So each month, i'll be posting a little chart of how the changes in my life to become more environmentally responsible translate into money saved. February is my starting point, and I can be so accurate in terms of averages because I never have cash, so I have itemized bills for all the crud I purchase for the last year and a half. I took out December, because Christmas gifting was a HUGE outlier.
Here is my AVG EXPENDITURE PER MONTH for each category going into the project:
1) CRAP (clothes, DVDs, paper napkins, laundry, little baggies, gawdy earrings, porcelean figurines, etc.) = 400$ (!!!!)
2) TAKEOUT/DELIVERY (a quick lunch I grab from the student union, salad prepared in plastic packaging for takeaway, pizza delivery, etc.) = 111$
3) OUT ON THE TOWN (Lunch, Diner, Happy Hour, Bar Bills ... But with real china, not paper cups) = 154$
4) GROCERIES/ESSENTIALS (Organic produce delivery and grocery bills) = 235$
5) RENT & UTILITIES = 775$
6) CELL PHONE = 60$
TOTAL = 1735$ --> This is 235$ MORE than the stipend I recieve for teaching each month, which accounts for my 3K in credit card debt, and the fact that I babysit and tutor student athletes 10-15 hours a week for extra cash.
Hopefully, by eliminating the takeout and the crap sections, and eventually lessening my expenditure for groceries as well I can apply extra money to debt reduction and be out of the hole by the end of 2008! I'd love to include stuff about conserving utilities, and perhaps I will include the HYPOTHETICAL money I could be saving, but as noted in my previous rant, I recieve no monetary compensation for saving the planet through short showers or turning off lights.
NOTE: If other people want to work toward getting out of debt, check out the Women in Red on MSN for great tips.