Last weekend, Ben and I had our 2nd meeting with our financial adviser. The first meeting was a 'get to know you' meeting. The meeting last weekend was to give us an overview of our current financial situation and a plan for reaching our short-term goals. The next meeting will be a follow up (we have homework to do!) and will also touch on more long-term goals.
I was nervous going in, but it actually went really well. She had everything organized nicely and was prepared with a lot of lists/graphs/etc. It was nice to be able to see how changes we make now will end up affecting us 5/10/15 years down the road. She gave us a 'to-do' list of things to look into and take care of this month. I am so glad we decided to work with her. I felt reassured after the meeting and I'm excited because I know that if we follow her plan and suggestions, we will be able to reach a lot of our goals much more quickly than we anticipated.
One of the things we have to work on immediately is lowering our grocery bill. Ben and I had a feeling she was going to address this and we had already done some research on the matter. Ben found a really cool website that shows you how your grocery and dining out bills compare to others in your area in various income brackets, etc. (here is the website: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/01/calculator-food-spending-budget-frugal). It was pretty shocking when we actually sat down and calculated our food costs. It was even more shocking to see how much more we were spending compared to the average person in our age/income group and geographical location. We eat a mostly paleo diet and food quality is very important to us. I think that we had just decided that quality was such a priority, that we stopped letting cost be a factor. Now, that way of thinking has caught up with us a bit it seems.
Moving forward, we are making a few changes to lower the cost of our grocery bill. We are actually sitting down and planning weekly menus, instead of just running by the grocery store every couple of days to grab whatever we feel like or going out to eat. This will also help us plan ahead so that we have leftovers for lunches during the week. We have decided to shop at 2 different grocery stores. We will go to the higher end grocery store for meats and a few other items, but we will get other things like canned goods elsewhere. I think just being mindful will help a lot (noticing when something we use a lot is on sale and stocking up, etc.). We use a ton of coconut milk (at least 1 can a day in our morning smoothie). It is quite pricey at the grocery store, around $3 - 4 per can. I found that if I purchase from amazon, I can get a case (12 cans) and only pay $1.90 per can (free shipping). I am determined to make this work without compromising too much on quality. Please share any tips or advice you have!
Tank: J. Crew
Sweater: Anthropologie Dog Rose Pullover
Pants: AG Stevie cords in nutmet
Shoes: Chie Mihara Teco