I mentioned a few posts back that here in the Budget Blonde household, we’re adapting an extreme budget this year.
Just for a bit of background – Families here in Grenada who have a spouse in medical school typically live off of a student loan refund. It’s not very much, and it’s difficult to justify extra “dependent loans” because our students are already accuring about $350,000 worth of education debt as it is.
In an effort to help, I write for two websites, teach dance twice a week in Grenada, write this here little blog, and have now secured a more professional position here in Grenada. In actuality, my contributions do not add up to much, but they keep me busy, my resume without a gap, and I truly do love it.
Now that you have a little bit of background, here are a few ways we are cutting back this year:
There are no coupons in Grenada. It is also very difficult to meal plan since you might not always find what you need here. Example: I might want to make a salad for dinner, but they are out of lettuce. Or, I might want to make spaghetti, but the type of tomatoes I use for the sauce are still not on the shelf.
All that aside, we are starting an envelope system this year, where I only have a certain amount of cash to spend on groceries. When it’s gone, canned veggies it is! This prevents me from buying little extras (pickles, chips, brownie mix, salsa, etc.) and keeps us on track.
Hubs and I have developed an hour by hour schedule. It’s about as tight as our budget, but it works for us. Essentially, we purchase dinner on campus one night a week and every other night I make him dinner at home and bring it to him at school. (He studies at school until about 11 p.m. and doesn’t leave his study nook unless I tempt him with food.) We can also go out to eat on the weekends once or twice a month if hubby’s study schedule permits.
It sounds a little crazy, but hubs and I have not turned on our air conditioner in two weeks. And, guess what? We’re still alive! I would have never EVER in a million years predicted that we would sleep with just a fan, but we’re doing it. And, we’re sleeping fine. We had a really, really high electric bill last month, and so off it went.
So, sometimes I feel like changing my appearance. This usually includes getting a few highlights or lowlights, etc. But, this time I went back to my roots. It wasn’t necessarily a financial decision, but one I just felt like making for a change. In actuality, it does save me around $1,000 a year, which is a little crazy if you think about it. Knowing me and my frugal ways, I’m surprised I didn’t cave sooner. Not to worry, the website/brand is still Budget Blonde. I was born a blonde and will always be one at heart, but now I just look a bit like this:
(But, if you want to send me a really cute pair of sandals, I wouldn’t hate you for it. :))