Wednesday, June 26

Eating In and Dining Like Kings

Our desire to lower our expenses has been coupled for a desire to eat healthier, and cutting eating out has been a natural progression. These days we typically eat out just a couple of times a month instead of a few times a week. The benefits have been numerous for us (although I'd be lying if I said we don't miss it).

At one point we were eating out or picking up take-out several times a week. With our busy schedules we felt like we needed this extra convenience to make it through the day, but the results were pretty severe. I was gaining on average 15 pounds a year, and we were spending close to $300 a month on dining out over and above our standard grocery budget.

By cutting out all the restaurant food we are saving literally hundreds of dollars each month, and both Mr. Kawaii and I have lost over 20 pounds by eating healthier foods and smaller portions. The home-made foods we are eating now taste better, and are more satisfying than most of what we were getting in take-out bags. Now that we have our baby along for the ride, I am glad that we made this change so that the little one isn't eating a ton of restaurant foods as he's growing.

All in all the transition from restaurant fare to home-made goodness has been a great thing for our family. We are saving close to $250 per month ($3,000 per year) which helps to fund projects for our business and is helping us to pay down our credit card debt.

Wednesday, June 19

Lowering the Cost of Living

Photo by Takkk from

Our family had a major shift in our priorities a few years ago when we decided to start our own business and I decided to take a stab at being an author. One of the biggest changes that we had to make to start being more financially independent was to lower our cost of living so that we could survive on roughly half the income that we had before.

The first step we took when we decided to begin this financial journey was to assess where our money was going and prioritize what we really need and what we don't. Some of the easiest changes we made were to cut the cable TV, ditch the virtually unused home phone. Instead we subscribe to Netflix and Hulu for tv and movies, and picked a cell phone plan that covers enough talk time for our needs. 

Simple switches like dropping phone service and swapping Cable/Dish tv subscriptions for more affordable options can really impact your bottom line. By dropping our Cable tv, we save nearly $41 per month (approximately $490 a year). By dropping our home phone service but keeping the Fios internet connection we save an additional $25 per month ($300 a year). 

With just those changes, we have an additional $790 to apply to debts, beef up savings and apply to vacation funds. 

If you are trying to get out of debt, take a look a your monthly spending and see what you are spending money on that you either aren't getting a lot of benefit out of, or could live without. Apply that monthly savings to get a boost for your debt and savings plans.

Sunday, June 16

A Smaller Bottom Line

Photo provided by Cornischong on

Hello all you readers!

Now that I have my weight more under control with the help of a low cholesterol diet and medication for my PCOS (see some of my past postings for more information on that), I've had more room in my life to focus on some of the other things that are important to me.

One thing that has been a lifetime obsession for me is money. I tend to see money in a different light form most people, and try to keep or invest as much of what I earn as possible. After spending years as a Collection Agent, hired by banks to track down owners and convince them to pay on neglected debts, I have discovered that a lot of people just don't know how to stretch their dollar to its fullest potential.

Over the last several weeks I have been dabbling in couponing and bulk buying thanks to time spent watching the show Extreme Couponers. I have become an instant coupon addict and have started sharing my money-saving sprees with a couple of friends. So I figured, why not share it with all of you as well?

But this blog is more about clipping coupons, the same way it has always been more than just reporting the fluctuation of the needle on the scale. It's about life, and how to get the most out of it with what you've got. Whether it's your health, your finances, or your relationships, by sharing our tips and tricks of the trade we can all live happier and fuller lives.

I hope you enjoy the new "Smaller Bottom Blog" and find some tips that can help you to be financially fit.