Interesting how life tends to be syncronistic. Or at least it appears that way, the thoughts that I have been having recently have been mirrored in a few ways. In the lastest issue of Money magazine was an article of an extreme frugal family. In many ways, I would love to be them. They save 50% of their monthly income, and they have 5 kids with one on the way. But, they are an extreme.
Over on the Honest Scrapbooker blog, there are ongoing discussions on the cult of shopping and our need as scrapbookers to consume the newest items, only to have them sit on a shelf. PERSONALLY VERY GUILTY HERE!
And, then as I enter our monthly expenses into the computer to track our spending (we don't budget per se, but track instead to determine savings patterns and needs) I noticed that we have started to spend again. A few items are required. Tuition for Declan, Tax bill that came due made August the biggest month of spending I think I have ever PERSONALLY paid, without loans. But, even with Jeff having taken some time off last year, we saved and paid cash for everything. Even so, as Jeff is now earning money again, our expenses have increased. Some, of course as would be expected are required expenses... transportation has increased. But so has dining out, some is Jeff and his lunches, and it seems silly to fuss over 6 sing a day for lunch, but it does add up. That is an increase of 140 Sing a month (figure 23 work days). That money could go onto our student loans and would pay off my student loan sooner. In fact that is about 90 US, so my high interest student loan would be paid off one and a half years earlier..simply by adding $90 a month.
What are we going to do? I don't know. Cut back again, stop getting magazines at the store every weekend, stop buying convience food for Declan's snack and instead feed him homemade food, stop purchasing coffee/muffins at starbucks (already better now that I have cut out milk)... but the point remains. Just because we have two incomes again, doesn't mean we need to spend it all.