The Frugal

I work for a non-profit organization as an assistant.  This means that I get to work towards a benevolent cause with awesome, like-minded people  but I get paid peanuts while doing so.  I’m good with money management, though, and in the five years since I graduated college, I have achieved some satisfying financial goals:

  • Paid off my student debt (Mind you, my debt was much smaller than the average student’s, due to living at home throughout university and having very generous parents)
  • Traveled to Europe a couple of times
  • Purchased my first home

Bonjour!

Now comes the greatest financial burden of my life, that is, raising a child!  Luckily, I live in Canada which means my health care is paid for (courtesy of Kiefer Sutherland’s grandfather.  No joke!) so I don’t have to worry about the medical cost of birth, and I get a year-long maternity leave which helps with the cost of childcare, plus, it also ROCKS ME TO THE CORE.  However, I will only receive 55% of my regular wages.  If you do the math, 55% of peanuts is really not that many peanuts.  This means that in the months before I leave work, I need to do some MAJOR SAVING.  Caps lock necessary!

Without communicating exactly how much I make, I feel comfortable talking about my current budget:

  • I get paid every two weeks
  • I hope to save 25% from each of these pay cheques (after all deductions and contributions to my retirement fund)…
  • …Without wearing rags and eating ramen noodles for breakfast

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Source of picture

  • Therefore, each week, I “give” myself 12% (24% of pay cheque divided by two) to spend on clothes, meals out, entertainment, and other miscellaneous pursuits
  • If I don’t spend the full amount each week, the balance is carried over to the next week.  This helps with random big item purchases like a new furnace, a flight to Orlando, or a bear skin rug (kidding of course!  I prefer tiger skin)
  • I am lucky to have a husband to share the cost of fixed expenses.  Of this I am sure.

Once I give birth to little Beansy, I will be living on an even tighter budget.  My miscellaneous spending budget will be cut by half.  I am confident I can do this, though.  I have read a lot about frugal living and voluntary simplicity and the lifestyle really appeals to me.  I want to work less and enjoy more.  I want to have time to nap the afternoon away (I say this pre-Beansy!) and bake from scratch each week.  I don’t care much about having new stuff or the latest gadget (except for the iPhone; oh, how I love thee).  I want to be conscientious of every dollar spent.  I want to live the best life possible! <– (Direct influence of Oprah Winfrey).

And… I want to blog about it!

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mel  |  June 1, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    There are plenty of free ways to entertain yourself when you have a baby… playgroups, mom’s clubs, Early Years Centre, parks, walks, the list goes on and on. The best part is that you can do all those things that you may not have done by yourself because you can bring your baby with you – you’re not by yourself and your companion has no say 😉

    Reply
    • 2. Frugal 'n' Fit!  |  June 1, 2010 at 10:58 pm

      We are within walking distance of an Early Years Centre so I am excited about that. Me and Baby are going to make 2011 all about the awesome!

      Reply

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