I lived at home until we got married. After I got married and moved out the first 6 months were rough. Like super rough. It was difficult to work 50 hours a week, cook, do laundry and keep our tiny basement apartment looking presentable. Cleaning the apartment always lost BTW. It looked presentable but I’m very lucky that people had to call us before they could come over since there was no direct access to our apartment from the outside. We basically perfected the 5 minute clean up. But I did struggle with the basics of adulting even though Scott had lived on his own for over 4 years before I moved in.
As time past I was able to figure out how to be an adult. When we first got married we did our grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon and spent the rest of the day cooking. I couldn’t even tell you what we did on Saturday. I probably worked if I’m being honest. Laundry happened whenever we had time since we didn’t pay for utilities (win for renting!). Cleaning the apartment was still bottom of the to-do list most of the time.
Then we moved…
In the apartment we were on one floor and it was much (much) smaller so therefore easier to keep clean. Things changed with two floors, extra square feet and needing to pay our own bills. So no laundry whenever we wanted (damn home ownership). That meant that our routine needed to change again. It took another 6 months to get into the groove of being homeowners.
After that we shifted our shopping to Saturday afternoon and spent the bulk of Sunday doing even more cooking. We make our own lunches for the week and make most of our food from scratch. The house was also tidy all the time. Not just when people were coming over. Yay adulting!
Then we started a business…
It must be a theme that we can’t sit still and I’m sure there are other reasons for that I will dive into another time.
We started Couple of Sense while having full time jobs. Dual careers meant a lot of the work needed to be done on the weekend. So no more waking up late on Saturday. We couldn’t puttering around in the morning and go shopping at 2pm and then hanging out for the night. We now wake up at 7:30am on Saturday and Sunday thanks to an alarm/our hungry cat (whichever comes first).
One super productive thing we started doing was making to do lists for the weekend. This was done to make sure we tackle and complete everything we want to do. It really works for us. Is it crazy? Maybe. We also aren’t above to put on our to-do list “watch a movie” or “play Lego Star Wars” (we are adults after all). We feel accomplished and throw in some relaxation into the mix to make sure it’s all balanced.
There are times that I think back and wonder how much more we could have gotten done in our tiny basement apartment but at the time we didn’t think we could do it. I laugh at how difficult I thought it all was and how little I knew about what was coming down the pipe.
Could you do more with your money?
I often wonder how much we could have saved if we were more efficient with our money from the very beginning. We cancelled our cable a little while ago and I can only imagine what we could have saved if we did it years ago. I have the same thoughts with some of our other variable expenses. Since we have been tracking our spending we have close to 4 years (!!) I have a snapshot of how the spending has progressed throughout the years. For example my makeup fund has dramatically decreased in spending and a lot of it has to do with being more mindful of my spending and trying to do more with less. On the other hand more of that money is being shifted to our mortgage to pay that thing off ASAP. Same goes with increasing our saving rate year over year.
Lifestyle inflation happens to the best of us. When we get more money as a raise or a new job most of the time that money just makes its way into our daily spending. You then get used to it and can’t imagine living without it even though you had for some time. I think most of us can live off less than we think and many times it’s because we don’t push ourselves to find a better way after we have let lifestyle inflation creep up on us.
I think that for the majority of time we can all do more than we think we can and we can do more with what we have. If there is any extra buffer in your budget I’m sure if you moved that money to another goal like paying off debt or retirement savings you can get to you goal that much faster. We quickly become use to having more money to spend and we can get use to spending less just as easy. Make your money work for you and you can get wherever you want to go faster.
Have you ever looked back on your progress and wondered why you waited to make a change?
Like what you read? Wanna be in the know? Sign up for our weekly newsletter that comes out every Wednesday. Also when you sign up you get our free communication guide – Talking Money: 3 Tips to Improve Communication. Click here to subscribe!