I’m so happy Melanie is sharing her Spending Diet adventures with us! I’ll let her take it from here. xo, Anna
Hi ya’ll! My name is Melanie, I write over at Love Library, and you might remember me from some of my guest posts here at And Then We Saved. I try to save in all aspects of my life, from my wedding to my living situation. Currently, my husband, George and I live in a vintage (and paid-for!) Airstream trailer. It’s a little unconventional, but we make it work. We moved into the Airstream to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and so George could focus on his art work. We’ve now saved enough to get us out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. We have an emergency fund, George had a chance to really expand his business and we’ve even had the chance to travel.
But I also realize that for us, living in the Airstream for the rest of our lives isn’t going to be a viable option. I love the ol’ Airstream, but I can’t imagine hobbling around our humble abode when I’m 80. After all our hard work, I also don’t want to plunge ourselves into 20 or 30 years worth of debt either. (Even if it is good debt and all that jazz.) My dream is to pay for a house in cash. Sound insane? Yeah, it is insane. But I have delusions of grandeur and the Spending Diet is going to help me reach those goals.
I started the Spending Diet on July 1st, 2014 and I am hoping to continue it for a year minimum. I chose the Diet instead of the Spending Fast because I don’t do so well when I feel too constrained. For instance, If I’m told I can’t have cookies, I’ll eat ALL THE COOKIES. So for one year, I will be giving myself an allowance of $100 for the wants on my list. My husband gets his own $100 allowance. We don’t share so well.
First up is the Needs List, you might notice we don’t have rent or water. We live rent-free in our Airstream that is parked on family land and we have well water. Our cars are also paid off.
- Cell phone
- Internet (my job and my husband, George’s job requires it)
- Food (from pre-paid CSA only)
- Gym membership (local gym, it’s reasonable and health is important)
- Doctor co-pays
- Medicine (prescriptions and off-brand over the counter stuff)
- George’s healthcare
- Car and motorcycle insurance
- Gas (Busing isn’t an option where I live)
- Art supplies (for George’s job)
- Website hosting costs (very low)
- IRA contributions
The following is my Wants List. I listed many of the same wants as Anna. I put my big vices in italics. I love a good coffee shop coffee, expensive food (hello, Whole Foods!) and heading into a craft store feels like Christmas morn to me.
- Travel (le sigh!)
- Coffee at coffee shops
- Craft stuff
- Unnecessary food
- Self-improvement stuff (e-books, e-courses, etc.)
- New make-up
- Eating out
- Jewelry (sad!)
- Pretty much anything else
So, that’s it. Each month I pull out $100 in cash from my bank account and when that’s done, it’s done. I’ll be updating you all each month with my progress. Talk to you soon! Melanie