It is no secret that Aaron and I live on a budget, we are both graduate students, we do not work and we are doing it on our own. Financial stress can certainly take a toll on any relationship, but we have definitely come up with ways to not let that happen. I thought I would share some of the ways we try to avoid financial stress.
+ We go out to eat. Seems strange right? Now I am not saying go out to eat at an expensive restaurant every night, that would be silly. Aaron and I tend to go to cheaper places and only do it every now and then. I can’t cook every night, first of all I am not a amazing cook and secondly I get too burnt out with school to come home and make a full meal every night. When we budget for food money with what we have, we simply buy less at the grocery store that week and go out to eat. We also tend to split stuff at most places. The wings and skins sampler at the 99 is our favorite, it has enough for both of us, and our bill ends up being about $15.00 if we just get that.
+ We look at purchases as investments. We currently live off of our student loan money, but that does not mean we never buy anything. We needed a new printer, so we shopped around and decided that it was a good purchase for school and as a long term investment.
+ We shop used. Most of our books are used and a lot of the records and CDs we have are used. They are in great condition and so much cheaper than buying new. It allows us to still get something for ourselves every now and then, but at a low cost!
+ If there is something we really really want we save our birthday, Christmas or any other money we get from family. Sure sometimes we save it, but sometimes we splurge on something we have been wanting.
+ We make time for date nights. Most of the time this is something as simple as grabbing a coffee and talking or reading at Starbucks, this is our go to date night during a busy week at school. It is easy, can be fast, it is inexpensive, and it gets us out of the apartment.
+ We find free stuff to do. We love to go to concerts in the park, long walks outside, scenic drives…free is always nice.
Do you live on a budget and how do you balance it?