieting and toning up my butt dimples by exercising are exactly the kind of goals that can be fun to accomplish... in the interest of full disclosure, I should share a less fun, more challenging goal of ours this year: get our finances in order!

Generally, we've been pretty good about managing $$$ since we got married. But we had some adjustment issues (maybe it was just me...) going from a life of luxury to a life of frugality. As full-time law/chiropractic students, we are living largely on student loan money. Its enough to get by, but not enough to support the habits we'd grown so accustomed to before we got married: nice dinners out 2-3 times per week {thanks, dad!}, bi-weekly mani/pedis, regular trips to the mall, hair style/highlight upkeep, and all other "just because" purchases. We quickly learned that old habits die hard.

In addition to cutting out some of our more frivolous spending habits, we created a budget in Excel to help us see where our dollars are going, and how much we have left over for fun stuff. My mom emailed us the other day with this link: Mint - that tracks your spending trends, keeps track of dates bills are due, and helps you achieve your spending (and saving) goals. Its a really cool website that takes a lot of the headache out of budgeting for us! And the spending trends it reveals, right down to the category of spending or a specific store or restaurant, were horrifying eye-opening to say the least.

We're also setting spending limits for our weeks and weekends. This isn't a novel concept, but its new to us this year! Our new manta is "once its gone, its gone!" Meaning... once we spend our weekend limit, or our weekly miscellaneous spending amount, that's it! By making our budget more rigid, rather than a rough approximation of a number we'd like to stay around, we're guaranteed to stay on target with our spending/saving. 

Although slaving over painting my own nails last week was not half as relaxing - or pretty - as when I get them done at my fave salon, the thought of that $45 still sitting in our bank account was satisfying enough that I plan to do the same thing this week :) Figuring out a livable, manageable, reasonable budget that works for us {as newlyweds}has not been the most fun aspect of our marriage, but it has been necessary. I look forward to the sense of accomplishment we feel when we see that we've reached the goals we set for ourselves, and I know that these are valuable skills we'll be thankful to have developed in the future.

"There are plenty of ways to get ahead. The first is so basic I’m almost embarrassed to say it: spend less than you earn."
Paul Clitheroe 

1. List your expenses 
2. Add it all up 
3. Cut back


  1. Hahahaha, did the piggy actually say BLOW?????
    OMG That's too funny!
    I know what you mean about finances. Both my husband and I are in the financial field and the recession hit us hard, so we have to cut back too and it was really hard. But now I have a different appreciation for money. I also enjoy saving money, though I'll never be a cheapskate, that would drive me nuts!


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