Sallie & Perkins: The Money You'll Save

We're baaaacckkkk! Correction- Sallie is back. Perkins has been working extra hard getting lots of overtime in, so he won't be joining us today. Sorry to disappoint you Perkins fans, it's just Sallie today ;)

I don't know about you all, but seeing "the numbers" is what really motivates me. Seeing the dollar amount we brought home, updating our budget spreadsheets and seeing where every last penny went. That's what keeps us on track and keeps us motivated. Our spending habits have changed so much in just the past 6 months! It's not fun to look back to earlier this year and see where way too much extra money was being spent.

So we're going to look at some numbers today- because hey, maybe it'll help one of you wake up like we did!

3 grande Caramel Frappucino's from Starbucks a week = $11.25
Do this for an entire year? You'll spend = $585

Drinks in general are actually a huge money pit. We as a whole are obsessed with beverages, but did you know 2/3 of American's don't drink enough water? Water is free people, and you need it! So drink less sugary soda pop, juices, alcohol, energy drinks, etc! Water is where it's at….whoops, I'm getting off topic here ;)

2 clearance clothing items at Target a month = Easily $16
Do this for an entire year? You'll spend = $192

You can look good on a budget. I promise you don't need every new seasonal trend, you don't need a pair of shoes for every outfit you own. Would it be nice? Sure! But if it's not a necessity, why waste your money on that instead of paying off the credit card you USED to get last month's "hot new item" ??

2 movies in a movie theater a month = Roughly $20/person (if you don't get any snacks!)
Do this for an entire year? You'll spend $240

This one is a hard one for Perkins, as he LOVES movies and loves going to the theatre. Not that I don't, but I'm okay with waiting a few months until it's available for $1 at RedBox. We've cut back on our movie dates and when we do go, we're sure to catch the early Saturday morning matinee that only cost half of what you would pay on a Friday night.

3 Chipotle burritos/Subway subs/some type of lunch out a week = $18
Do this for an entire year? You'll spend $936

It's VERY easy to join your coworkers for a lunch out multiple times a week. I can't tell you how many times I say "no" to Chipotle… and it pains me every time, trust me. And for Perkins? He was guilty of never bringing enough and raiding the vending machine every day for snacks that definitely added up-and fast! Packing lunches is so much cheaper than buying your lunch every day.

I won't even attempt to add up weekly/monthly costs of eating out in general--- just stop doing it so much! ;) The average person spends over $2200/year eating out. Yikes! You know from earlier posts this is one Perkins and I really struggled with for awhile. We LOVE going out to eat, trying new places, enjoying a local favorite, and just talking over dinner for hours. We aren't acting like it's been easy, but it's been worth it to eat at home the majority of the time.

Sometimes it's difficult when we feel like we're just nickel-and-diming ourselves. Deciding where to spend our money, deciding if a vacation paid in cash is okay or if it's too lavish. Deciding if we want to sacrifice one date night out to purchase something for the house this month. It's all about having a budget and tracking your spending. I can't say it enough, free resources like Mint.com have totally changed the way we look at our finances. We don't ever feel like we're living paycheck to paycheck, and at the month's end we're always able to sit down and see a good chunk of leftover money to put towards those stinky student loans.

I've talked about doing a no-spend month on here, and many of you have told me you're giving it a try yourself. If a month sounds too intimidating to you- try a no-spend week. Your bank account will look a lot more exciting at the end of that week, I guarantee it! ;)

38 comments

  1. I have definitely limited myself to how much Starbucks I drink. It adds up so fast. I only have one every 1 to 2 months. These are great tips!

    agirlandhersparkles.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! What a huge eye opener! It's crazy how much just getting a coffee really is when you look at it like that!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It really is such a huge eye opener when you break it down like that. I did that last month and wanted to cry, just watching all our money go to ridiculous things. JC & I are pretending like we're "poor" this month, in hopes that it helps our bank account. So far, it's working! Thanks for the update and motivation, friend :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I absolutely love these breakdown tips, because they really are so eye-opening! I used to be the worst offender when it came to Tarjay's pretty little clearance racks and a quick cup of Starbucks coffee ("But the short size is the cheapest so it's OK!" Ugh. Stupid me.) and when I finally broke it down and saw how quickly those spent pennies added up, it was the swift kick in the rear I needed to stop the madness!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am so happy to say I've never been a Starbucks addict...its SO expensive & more calories than my lunch! Great post, Sallie ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. love love love!!! its crazy how much people spend on Starbucks...yes they taste amazing but I am sure pinterest has a recipe to make an almost identical drink or hell I bought those International Delight Iced Coffee 2pk for $5 @ Costco and it tasted even better than a Starbucks lol but i WILL admit once or twice a month i miiiiiiight splurge for a starbucks

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are so cute.... and SO disciplined! We just dove head first into a big pool of debt over the weekend purchasing a new vehicle. We've been debt free for months so this is going to be super painful having a car payment again. UGH! We are going to have to buckle down and be strict with our money again. I feel like we do SO good and then BAM! We have one really bad week of eating out too much, going shopping, driving a lot and spending a ton on gas... and it takes a month to recover from it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yay for packing your lunch! We do it every single day and while it may get boring, it's SO much cheaper (and healthier!) When I do splurge and go out it is always a shock to my wallet.

    Yay for tomorrow!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. So I may backtrack and start at post 1 of this series. I clearly need it. The good thing about me is that I can easily cut out things like Starbucks and movies. I'd even be ok to cut out cable. But do you ever get bored staying in when you're trying to save money? I feel like I am such a spaz that needs constant entertainment!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I switched to drinking water 95% of the time in college and it was hands down one of the most effective ways to save money. I'm currently struggling with bringing my lunch every day. I keep finding myself running late for work and not packing that lunch.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I just started budgeting this month, and I'm calling it a "soft budget" because i didn't really know exactly what I spent on everything. So far it looks like I way over-estimated on groceries and under-estimated on lunches out... I wanted to give myself 5 lunches a month so I budgeted $60 but I've already gone way over! Whoops!

    ReplyDelete
  12. LOVE these tips! Thankfully I've never been a starbucks addict (I get one maybe once every 2 or 3 months if I'm feeling like I really need a pick me up) and the nearest chipotle is a good 20 min away so I avoid those little expenses too! My biggest downfall is buying magazines! I know that's so weird, but when I don't have time to dive into a book I like to flip through a magazine. If I'm not subscribed those can be $5 a pop and add up quickly!! Love your practical tips...I'm definitely going to modify my purchases now!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Those numbers really are eye opening. I've been packing my lunch a lot more and it really does make a difference. I haven't gotten lunch out or bought dunkin or starbucks in the month of october so far, but I'm not necessarily on a no-spend month, I just realized I didn't need those things as often as I was getting them!! Here's to it making a difference!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Haha this is seriously a post for me. I spend so much money on petty things and I never really bother to realize the effects of it...until I'm down to 50$ in my bank account today, my gosh. :(

    ReplyDelete
  15. How does a no spend month work like with groceries? I assume paying bills is exempt from no spend month :) Have you already wrote about this and I missed it?

    ReplyDelete
  16. You know how I feel about your financial posts... love them, love them, love them! I will say that it's been way less fun living on a stricter 'budget' since I haven't been working the past few months, but it's worth it since I'm not at all stressed out about paying for the important stuff and being able to go on vacation still! I think for me it's all about forming good habits, so I don't even miss what I'm NOT able to do anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  17. CV and I dine out/get take out like 5x a week. And unfortunately it's not at chipolte, it's at Wine Guy (my favorite!!!) and other restaurants. It's getting a bit ridiculous....MUST CUT BACK NOW!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. The lunch one kills me! Freddie was going out for lunch every. single. day. since he moved here in Feb. As soon as we got married I insisted on packing him lunches everyday. After a week he was hooked. Phew.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am very cognizant of how much coffee costs (I limit it to one a week bought out and rely on coupons/gift cards the rest of the time). Most of my coworkers spend $9 on lunch five days a week. HELL NO. I bring my lunch every day and have lunch "out" maybe twice a month.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I did a spending freeze or "no spend" month last month and I was able to pay off a small debt AND put some in my savings. It was rough but nowhere near as hard as I thought it'd be! And let me tell you, the first purchase I made after waiting a whole month felt like Christmas in October!

    ReplyDelete
  21. A tip for all Starbucks drinkers - if you buy the starbucks beans/coffee to brew at home, save the pkg and you can take it to your local Starbucks and they will give you a tall coffee for free, just for turning in the pkg you used. We do it all the time (well Keith does, I'm not a coffee drinker) because my work uses them.

    I had been doing no spending but my car literally gave me its last straw on Monday so I had to purchase one on Saturday. But its okay, it was something that was needed :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I had to do this with Chris, and I think he's FINALLY getting it. The cost of Starbucks is actually the reason we invested in an espresso machine for me - while it was a big cost upfront, it pays for itself pretty quickly! (plus, I can make it however I want it and have multiple in one day if I want!)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sunday morning movie dates are the best because no one is there. We have a rewards card so our soda is upgraded and we can share one. It's our little treat. Eating out is the big money pit. I can't wait to have a brand new kitchen - maybe that will inspire something. Keep up the good work and tell Perkins he was missed this week (but we love Sallie just as much.) :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. So I have a personal question for you and if you don't want to answer it totally fine or if you want to answer without #'s that's completely OK to just curious. Chris and I are working hard on budgeting etc and are blessed not to have student loans but we do have cars/house. I know you say no spend months to pay off debt etc but do yall have a built up savings acct for emergencies?? Do you have the Dave Ramsey 3 months emergency funds or etc... I'm just curious paying off debt and/or putting extra money towards debt if yall are also putting money into savings and/or have that already built up first?! I know your just like everyone trying not experts but you really have motivated me so i'm asking the hard questions too! ha

    ReplyDelete
  25. You just HAD to throw the Chipotle one in there didn't you. I'm really really frugal about spending and saving. Beers and Chipotle are about the only splurges I whip out the wallet for.

    ReplyDelete
  26. A no-spend week or month would be a great thing to try. As always I love this post. Money savers unite.
    It most definitely sucks, but the way I see it, for things such as eating out (as in restaurant, not fast food) it's more special if you don't do it as often or if you only do it for special occasion. I guess because I grew up not going to restaurants often it's always been more of a treat to me. Same with movies. I could be like Jared...er Perkins, I would probably go to the movies to see every new movie I want to see, because I LOVE seeing it on the big screen. But, saving it for date nights whether it's once a month, or once every other month,...or longer than that, it's more of a treat. But really, there are probably about 2 or 3 movies that I want to see & I want to go now! Haha. Might sound crazy to some but, oh well!
    & I love that you did the yearly amounts. I do this. I even did this to my brother when I was trying to get him to really look at where his money goes.
    Great minds, I tell ya. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I did one week of no spend and I had an extra $100 dollars in my checking account. yay .. I need to do it again soon. Thank you for the tips :O)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Do people really buy three grande Sbucks drinks a WEEK? I swear I go there like 4-6 times a year. I don't really get what the big deal is with that place. It's so expensive! Ugh, and I'm SO cheap. haha. I love the breakdown! This is so helpful for your readers!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am currently going through the same thing right now! I was consonantly buying clothes (sale) and eating our with coworkers and I was shocked at how much it was adding up before I noticed. I am actually doing a no spend right now and it has been hard but I have been doing good!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Can we do a link up with you being the leader with a no spend month? I feel like people would really, really, really hop on that bandwagon. ME included. Michael recently gave up a really bad habit so I'm hoping on that train and giving up my early morning Mickey D's drink. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  32. It's crazy how much the little things add up! We always think "Oh, it's only a few dollars" but constantly saying that adds up very quickly. You guys are an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  33. how dare you bring chipotle burritos into this :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. i absolutely love these posts. i think i am going to go categorize all of our purchases on mint (we were using it for a while, but have slacked a bit) and see just how much we spend on eating out and what not. i'm kind of scared! y'all are so inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
  35. When you look at numbers on an annual basis, it's quite shocking. I used to eat lunch out every day (twice a week at Chipotle). Yikes.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love these tips! I can't imagine how much you would spend by going out to eat everyday. There are a few guys at the Yotes that do this, and they don't go to the subways or whatever. They go to the places that you would easily spend $20. Now that we actually look at each week it's a great feeling to see the numbers increase in savings.

    ReplyDelete
  37. i am going to have to try a no-spend week... i am SO bad about just giving up!!! hellpppp meeeeeeee

    ReplyDelete

Thanks SO much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I read each one and love to respond and chat with you! :)