A Strict Financial Plan.

Before we get this show on the road, have you 'liked' The Sustainable Couple on Facebook yet? You should get on top of that, because starting this week I'm only posting three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). We want to bring ya'll fresh content and quality posts on this blog, but by finding us on Facebook you can keep current with the day-to-day happenings of The Sustainable Couple. 


At this point it's no secret that I am making a major life change in the next month. I will no longer be employed as a full-time teacher. I'll be subbing on a part-time basis and will travel with John whenever possible. 

We've been planning for this from a financial standpoint for almost 11 months now. We've done a great job getting our finances in order and making sure my retirement fund and investments will remain in good standing while I take a full-time employment hiatus. 

However, there's one little piece of debt that has been clinging on like a parasite. 

My student loan. 

I have a small chunk to pay on my student loan debt - over $5,000. While the monthly payments are very low and the interest rate is great, I still want to get it paid off before I am living on a substitute teacher budget. 

I met with my financial consultant a few weeks ago. She helped me ensure my investments and retirement funds are squared away, and she helped me make a realistic, yet very strict plan for paying off my student loan. 

My goal: Pay off my student loan by September 1st.

To do so, I will have to put a good portion of my summer paycheck toward my student loan. This means I will have close to drastically budget my spending over the summer. 

My budget will be tight. 


I will have a bit of money for gas, groceries and utilities. Conversely, I will have no room in my budget for Saturday shopping extravaganzas or other luxuries. Not that I did that too much to begin with. This will also include house projects, which is a real kick in the nuts. John will have to pick up some slack with emergencies (cross your fingers that there are none!), and I will have to begin living a way of life I haven't had to live since I was 18 and a college freshman. 

I. Am. Bummed.

But lets be real. I had it pretty good as a college freshman. I wasn't eating Ramen or anything, I just had to be conscious of where my money was going. 

I am already pretty frugal, but I know I have a lot of room to improve in my budget. But you know me; I love a challenge. And that's how I am going to look at the next few months: as a challenge. 

I am going to challenge myself to do little home projects on nothing. Zilch. Nada. Zero. I want to use the ample materials I have on hand (or can obtain for free). I want to get dirty in the garden to reduce our grocery bills even further. I want to conserve our energy usage, which will reduce our economic footprint and utility bills.

I've already cancelled our satellite dish (which was a gift for John about two years ago) and have big plans for reducing our cell phone bill. We're not going to get wi-fi, instead using local free wi-fi resources. We're going to be creative. And it's going to be a challenge. 

That being said, I'm going to need help. Major help. 

Share with me some of your budgeting secrets and money-saving strategies in the Comments section below. 

Lay it on me, friends. 


  1. I made a rule that I wouldn't buy anything at the store that I could make a home like cookies, snack, and french fries (unless I could get them free after coupon). I also made a grocery budget of $160 per month and over time, I have been able to get way under that and still have good meals. We also only eat out once a month and don't get any new clothes (since we have plenty). I know it is tough because I decided to stay home with our little one and we had to go through the whole budget and figure out what we could and couldn't do based on my husband's paycheck. I wish you the best of luck!! I promise that once you get through the beginning stressful part that you will have lots of fun traveling and enjoying a calmer life :)

    1. I think that's our first step, Alison - being more specific about our budget. We are OK at budgeting right now, but with a little more effort I think this might be a lifesaver.

  2. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick


  3. Good luck. Don't forget to link up to Wildcrafting wednesday.


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