After writing that post, I took a few days to let it all sink in, and talk everything over with Brent, as I feel that this isn’t just MY decision, but a joint decision that we need to make as a couple and both get behind and strive towards. Then we took a week to just process all that we’d talked about.
Lastly? I took him grocery shopping with me this past weekend. I normally run to the store alone, since it’s faster, but with just Jax along for the ride, Brent wanted to come along too. I jumped on the chance to have him there, since I knew that I had lots of coupons to use and wanted to really emphasize what our savings could be if we tried. I’d measure the trip as a complete, overwhelming success! Why, you ask? As we were pushing our cart full of a weeks’ worth of groceries out to the car, Brent was reading the receipt and said these EXACT words: “Babe! Our grocery bill went from $88 down to $77 and change!!!” Saying he was a little excited would be an understatement. (I’ll also say that our weekly bill isn’t normally that high, but we bought Halloween candy for the trick-or-treaters…)
I felt like he finally got it. I mean really understood the power of coupons.
So I took the momentum and enthusiasm that he had at that moment and we talked again about how our money could work smarter for us and all of the other things that we’d already covered a week before. It was like a completely different conversation, even though I didn’t really say anything new. Before when we talked, he agreed with all that I was saying, and was on board with whatever I wanted to do, but he didn’t completely understand nor have the enthusiasm for it that I did. He probably was thinking “What a dork!” about me, in fact. But now? He could see and measure what we could do. I mean, if we could save $10 in one shopping trip at just ONE store, what could we do over the course of a year, applying those principles to ALL of our purchases?
It’s just nice to have your partner “get” what you’re trying to do and go from a willing participant in what you want to do to an active participant, because there IS a difference. So after explaining it all again, here are some of the steps that we’ve come up with for us to start taking:
- Start couponing regularly (we already do this)
- Begin to stock pile on certain household items – something we’ve been a little hesitant to start, but are starting to see the advantages
- Make the most out of our rewards programs, like ebates.com and our credit card cash back rewards program (which we don’t currently utilize since we don’t use credit for purchases)
- Diligently track our savings so that we can measure our success
- Begin eating out less for lunches during the work week and putting that savings to work as well
- Actively look for new ways to make our money work smarter, not harder
Save $5,000 using the measures outlined above
Since we both operate better on a work/reward method – keeping a tangible goal in mind - we also set our “reward” if we attain that goal. If we can meet our goal, we will take a vacation back to our honeymoon destination for our 2nd anniversary, paying cash for it all.
And since I like seeing progress, I’m going to set up a button on the side that shows our progress weekly so that you can follow along and encourage us to our success! (OK, so maybe that’s just to show off my mad new HTML skills more than anything…but it’s still fun!)
Now, if you’re one of the sharper tacks in the barrel, you’ll pick up on the fact that if we’re going to take the reward trip for our 2nd anniversary and we just passed our first anniversary, we have to start NOW on our goal and not wait for the new year like I had originally intended…which is fine. Brent said that since the goal that we've set is a little more than what we're currently saving that I could count all that we've saved so far this year too...so that we're starting off on the right foot. I "opened a new savings account” today and will transfer on a weekly basis what we’re able to save into it and watch it total up! I can’t wait…it would only be cooler if I could make my computer make the cha-ching cash register sound when I put the money in each week!!
Yes, I’m a dork…
I’m really excited (if you haven’t picked up on it by this point) about our new plan. I’m excited to see what we can do if we try. I’m excited to actually set a goal, set steps to achieve the goal and be working towards the prize. I’m just excited in general…but that could be because the little man is breathing better and sleeping again at night – WOO HOO!!! But I’m also excited to start this new plan, too! Wish us luck!