What would you do if your income doubled?

I read this a few days back on Roo’s blog, Semiproper, and I found it really really interesting.

What would you do if your income suddenly doubled?

This really stuck out to me because money has been a hot topic in our house – having just gotten marred we spent a pretty decent chunk of it, and now, having purchased a house, we’re always talking about money.

Spending it wisely, spending less on coffee, saving more, eliminating our debt – all things that have become the stuff of our weekly conversations.

So when Roo blogged about this the other day, I thought about it.  What would we do if our income simply and magically doubled?

If our income doubled:

  • I’d pay more down on student loans, and get them paid down faster.  As of right now, I’m on the track to have them down in a few years, but shortening that time would be amazing, and help me to sleep better at night.
  • We’d save more.  Thankfully, my husband is awesome at saving, but having a nest – for a bad day, for our parents as they get older, for kids and a college fund?  I want more savings for that.  The thought of getting caught with my pants down like so many folks did a few years ago really scares me.
  • We would travel more.  I would just love love love to go places, anywhere, with my husband.  I’d love to go to Alaska, go to Hawaii, go to Greece, go to Bora Bora – just beautiful places where we can go hiking and swimming together without checking our email.  The thought just makes me so happy!
  • I would race more.  Right now, I race as much as the budget will allow – but I would definitely race more if I could afford a few more registration fees and to travel to where all these races were.

And that’s really all I’d like.  Not too much to ask is it?

What would you do if your income suddenly doubled?

I discovered the Cartwheel App

First and foremost, with all of my usual joking aside, I hope you’re having a seriously awesome Memorial Day.  Please take a second (or more) and lift your servicemen up in a thought or a prayer, because we seriously live in one of the most amazing counties in the world.  We live in a country where we’re free to disagree, we have clean water, access to school, housing, nice roads, and that’s pretty incredible, especially coming from 2 developing nations (Haiti and Trinidad).

So moment of silence.

Annnnd, I’d like you welcome you guys back to the blog.  I took Sunday off of writing to clean, do some wedding things, take a 5-mile trail run with a friend (where I did not sprain my ankle, hallelujah), so I hope you can forgive the absence while I caught up on life and things.

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For this one, I actually put on longer socks and did some trail shoes, which seemed to help – also focused on picking my feet up to avoid tripping and twisting my ankle again.

So, I’m sure, you’ve gathered from the blog that budgeting and saving money is something that I’m starting to get into. Yes, I know it should have been something I had been into for a long time, but when I was not making as much money, it was easier to be short-sighted. Now that I’m getting married, and it’s not just me, it’s important to save, get into good habits, and get rid of that lurking student loan debt that I want gone ASAP.

So yesterday, I discovered the Cartwheel App from Target.

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 2.18.26 PMNumero uno, Super Target is one of the best and cheapest places, in my opinion to get your groceries.  Will you get the incredible selection that you will get at Harris Teeter?  Absolutely not.  But I’ve been ridiculously impressed with the price, and the selection is sometimes randomly good.  Additionally, it’s not Wal-Mart so that’s a plus.

So I’d been seeing this Cartwheel app pop up on Facebook, and additionally a lot of my mommy blogger friends have mentioned the app when they’re talking about saving moola.

So finally, during yesterday’s trip I used the app, and was able, between the app and picking some good stuff, to save almost $15.00 on a nearly $200 order.  YIPEE!!!!  Why did I never discover this awesome app before?

No matter, I think it’s amazing, and if you’re into saving money and you shop at Target, download this app and get to saving!  It’s fun!

 

Budgeting.

Austin and I had to have a really difficult pre-wedding conversation yesterday, about budgeting.

I think it’s really cute and funny to be poor and subsist soley on Ramen and Diet Mountain Dew for college, but I’m out a few years, trying to build a life for me and my husband-to-be, and we would be complete idiots if we didn’t have the very difficult conversation about money.

I think naturally, money is just a really difficult and uncomfortable topic to talk about.  Then, throw in the fact that I don’t make very much of it, and Austin makes more than enough, and it makes for some learning curve and growing pains.

Because I make so little, I’ve gotten comfortable being a little sloppy with my spending.  As long as I can make my sort of “required” bills, I don’t worry about a ton else.  But that can’t work forever.  Things happen.  Transmissions go out.  Sometimes you jam your thumb (side eye).  Sometimes something just unexpected comes up.  And it makes me extremely uncomfortable to not have some sort of cushion or nest egg built up at the point that I thought I would.

So, a few steps I’m taking to take some more charge of my finances?

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  • I’m using Mint to keep track of/analyze my finances.  I almost dread when I open Mint up, but it’s necessary, I think, to keep track of what’s going on.  From Mint, I’ve gathered a few things.
  • I really need to chill out on the coffee.  Like it’s really not even funny, I have to chill out.  As of this month, I’ve spent $40 on Starbucks, and a few more dollars at McDonald’s and Bruegger’s on coffee-related items.  I need to come up with a plan to still get my caffeine, but to forgo a few trips to Starbucks.  Realistically, I’d like to limit my outside coffee budget to about $25/month, which can feasibly be done if I skip the fancier drinks and just go with americanos and flavor them to my linking.
  • I’m awesome with brown-bagging the lunch, but I need to chill on errant trips to the Teeter when I feel inspired to cook something weird.  My food spending is a little higher than it need to be. 
  • Switch to cash for food.  No more swipey swipey for me. 
  • By the end of this week, I need to call the awesome folks down at the student loan place, and figure out how much I’m going to be paying once we get married and combine the incomes.  It’s gonna hurt, but the bigger the monthly payment, the faster I can be free of that debt. 
  • Long term?  I gotsta make more money!  I’m keeping the eyes peeled for job opportunities that will afford me (hee hee) more wiggle room.

I have to admit, I feel like I have no clue what I’m doing, and I feel like a total idiot for not knowing some of this budgeting stuff already, but what are some of your best responsible spending and money saving tips?

Things you do when you’re broke.

My sassy boys over at Class and Trash and me were group texting, and discussing that fact that as it was getting close to the first, and we were waiting on pay day to come save us.

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And here I present to you, the things you do when you’re broke/waiting on payday. 

  1. You pack all your lunches.  There is no eating out.  The only eating out you will do will involve a Starbucks gift card that you dig out of the back of your wallet.
  2. Speaking of Starbucks, your morning coffee?  Not a thing, you will be enjoying the coffee from the break room.
  3. Free stuff starts feeling kinda good.  Go for a run!  Go to Lululemon for a free yoga class!  Sit at the coffee shop and blog – maybe without ordering something.  That sounds fun, right?
  4. Your $16 hot yoga class downtown is not gonna happen for another two weeks.  
  5. And finally, when your friend asks you for drinks, you totally make an excuse to postpone it for another week or two. 

To be perfectly clear, I’m not like broke and decrepit, times just get hard for a day or two after I make my car payment.  How does your spending change close to payday?