We realized we are behind in adding pages to our Buy Nothing Challenge (BNC) section, so we wanted to belatedly announce that thanks in large part to the BNC, our house was paid off in November of 2018! Yep, it's all ours, more than 5 years earlier than we were scheduled to pay off the mortgage.
What are we doing with the extra money now that we don't need to make that huge monthly payment? For us, the most basic choice is- do we want more money (which means more stuff) or more of a life? Theresa and I choose more life. So this year, we have been seeing if we can survive working part-time.
It's been tight, so we are are revamping the Buy Nothing Challenge for 2020. (Here is the link to our BNC we started in 2014 if you would like some background.) We hope to be adding more details in the near future, but here is a preview of the things we have been talking about doing:
- My allowance for food at work is up to $10 a week. It used to be $5 because I brought my own lunch, but I have a new job where I can eat a good meal really cheap. Sadly, I can no longer get morning coffee cheap. I have been buying the Starbucks bottled frapachinos, two for five bucks and have been spending over $20 a week on those alone (which does not fit in our budget).
- Beer fund: I get one six-pack a week. If I want more I have to save up from the work food allowance. (Oh yeah, what I drink is about $10 a 6-pack.)
- The big one is groceries. We spend at least $200 when we go to the grocery store and around $40 at our local gas station for junk / comfort food (Theresa protests that she seldom goes to the local gas station, whereas I go nearly every day, so she denies that it's her fault we spend so much money there. She totally admits to being part of the large grocery bills). We are thinking of a $100 limit and only going twice a month.
- That means an EAT FROM THE PANTRY Challenge. It's time to use what we have on hand, time to see what we can do with 25 lbs bags of grains and beans (Theresa points out she's been cooking with them for years- see her page on Cooking from the Pantry), and cook more staples from scratch. We might make a cooking page to share recipes from this challenge too.
Why do we continue to challenge ourselves? We both want to stay working part time and we want to to go to California to see the giant redwoods and swim in the ocean. Good reasons don't ya think? Gotta plan what we think will help us accomplish this.
Type at ya later...