Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Frugal Practices

One of my favorite financial blogs, Free By 50, published an article a few years back titled "What's My Frugal Limit?" I have decided to take his list and apply it to my life.

Here is my version of his list of things I do, might do and wouldn't want to do.

What I currently DO:
Share a car with my boyfriend
Live in a small apartment
Shop around for bargains
Use coupons
Do simple home improvement projects
Buy and wear used clothing
Buy used books or go to the library
Brown bag my lunch
Shop garage sales
Use compact florescent lights
Eat expired foods
Go without health, car, home or life insurance
Give up Cable TV
Use a lower speed Internet service
Give up landlines

What I DO NOT DO but will DO to save $:
Rely heavily on public transportation once I live in the city
Buy used cars instead of new
Stop eating out
Stop going out to movies (which we rarely go to anyways)

What I DO NOT DO because I think they are impractical:
Wash Ziploc bags to reuse

Basically, my life after we move is going to be very low cost. We'll be splitting the rent of a one bedroom apartment in a great neighborhood for $600.00 a month and that includes all utilities except electricity which is estimated at $25.00 a month. We don't have a car payment and rarely use our car. Jared wants to expect a monthly gas allowance of $200.00 a month. Right now we spend about $200 a month on food. We do eat out weekly which I estimate at $100.00 a month. We'll be signing up for economy Internet through Comcast for $29.99 a month. Our combined cell phone bill is about $80.00 a month. We do have a Netflix account which costs $7.99 a month. Given that estimate (which as Jared says is "high balling") we'll be spending $1242.98 a month combined. With our current savings, we're good for over six months. Which is all we needed.

Now, I have gone over this before. I know I talk about finances a little too readily, but I'm proud of being capable enough to create a budget and follow it.

Which brings me to a topic I haven't discussed with anyone other than Jared in passing and Ciera on occasion. I'm 22 years old and very ready to plan for retirement. The most ideal retirement would be to retire now for fifteen years and then work until I die or lose my mind (even then, I could do repetitive tasks). Well, my idea for retirement is to maintain a small, understated, frugal lifestyle.

Let's imagine that Jared and I have a combined income of $80,000.00 a year. Given previous estimates, we could be living quite well on $14,915.76 a year. For fun's sake I'm going to just round it up to $20,000.00 a year. Let's assume we lose 20% of our income to taxes. We would gross $64,000.00 a year and after our expenses would be able to save $44,000.00 a year. Jared would like to pay his parents back for his college education and I have $13,000.00 in student loans. After the first two years of saving, we will have paid all of that off and will be in the clear. If we could live small for a few years and avoid the big new house and flashy car of our American financial obligation... we could retire pretty damn early. It's a lot of speculation and a far off future. But, what I'm getting at is that by living small and avoiding financial obligations... life looks pretty easy.

Maybe I can talk Jared into retiring to Mexico... I have years to work in this idea.


  1. I don't buy Ziploc bags altogether. Instead, we re-use small tupperware containers for lunches, storing foods, etc. It's mighty awesome.

  2. I do sandwich bags (the cheapo ones with no zipper) for bagged lunches. I just think washing and reusing thin plastic is more trouble than it's worth.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...