Budgeting from a lady perspective

Yesterday, Mr. Banh Mi shared how we are trying to save money. He’s basically traded going out for coffee in exchange for smug looks at his coworkers who have never seen a french press before.

As a household, we’ve tried to make some adjustments as well. We are trying to keep to a tighter food budget. This means creative menu planning on my part, which I find fun. We bring our lunches just about every day (usually leftovers from the night before which again, cuts down on costs). However, this is killing the romance a little. No date night out in dim lighting. No eating too much sushi and then feeling drunk on the joy that is eating too much sushi. This means lots of time on the couch for us which is fine because we have one more cherished season of Battlestar Galactica to get through but WHAT WILL WE DO AFTER THAT? I’d like for us to get better about doing free or very cheap dates but during the winter who isn’t a hermit and communing with their couch most nights, anyway.

We’ve also discussed cutting other luxuries as we get closer to our departure. Soon cable will go. I go back and forth on quitting the gym, though I think I shouldn’t feel bad about spending money on my health. I go to the gym about five times per week so I make sure I feel like I am getting my money’s worth. I’ve pretty much stopped buying clothes which is extra hard because I didn’t buy many clothes last year because we were saving for a wedding. I now look like a Forever 21 advertisement from 2009. Plus the one pair of red jeans I bought because WHO DOES NOT NEED RED JEANS?

As far as lady luxuries, that is where I’ve really cut back. Expensive waxing appointments are gone. Haircuts are fewer and further between. Manicures are a bi-annual treat. I am rationing my Christmas Sephora gift cards for all makeup needs. I am stretching that bottle of Cetaphil as far as it will go. I am not buying more workout gear. I am cutting down on drinks with lady friends, opting for an occasional happy hour or even better, let’s hang at one of our houses with a bottle of wine and soft pants. Everything is better without a waistband, don’t you agree? It’s a Banhmiandyou family value.

Doing this, I’ve been saving about $1,000 a month exclusively for the trip since August, 2011. Mr. Banh Mi has been saving a blt longer and he can save a bit faster than I can so I think we’ll be on target to save for a slightly-better-than entry level salary for our 3 -6 month trip and then a decent safety net for when we return.

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