Monday, February 04, 2008


Right now we're living on law student loans and a medical intern's salary, which is to say we're not exactly rolling in it. However, thanks to the generosity of our families we live a very comfortable lifestyle.

That said, we're in a bit of a catch-22 right now. There are some trips we'd like to take in the next few months because we have the time now. Once I start working next year we'll have a bit more money, but it's highly unlikely that we'll have the time to take a 10-day vacation (in addition to the vacation we'll want to take during the holidays). So, we're doing the obvious and budgeting ourselves into vacation (it's like dieting to fit into that great pair of pants).

We did the usual - charting of expenses, anticipating big purchases (special shout out to BarBri for your exorbitant class fee), and then determining where to trim. We're running two experiments right now. The first is the $100 cash save-off. Last night we each put a $100 in our wallets to be used for anything that either of us wants to do (a round of golf, drinks with a friend) or purchase that isn't a household necessity. The person who is able to keep the cash longer wins the smug satisfaction of being the thriftier person.

The second experiment is the kitchen-cabinent clean out, inspired by this post We do a pretty good job around here of not throwing food out, and I pride myself on planning ahead and grocery shopping so that I provide us with balanced meals most days of the week. However, this month I'm trying to slash our grocery bill by using what is already in our cuboards and by stretching out left-overs. I'm finding it a fun challenge that is actually adding variety. For example, tonight I was going to serve up a dish that requires marinated sun-dried tomatoes from Whole Paycheck. Instead, I scanned the cupboards and was inspired by a can of split pea soup, some ham we have in the fridge, and bread that needs to be eaten soon. It's a game to see what pairings I can create that utilize the non-perishables and also the perishable items in order of what is going to expire first.

If you've got any tips for squeezing out some extra savings, I would love to hear them!


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