Since it is now 2011, Christopher and I are creating a new budget and savings plan for IVF. Our goal is to save $1000 a month. We know it's a high goal to meet but think that it is doable if we can start cutting out some of the non-necessities and cutting back on some of the luxuries.
First, we took a look at all of our bills to see what we can cut back on:
1. Cable was the one blaring right in our face. Currently we are spending $150 a month. We have HBO, Showtime, 1 DVR, cable and internet. I called and cut out HBO and Showtime, bringing our bill to $120. Still outrageous we think and Time Warner was not willing to bring it down any further. We are currently looking at other cable companies to see if we can bring this down further. But this did however save us $30.
2. Insurance (car, home, ring, life): We just switched insurance companies last year and this saved us about $100 a month so I didn't mess with this. I know we are getting a great deal but it's worth a couple calls around to see if you can get a better deal.
Second, we took at look at the extra's:
1. Eating Out: We are spending about $300 per month on eating out and 'adult beverages'. Ouch, right!?! We have cut our entertainment budget to $50 per week, totaling $200 per month. Saving us $100.
2. Grocery Store: We are currently spending $350 per month on groceries. Usually about $75 at Whole Foods and $100 a Wal-Mart per pay. We need to cut back on the extras we buy when we go to the store. So our plan is to go in with meals planned and nothing else is being bought. Eating organic meats, eggs and milk is still very important to us so we are not going to cut out Whole Foods. But cutting down on what we buy should bring our grocery budget down to $300 per month. Saving us $50.
Third, we need to start bringing in some extra income. To me getting a second job isn't worth the extra month or two earlier it would allow us to do IVF. So here are our ideas:
1.I joined Delve Market Research hoping that I can earn some money in my off time, when it's convenient for me. Since this is not consistent work, I'm not sure I can estimate how much this will bring in.
2. We will be selling items on Ebay. Chris and I like to go to thrift stores and antique stores to find deals then sell them. We are hoping to earn an extra $50 per month.
3. Chris's web design/marketing he does on the side brings in an extra $400 per month. We never include this in our monthly budget because we don't want to ever depend on this money but it's perfect to include in this savings plan.
If we add all of the budget cuts and extra income together, that gives us $680 per month we can save for IVF. So to meet our goal of saving $1000 per month we will need to come up with an extra $320 out of our paycheck. Which I know is doable. I will be doing a monthly post about the money we have saved toward IVF and how we are doing it.