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  1. How I slashed $250+ from my monthly spending

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    As I alluded to in my previous post, Ian and I have made some financial changes to pay off our debt sooner while at the same time trying to make decisions that will work for us not just now, but several years in the future.

    So we did something that, on the surface, totally looks like we violated the shopping ban: We bought an SUV, and will soon be a single-car household (once Ian sells his Civic). It's a pre-owned (but barely!) 2015 Subaru Forester. It has great cargo space, great reliability ratings while at the same time has been an easy transition for me - someone who has been used to driving small vehicles - to get used to.

    So how does this not violate my shopping ban?
    • Since Ian and I are splitting the payments, I am actually saving $113 a month on car payments. We decided that since Ian will do the bulk of the driving, and can claim the payments (and 90% of the gas) for work, he will pay 2/3 of the payments, while I pay 1/3 since I won’t be driving it as much as him, and I have to pay for a transit pass.
    • In the same vein, we will now be splitting insurance payments, which will slightly lower than what I was paying by myself for my old car. That’s $100 in savings for the both of us! Ian was actually worried that his insurance would go up, since he’s splitting with someone under 25, but it turns out that his insurance company gave him a great rate (another rant for another is the fact that we even have to shop around for insurance instead of having publicly-funded insurance, but I digress...)

    Old Budget New Budget
    $155 - Student Loan
    $50 - TFSA
    $200 - Sears Card
    $0 - House fund
    $90 - Transit
    $550 - Rent
    $250 - Groceries
    $150 - Utilities
    $300  - MC
    $41 - Union Dues
    $180 - Insurance
    $280 - Car
    $90 - Cell phone
    $2,321 (93%)
    $155 - Student Loan
    $50 - TFSA
    $0 - Sears Card
    $150 - House fund
    $90 - Transit
    $550 - Rent
    $250 - Groceries
    $150 - Utilities
    $300 - MC
    $41 - Union Dues
    $165 - Car
    $80 - Insurance
    $40 - Cell phone
    $2,021 (78%)

    My monthly budget is down $300

    Originally, the plan was to wait until April 2016, when my car was paid off, to privately sell both our cars (Ian’s has been paid off for a while) and buy one new-to-us SUV. However, having two cars that are too small for our lifestyle - big dog, camera gear, road trips to Calgary and Saskatchewan and eventually kids - were becoming more and more a pain in the ass.

    We briefly toyed with the idea of Ian taking over my car, it just wasn’t ideal. My Pontiac G5 Coupe was a great little car when I was 19 and fresh out of journalism school. It was not, however, that great once I married someone who was 6’3” with a German Shepard and tons of camera gear (fact - Ian’s gear can’t even fit in my car thanks to a small trunk opening).

    I am excited about being a single-car household, because not being able to dash out whenever I please to the mall or grocery store will really help rein in my spending.

    It will take a lot more effort (but less money) for me to go somewhere, meaning I will be making more conscious decisions about where and how I’m spending my money. It will also mean that I will explore my neighbourhood a little bit more, and will be walking (and, once summer comes, riding my bike) around Edmonton more and more, since it's easier for me to walk or catch a bus to Whyte Ave, but it's more work to get one to West Edmonton Mall.  I think it's kind of funny that my mom is worried that I'll be totally housebound now - clearly she forgets that when I first moved to Edmonton for university I didn't have a car!

    I also changed my personal cell phone plan, seeing as I have a work phone that I use most of the time. I would cancel it completely, but 1) I am locked into a plan and it would cost $200 and 2) I don't really want to lose loyalty and/or having a phone in case I leave my job (which I don't plan on doing any time soon, but, you know.)

  2. 6 comments:

    1. Fantastic job and many happy congrats on your new family vehicle. We're a one car family, admittedly in part because I don't drive, but even if I did/could (I don't due to medical reasons), I know that at this point in our lives and financial situation, we would be a strictly one car household, too.

      ♥ Jessica

    2. Although, we aren't a single car household, my husband and I have been car pooling to work together. It saves us on gas and our employer gives us great perks for being part of the program. I love to think that even though it is helping my wallet, it is especially helping the earth.

    3. Good for you on making good financial choices to get out of debt sooner. My husband and I have done similar tactics to cut down our debt and still be able to do the things we enjoy. Cell phone plans and tv plans was a big one. Also I have cut back on my shopping (which is hard but I'm doing good keeping to a budget!).

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