Kyle and I have always tried to live life in an eco-friendly way but lets face it sometimes being "green" can sometimes be expensive. We are just an average couple, we work hard at our jobs and we are not afraid to be frugal. Even though it sometimes gets us teased by some of our friends, we don't mind cutting back in our day to day spending in order to make this house a reality.
Kyle has always been what some might call a "penny pincher", and I think he now embraces that title. He has always been very proactive with savings and retirement. Kyle has been the reason that we have kept on track with saving for this home. Recently there has been a commercial for Geico in which an actor calls him self the saver. and followed by the line "don't try to out save me." This has now become Kyle's new mantra.
My role in our relationship (and house building adventure) is to also be a saver but to also keep style in mind. We both ultimatley want this house to look great. The plan is that we will be living in this house into our geriatric years so it needs to be exactly what we want. So we are thinking hard about every window, door and even light switch!
An engagement photo taken at Rosewood Inn, where we were married August 22, 2009
So we still save as much as we can but we also go out for an occasional dinner and a movie but we are always aware of our goal. This house would not be possible if we went out to eat for lunch everyday or went to the bar every weekend and dropped 50 bucks in drinks and cover. We have had to cut back on some none essentials in order to save quicker for our down payment.
Some ways we found ways to cut back:
*We got rid or cable TV (saving us about $85.00 a month) and we added Netflix (which costs $10.00 each month for one DVD at a time). We also paid $15.00 for a pretty cool looking antennae to pick up 15 local channels.
*We spent about $10.00 in the fall and bought window wrap to keep the heat in the apartment during the winter months. Apartment windows are notoriously drafty, and by wrapping them in the saran wrap type material we saved money each month on our heating bill. Also we keep our thermostat at 64 degrees when we are home and 60 degrees when we are not home. Invest in a programmable thermostat.
*This might sound terrible to some but we try to only eat out at dine in restaurants about 1-2 times a month and we almost never go out for lunch. That's right we brown bag it everyday. For me it is no big deal, most people at my work bring there lunch but Kyle doesn't have it so easy.
*Kyle is an auditor and often spends his days out at clients offices. Since they have a policy about not eating in the clients office he finds creative ways to eat his PB and J. Sometimes he will actually take his lunch into a fast food place and eat his lunch while his coworkers eat there. He has more guts than I do in this area.
I will say this, being frugal doesn't tend to make you popular but true friends are okay with a homemade dinner and a game night. All in all I don't feel like we have had to sacrifice that much in order to save for our house, in fact I know we could cut even more from our budget. I feel we live very comfortably and I am so proud of our savings thus far.
So call us treehuggers, call us frugal, we won't take offense :)