I am probably not as "gazelle" as I could be.
There are most likely a few things in my budget that I could eliminate for a period of time and I am sure that I could cut costs back in a few areas.
I am looking at these things and deciding exactly what I am comfortable with in "losing" for the overall goal of debt freedom.
I guess I am kinda like Obama; using a magnifying glass and a scapel with a finetooth comb to get rid of expenses that are not really "working".
I feel that slowly vamping up my "gazelle-ness" will be more effective over the long term, rather than cutting everything not necessary all at once. There is only so much any one person can take and getting frustrated with the system is a surefire way of setting yourself up for failure.
This month I am cutting out my landline. I don't use it. Ever. All of my family has the same cell phone company as I do, so mobile to mobile calls are free. Cutting the phone out of my cable bill will save me $23.99 a month. Is that a huge amount of money? Not by any means. But it does add up. $23.99 x 12 = $287.88 per year.
I am also going to be joining the reformed smokers club. Starting in May, I will quit smoking $180 a month via cigarettes. $180 x 12 = $2,160. That is a lot of money. Money that I have been simply wasting, not to mention the horrible health effects. Hell, $2,160 pays off one of my debts!
So, just with those two eliminations next month, I will be having a net savings of $2,447.88 in a 12 month period. Not too shabby.
I plan on also eliminating soda from my grocery budget starting in June. I estimate that I spend about $50 a month in soda products. $50 x 12 = $600. The amount of soda I drink is not only bad for my budget, it is also bad for my teeth and the potential of getting diabetes. My step father is an insulin-dependent diabetic. Has been my entire life. Although he still lives an active life, I know first hand that if I can do anything to prevent getting that disease, I should.
And, that brings the total amount of savings (in a 13 month period, since I am starting a month later with the soda elimination) to $3,251.87.
Looking at the numbers this way certainly does change my perception of how I am spending my money. By simply eliminating these three things from my budget, I will have an extra $3,251.87 to apply towards debt in the next 13 months. Not only will I be financially healthier, I will be physically heathier as well. Which is quite important since I don't have insurance.
In the upcoming months, I am sure I will find a few more things I could live without. Perhaps permenantly, perhaps just for the duration of my debt payoff.