Found this great post by Matt SF on Steadfast Finances on how to visualize how much of a slave to your stuff you are. So what do you do?
-Take your bi-weekly POST tax pay (take a look at your last pay stub) and multiply by 26. (Or if monthly pay, by 52, etc). Then divide that by 260 working days a year. This is your daily pay.
-Calculate how many days each liability is: mortgage, car payment, student loans, money spent on food, money spent on gas, utilities, insurance, credit card bills, etc.
-Make a pretty calendar.
So Matt and I seem to have the same problem with an over sized mortgage. But even though I'm not as heavily indebted or spend as much on digital entertainment (included under my utilities) as Matt, I ended up with only one "free" day. And of course, Matt has no category for savings, so I'm assuming whatever you save comes out of that "free" day. What an interesting activity! Obviously I spent too much on a house (and yes this is my DINK household income/expenses), and probably spend too much on food, but what to do? Well Matt offers some suggestions for what HE did to cut back. I'd like to tell the University system they are really cutting into my fun money but they'd probably ignore me and just hire another Vice Chancellor of Pedantry or Chairman of Misplaced Apostrophes for a three figure salary each. So how about you, does your stuff own you?