Imagine how thrilled I was when Jason—my hubby—came to me with another brilliant idea. “Let’s cut all our expenses in half, so we can live on half our current budget to help us save more this month.” My jaw nearly hit the floor. (And, yes, I do have a big mouth.) “You’re kidding, right?” I responded. “I can cut some of our expenses, but there’s no way we can cut them in half. Not possible. End of story.” I crossed my arms in a show of defiance with a bit of a smirk.
“First things first. We’re cutting our grocery bill in half.” Jason gave me that look, and I knew he was dead serious about this cheapskate idea. “I’m going to eat beans and rice three times a day, if I need to. I’m all in.”
One thing he knows about me is that I may not spend money on clothes or frivolous shopping, but I DO spend money on high-quality food. It’s part of my Bulletproof Lifestyle. I’m NOT giving that up. Thankfully, I had already placed a huge order for grassfed meat, and we currently qualify for WIC for our toddler and during my pregnancy. I figured that with our reserves, we could cut that budget in half for the month.
Silver Lining: This gives me an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen and discover ways to make our foods more nutritious without buying fancy ingredients.
“Next, take every bill off autopay. We’re going to pay them only what they need when they need it,” Jason announced. Now this was stepping over the line for me. You cannot just stop paying your water bill. They’ll shut your water off! I balked and said that this was taking it too far. How would I remember not to miss a bill if they weren’t all on autopay? He assured me that he’d personally be calling each of our bills and negotiating our payment plans downward. Just for the short-term challenge. I fumed for about an hour afterwards, while we took our morning constitutional with our English Bulldog. By the end, I conceded.
Silver Lining: I don’t have to deal with the bill collectors myself.
But, the hardest part of this challenge was breaking the news to our 12-year-old daughter. I had just created a discretionary budget for her to use towards projects, launching her blog and starting an online business. That budget would be disappearing for a full 30 days. Looks like we’d all have to get some skin in the game to make this happen.
Silver Lining: She took the news like a champ and is already figuring out creative workarounds.
Why are we doing this? Because we have a dream for our family in the next several months. To make that dream a reality sooner, we’re making the sacrifices now. When I think about all those who have less than we do, eating beans and rice for 30 days is a cinch!
So, here’s to our “30 days of beans and rice” kickoff!
Your Turn: What about you? Have you ever made a drastic financial change to save for something you really cared about?