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A call to action

January 14th, 2008 at 04:01 pm

I absolutely must have a financial plan of some sort for 2008. I tried talking to my other half about it a couple of days ago but he was distracted at the time and we haven't resumed the conversation. I don't want him to see me as nagging so I'm going to concentrate on things I can do without his help or approval for awhile and talk to him about it at a better time. Some of these actions are small and some aren't so small but here are my current ideas.

1. Since he's already stated that he wants to attempt to pay all the bills with the shop income and save at least half of mine, that's one step of the plan already going. My income varies depending on what position I work and how many hours I get so although I can say we want to save half of my income, I can't get a handle on just how much that will be. I'm going to set up Direct Deposit at work with the hope that doing that and having half of my check automatically go to savings will make the saving part easier. A lot of people claim it does and I think it's worth a try.

To go along with paying the bills with shop income, I've been thinking of ways to reduce those bills to make it easier for DH and to help us save.

I really want to unplug appliances when not in use but my love dislikes when I do that so for now that's out. I'm faithful about turning off lights we aren't using and go behind him doing the same when needed. But I can be more faithful about that. The phone and internet bills are basically set amounts so there are no reductions to be found there. That goes for the rent, also.

2. Vehicles and the gas for them are issues. Right now I take his truck to work, which is only about 3 miles from us. I need to get my car registered so we have another vehicle to drive so he can do some minor stuff to his truck to prepare it for inspection. We should have the money to register my car by the end of the week. The truck is a gas hog and the car is only a little better but once it's legal again we can drive it rather than the truck. We already try to combine trips to minimize driving but we can do more of that. We can also have at least two non-driving days a week, perhaps, if we prepare for them.

3. Food is definitely one area we can cut back. We eat out too much and though we're better about it than in the very recent past we can improve. I just need to plan better since I'm often at work when it's meal time. I need to make sure there's food ready at the office for DH and I need to take my lunches, snacks and drinks with me to work. I know how to meal plan so this isn't difficult - I just have to make myself do it.

If we do those three things - save half of what I earn, reduce driving, and spend less on eating out, we should save a lot.

Okay, so this isn't really a plan yet. Right now it's more me writing out my thoughts. But to formulate a plan I have to think things through and get a handle on them and I'm doing that slowly but surely.

Now, what do I do with these ideas? How do I make an actual plan? I guess the answer is to just do them. Right?

7 Responses to “A call to action”

  1. JanH Says:

    I find it easier to implement my ideas one at a time. You've got some great ideas! I would just put them slowly into action one at a time. As one thing becomes part of your routine, it frees up your mind to explore the next part of your plan. Good luck!

  2. thriftorama Says:

    Have you considered riding a bicycle to work instead of driving? I used to ride 4 miles each way to work and it saved me a bundle on car maintenance, car insurance, and gas. Not to mention was GREAT for my figure!

  3. Ralph Says:

    I agree with thriftirama that bicycle commuting is worth a shot. I can't do it because of a toll bridge that prohibits bikes, but 3 miles in Texas should be pretty doable for a lot of the year (you'd probably have to scratch June-August!) But that will only really save you significant money if you don't have to insure the other car, since 6 miles a day sure isn't much!

  4. nance Says:

    Ralph, six miles is a lot if it is out in the country, on narrow gravel roads. Don't know if Denise is in that situation, but lots of rural areas in Texas are like that. Other county roads have 75 mile speed limits, and in some parts of Texas, it is considered polite to pull over on the shoulder, but still drive fast, to let faster vehicles pass, which is dangerous for bike riders. In areas where it is safe, though, it is a great idea.

    Denise, can you prepare your lunch and snacks at night, and put it in a container, in the fridge. You could leave a note on your purse, or next to the truck keys, so you don't forget it. Mornings are often rushed, and making a lunch is sometimes too much of a hassle.

  5. denisentexas Says:

    Jan, thanks for the encouragement. Smile
    Thriftorama, using a bike would be wonderful but the route from here to work is a nightmare. It isn't safe for bike riders. There are no sidewalks or bike paths and people here think bike riders are targets! I'll have to pass on the bike idea but thanks for suggesting it. I like the idea!

    Nance, I can prepare my lunch and snacks at night and will work on being better about that. I try to do it but need to do it every single night before a work day. I can also set my cell phone to sound an alarm in the morning to make sure I have it done. lol

    You all are great - have I said that recently? Smile

  6. Broken Arrow Says:

    Hmm, how about a motor scooter?

  7. denisentexas Says:

    BA, if I lived in an area that was bike friendly I'd seriously consider that. But scooters are targets, too. Frown If you aren't in a truck or fairly large car, watch out - you're in danger!

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