Do you know how many money-sucking weak spots are lurking in your budget? We didn’t until recently. We thought we had a handle on our monthly spending. We don’t spend outside our means or rack up credit card debt. Generally we know where our money is going and try to stick to a budget. But there are areas where we could make drastic cuts – by as much as $500 per month! That’s why we are declaring a Frugal August Challenge.
For August, we plan to slash all unnecessary expenses and focus on the essentials. No eating out, no shopping, and no excuses. It may sound silly, but we didn’t think these expenses made a huge difference. To cut out the excess and prioritize our future goals, we are willing to focus on smarter spending.
Our Biggest Money-Suckers
There are two money-sucking places where we can make cuts: groceries and eating out. We love good food, and we value quality, local produce and meats from farmers and vendors we trust. We want to feel better about our food, but we’ve also seen what can happen when that mentality goes too far. Luckily, we have access to a variety of grocery stores and the privilege to choose where we shop. No more taking it for granted!
The biggest lifestyle change for us will be cutting back on eating out. I bring leftovers to work for lunch, and Mr. Rustic Walks’ employer caters lunch three days per week. As far as work lunches go, we’re not too shabby. But we succumb to happy hours, takeout meals, and coffee shops more than we should, and those costs add up fast. So we are banning eating out for August. We like the convenience of a restaurant meal, but we enjoy cooking together even more. We also don’t have to hit up happy hour several times per week to catch up with friends. There’s no shame in picking up a six-pack and playing video games or hosting a board game night. Our key strategy will be to find alternatives that are cheap – even if they take some extra planning.
We will recap our progress to discuss the changes we made and whether they made a difference. We’re excited to see how we can make permanent adjustments to our lifestyle. See you at the end of our Frugal August Challenge!
~ Ms. RW