Cash dieting.

I’m very seriously trying to figure out how to make it down to four days a week after I get some debt paid off (hopefully this summer – fingers crossed). I suspect this means tracking all my spending and then determining how frivolous I am in order to figure out if I really can cut $600 per month from my paycheque without it being a terrible hardship. Sadly, I think I might be on the verge of exposing to myself just how unnecessary so many things I spend money on are.

One thing I know for sure is that I will always live up to whatever I bring home – meaning that with every raise I just end up with more ability to accumulate stuff rather than more savings in the bank or money down on my mortgage. Not only is that crummy ecologically, it’s also keeping me on the debt treadmill that’s got me working 5 days a week when I would really rather spend more of that time at home working on my own life (rather than the government’s).

Because I’ve got some cash coming this summer that could clear up my debt, I want to prep the rest of my life for what that might look like in terms of better spending habits and more “making-do” so that I don’t just clear off the deck to find myself right back below it again six months later.  Nor do I want to go without putting savings away when I do whittle my hours down in the fall. To whit – I am embarking on something a bit like a diet plan – starting with two months of tracking everything I “consume” in order to determine where my spending weak points are. I did this a little heading into our mortgage, but since we bought the house, I’ve found a whole new level of justification when it comes to spending on household and hobby goods that I didn’t  have as a renter.

Come May 1st (this is a bit like setting a quit date), I’m going to attempt to live for four months as though I didn’t have the additional four days of pay per month and see how that goes through the summer. If it works? I’m ready to go down to four days a week. If it doesn’t? I might just do it the hard way and cut my hours down anyway.

Like food and fitness tracking, I know that the only way to keep myself on goal is to record everything – so I’ve set up a spreadsheet and am going from here. A bit of a cleanse is in order for sure…. taking my life back from the machine bit by bit.


3 Comments on “Cash dieting.

  1. You can do it! It’s really more of a philosophical shift than a material one.

  2. Hunter – I know – I’ve been so much broker in my life and just as happy as I am now! And I’ve been reading about your adventures in giving up work you didn’t like and downscaling… which I appreciate greatly (though I could never give up my job, that’s way too freaky for me!)

    Joanna – thanks for the tip. That site is awesome and exactly what I need…….

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