Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lofty Goals

With buying the house, we've had to step back and take a hard look at our spending habits and evaluate where we go wrong. Pretty much two things kill us: food and homewares. But mainly food. We love food. We work(ed --- I tore my meniscus in October, had surgery on my knee in December and after working out for about 2 months, well after when I was supposed to be able to, I have about a million more meniscus tears. So no working out currently) out obsessively so we can eat whatever we want, and Baltimore is chocked full of delicious restaurants. Just this weekend we went out to three different restaurants we've never been and we've been in the city for a year and a half.

So, for the month of April, or rather the remainder of April, we have come up with a lofty set of goals to really buckle down and save money -- maybe even make money! And because everything we've read has said write down these goals, we've pulled out the handy dandy white board and put them down.

Now, not all of these goals are related to saving money. Some have to do with moving and making Steven happy, but they're our "April Goals". I think from here on out, we'll sit down every month, make our goals and see how many we can meet. Since I love checking off things on a list, I'm fairly positive we can complete them 100%.

Here they are though, not in my illegible handwriting:

1. Go 31 days without buying food. I was reading Young House Love's blog posts on saving money, and this was one of the things they did. And it's genius. Like I mentioned, we love food. So we have two full cabinets, a full freezer, a couple of shelves and a full fridge of food. And we eat out all the time. So, we're buckling down and clearing out our pantry in the best way imaginable - by eating it all! I personally think we have more than 31 days worth of food, as we seemed to have been subconsciously hoarding for a zombie apocalypse, but I think anything more than a month will drive us bonkers.

2. Clean out the basement - One of the reasons we rented this apartment is because it came with a nice size basement room for storage. Though we obsessively throw things out/sell things we don't want/need, we still have managed to pack the basement room with stuff. So we're going to spring clean and....

3. Have a yard sale! This is a great way to save money and we're hoping to do it in two weeks time, just for extra cash right before we move and to clear out stuff so we don't have to take it with us. Plus we're in a prime location, what with all the yuppies around.

4. Craigslist before yard sale - we're already doing this -- we're clearing out our guest bedroom of the "throw-away" ikea furniture we've stuck in there and starting fresh in the new house with a couple of big DIY projects. For one, we're going to build built-in shelves in one room to make a library and in the guest bedroom we're going to DIY a headboard and buy a full-size bed, since at this point most of our friends/family that stay over are in couple form.

5. Make pipe towel rack - We have all of the pieces, so now we just need to do this. By building this ourselves, we're going to save ourselves about $100, since a similar one sells for a lot of moolah.

6. Paint grill - this is all Steven. His grill has a rust spot and it's driving him nuts.

7. Finish painting book cart - We have this nifty old library book cart that's dull and brown. So we started painting it a cheery yellow and we'll finish that this week.

8. Primer walls - As a kind of "thank you" to the people subleasing our apartment, we're priming the walls so they can start fresh with their own palette. Isn't it nice having a landlord that lets you go nuts? We've certainly appreciated it.

9. NO HOUSEWARES FOR 2 WEEKS - this should really be extended to April 29, but I'm in full on nesting mode, with gearing up to buy the house and I just want to get everything bought and ready for the house. But I'm going to stop -- even if I bargain hunt and haven't spent very much at all on housewares over the last month.

10. NO ART TILL AFTER WE MOVE - Pretty much what I HAVE bought has been art. Though I still don't think I have enough for 800 more sq. ft. I'm going to wait until we're moved in and reevaluate.

11. NO EATING OUT - This is really 1. repeated. This is going to be the hardest for us, but damnit, we can do it!

12. PACK - duh, a no brainer, we're moving. But like I've mentioned, we're notoriously bad about waiting until the last minute, so we will definitely get a head start on this.

13. Fix BMW - Another thing that's all Steven. He has a few scratches and needs a gasket something or another replaced, so he's going to DIY the work and save us a bunch of money (since BMWs are really expensive to have any kind of work done on them). Personally, I can live with the scratches but it's driving Steven bananas.

14. DECLUTTER- this goes hand-in-hand with the yard sale and cleaning out the basement. It's not that we have a lot of stuff, but we could still have a lot less. I think a clean house is a happy house, and part of being clean is not being packed to the brim. Plus, I'm secretly afraid we'll become hoarders, so this is my way of making sure that doesn't happen.

I'm really hoping we achieve all of these goals. Especially the food related ones. Moving food sucks, so the less we take over to the new place, the better.

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