Budget Lockdown

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Photo by cottonbro studio


You ever feel like as soon as you make a great plan that the Universe laughs at you and says, Oh no you don’t…

Three months ago I had to buy a new car. 

Three weeks ago I paid nearly $800 for an air conditioner repair.

Today I’m sitting in my sweltering condo as they install a new furnace and air conditioner because previous repair was not the answer. Let’s just say this bill will be considerably more than $800.

Sigh…Adulting is so hard and so expensive. It’s days like this I miss living in an apartment and having this be someone else’s problem and check book.

I also have my small, annual vacation coming up in about ten days and am in the middle of planning for my 50th birthday cruise that will need a deposit ASAP.

Enough with the woe is me time. It’s time for budget lock down! The good thing about me is I like to moan a bit (shocker…I know) but then I’m a take action girl. I also like a good challenge so I’m getting busy with a plan to cut some expenses and come up with all this extra money I need.

Is There Anything Left to Cut Back On?

I’m pretty basic. I don’t spend a ton on clothes or hair cuts or expensive make up. I color my own gray hair. You won’t find me at the bar every weekend. A small condo means a small mortgage. I use the library and I cut cable long ago.

So is there anyway I can cut back further to save some money? Yes!

I firmly believe there’s always a way to cut expenses. It’s also possible to do it without living a miserable life.

Cutting Expenses-Vacations

My trip in 10 days is what it is. I’m sharing costs to stay in a cottage at our camp site. I’ll be paying for one ticket to the theme park but this park has free drinks and sunscreen so that helps. Food will be the most expensive thing so I’m going to smuggle in some snacks.

Still in the planning stages of the cruise. We talked about cutting it down by a day but we’re traveling with friends and don’t want to shorten their vacation so I think instead we’re going to go with the cheaper room to save costs there. Don’t really need a balcony when we’re on a ship and there’s plenty of seats to sit and enjoy the view.

Cutting Expenses-At Home

Michael is back home for a bit and he likes to cook so we’re going to focus on eating at home more often (cuz we like to eat out). Still need to try 8 more new recipes anyway for my 50 before 50 list

Going to do better about shopping the sales. Hamburger on sale? Then that’s what we’re eating this week. Meal planning will be key.

Hopefully this brand new air conditioner will be more energy efficient and lower my utility bills a bit. I’ll have to figure out how to program the new thermostat. The eldest man-child is not great about turning lights off so I’ll have to re-train him on that though, especially since he has a lot of computer and video game stuff that came along with him…lol.

Still going through stuff at home and trying to declutter majorly. I’m not sure if I have too much that I could sell but hopefully I can find a few things.

Michael had his own apartment in Indianapolis and brought all his cleaning supplies, etc., back with him so that will help cut those costs out of the budget for a bit.

Definitely a prime time to cut back on the diet coke and fancy coffee addiction. I’m going to try to limit myself to one fancy coffee drink a week. If I want more then I will have to find a way to subsidize it with a gift card. (I do surveys and use various apps to earn gift cards). Going diet coke free for a week was also on the 50 Before 50 list so this is a good time to knock that one out.

Speaking of gift cards, I will get a Barnes and Noble card and Starbucks card to pay for my allowed purchases at either Kroger (earn gas discount this way) or at Target where they’re 5% off.

I’d like to switch internet providers but for now I can’t. Verizon doesn’t offer internet at my address yet and neither does ATT fiber. They’re both available just a few streets over from me so hopefully soon.

Increasing Income?

Not as easy because I promised myself no more 2nd jobs when the boys graduated. I’m all about a good side hustle though. 

Still want to focus on my writing a little more. There should be a way to find some writing jobs I can do on the side. Also have had an idea for a digital emergency binder for awhile now. Just need to get it out of my brain and created and ready to sell.

I was fortunate to get a raise this year and that starts this month thankfully so that will help a bit too.

It’s All Good

It’s always frustrating when life jumps in and makes you stumble a bit. That’s life though so it’s a good reality check.  Nothing I plan on doing is going to impact my lifestyle negatively-well, maybe cutting down on my diet coke and Chai’s…lol. 

Like I said, I don’t live extravagantly anyway. Cutting back a little further definitely won’t kill me. The things that make me the happiest aren’t expensive anyway. Reading and writing and hanging out with friends can all be done super cheaply. Staying on track financially is much more important to me than living beyond my current means.

Got any tips for me you want to share?





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