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We just wanna make the world dance, forget about the price tag...

Pete and I need a makeover.

Not a physical makeover. Pete looks fine and it's pretty much too late for me. We are already in the middle of a marriage makeover, and that's going well. What we need is a money makeover.

While we certainly don't live above our means, we can be careless with money. A few too many meals out, a few too many Thomas trains for PJ, and a few too many spend-y habits like coffee (me), books (me), cigarettes (Pete) and Vitamin Waters (Pete). There are so many changes we could make for the positive concerning our finances, particularly if we want to buy a house in the near future.

When I found out that Marla and Steph were going to do a spending freeze for the month of April, I thought, "Yes. That. Perfect." Pete and I need a month of strict spending rules to get us back on track. Hopefully, after a month, some of our choices will be a part of our normal routine versus something we really have to think about. But I figure that if money can flow out with little to no thought, we can make the same thing happen in reverse. So, this is going to happen.

{trumpet fanfare}

Life According to Steph

April Wallet Watch

These are the five spending rules that Pete and I have come up with for the month. As part of the blog, we will check back in on May 6th to detail our successes and 'fess up to any misses.

1. There are budgeted purchase exceptions for three April birthdays and for PJ's Easter gift. Pete and I will forgo Easter gifts this year (not that we ever did anything extravagant).

2. We will have one family dinner out (or ordered in. Whatever.). No lunch/breakfast dates for the month.

3.  PJ's Spring Break has been abbreviated due to the snow, but there is still the possibility that we will go up to the Poconos for a few days when he does have off. We will set a strict budget for groceries (we don't really eat out when we are up there since there is a kitchen), any outings, and any shopping we do for PJ at the outlets. We usually get his shoes there, and shop for his spring/summer clothes. Thankfully, we have gift cards, so this trip as whole should not be a large expenditure.

4. Coffee for when we have marriage counseling, otherwise, coffee is made at home. That's my addiction handled. Right now, we are trying to figure out how best to deal with Pete's (cigs). I'll get back to you all on that one. PJ's addiction, Dunkin' Donuts, will be visited twice.

5. With the exception of PJ's Easter outfit, no new clothes, accessories, shoes, etc. Toiletries are okay, but just essentials- no Bath and Body Works lotions or anything.

We also will set a savings goal, a certain amount of money to be set aside over the course of the month.

And, there we have it. I'd like to think that this will be easy, but I'm sure it will be a pain in the ass. Still, it's something that needs to be done for sure, and I am hoping that any good habits that form stick. Pete and I have both agreed to work as team, carefully document our spending, and see how we fared at the end of the month.

See 'ya in May, wallet!


Great plan! And it sounds very doable on all fronts.

Can Pete cut out two or three cigs a day? That will help cut down by a pack maybe? I always notice a difference in our bank account when MFD cuts down.
MarlaJan said…
So glad you are joining us! I haven't even thought about my "goals" but I think having a coffee once a week when I see te therapist is a good idea.

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{ of consciousness}

Today is April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, and it is Autism Awareness Month.

The month begins on the heels of news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Autism is on the rise. 1 in 68 children in the areas followed by the CDC are identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, up from 1 in 88 just a few years ago. In New Jersey, the numbers are far higher then the national average at 1 in 45. 

You can view a summary of the latest CDC report here, but there are two points of the report that stood out to me:
Less than half (44%) of children identified with ASD were evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they were 3 years old.Most children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as age 2.Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
PJ was diagnosed with Autism shortly after his second birthday. Pete and I had already utilized an e…