I haven’t mentioned our finances on this blog. Mostly because it’s not polite. And it’s awkward.
But there’s not a whole lot to hide over here. You’ve probably deduced what Bryan and I are doing (paying two rents, traveling between Chapel Hill & DC, finishing up Bryan’s law schooling) is expensive. And we’re doing it on my one salary. I won’t tell you what it is … but it’s not nearly sufficient.
As such, we’re learning new ways to save in the little things. I’m not and likely will never be a couponer. That takes too much organization, time, and I just can’t wrap my mind around it… Also, I don’t buy THAT many things from the grocery store. Disregarding taking up couponing, we’ve acquired a few new habits that are quite comical. I want to be sure to track them for posterity – you know, when one-two years from now we are in a different stage of life and we can read this blog: “ho ho ho, remember those good ole days when we froze like icicles in our bed?!”
Little Saving Graces:
– Bryan’s started researching and baking casseroles, which last about 5 meals in Chapel Hill (this is so awesome – also comical – to me! I wish I could see/taste his final products).
– Meatless Meals. During the week, I have what you’d consider a “beaver dinner” – grazing on what can be scrounged together from the fridge.
– On weekends, we eat all meals ‘in’ our apartment. I miss trying new restaurants, but I’m building a solid list for next year!
– A few weeks ago, Bryan’s apartment had a crazy flood and his extra “cheap Target towels” we had purchased were ruined in soaking up the mess. Instead of buying new towels (we can’t afford), he went a whole week drying off with a bed sheet!! I’ve since sent him back with real towels from DC.
– All our furniture has been gifted to us. There is (unfortunately) quite a stark difference between our heavenly bed in DC and the stiff, hard, full-sized bed in Chapel Hill.
– We have a patio but … no patio furniture, which is immensely sad but necessary. Perhaps something for next year?
– No Cable.
– Netflix is our very best friend. But we borrow the password from Bryan’s parents (pssst… THANK YOU!).
– I’ve given up spontaneously purchasing coffee (thank goodness for The River School’s 3 Keurig machines!). Note: I still say YES, ABSOLUTELY to coffee dates. Those are important.
– Our favorite (sole?) weekend pastime is walking / hiking. It’s nice to be new to the area – it means there are plenty of good neighborhoods/parks/farmers markets we haven’t yet explored.
– Winter coat and running shoe purchases are saved for Christmas wishlists. Agony!
– Our apartment temperature stays at a strict 69 degrees. This is positively freezing to me. I’m constantly in a sweatshirt/pullover/blanket.
– Our car will proudly sport North Carolina plates for the next 6 months, thank you very much, extremely high Virginia insurance and registration fees.
– Bryan’s pre-purchased all his Megabus tickets to DC. $1-15. Much much less than a tank of gas. We also have some extremely generous friends who drive and pick him up weekly from the Durham bus station (THANK YOU!).
– No Dog. Bryan’s instated this strict rule. While I don’t like it, I know he’s right. We cannot afford a dog. We have, however, created a savings account for that future day when we can feed, clothe, and care for a canine. Oh, that wondrous day!! Get here soon, okay?
Finally, and I think this is so very important, I know that generosity and hospitality are not words for years of surplus and excess. They’re words for a lifestyle lived every day, income regardless.