Monday, January 30, 2017

Save or Pay Off?

I am rethinking my hard core, extreme savings plan. I just ran the numbers about applying my $500 per check to our biggest loan. I actually ran it as applying an extra $1,000 per month on the loan. There would be a few extra checks in there as well. If we go with the extra $1,000 per month theory that loan would be paid off during the summer of 2018. Also, applying that money and seeing the balance drop may be motivating enough for us to find extra money to get rid of that bad boy. Hmmm.

Regardless of whether I save it or put it towards a bill, I am not spending it.  That much I know is true.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The First $500-Gone

Bright and early on pay day, well early enough that is wasn't really bright, I went online and paid my bills. The first bill I paid was to us. I transferred $500 into our savings account. I had shared my goal of saving $6,000 by June with my husband on Wednesday.  It is really hard to break down finances at 9 0'clock on a Wednesday. I thought it was a good first goal because it will give us a true emergency savings account and more than double our savings. We are going with this plan for the time being and will revisit it soon to see if it is the best first step.

Meanwhile I took out some books at the library that I am perusing to see what sort of ideas I can use to save money.  One idea I think I am finally figuring out is that frugal people don't really spend their lives looking for bargains, they simply don't shop very much. When they shop, it is extremely intentional. Well, I have been quite intentional with all my purchases in the past few days. I have my money broken up into envelopes for groceries, gas and miscellaneous expenses. Sort of a pain rifling through them at the register, but there will be less debits when I go to balance my checkbook.

What I didn't buy yesterday
  • I did not get a haircut. Wow I really need one, however, I just bought hair dye because I always do it myself. I am hoping I can make it a few more weeks without getting a haircut.
  • One child needed sneakers. I took her to Kohl's and was able to get sneakers on sale with additional discounts and $20 Kohl's Cash. I paid the $11.00 balance using a Kohl's gift card. Sweet.
What I bought
  • I had dinner out on Friday. We had a work commitment Friday night. This dining out was an opportunity to get to know my coworkers better. It is a new job, so it is important to work on your relationships. I only spent $16.
  • Two Patriots t-shirts. Ahhh. The kids have Spirit Week next week. I found Patriot's t-shirts at TJ Maxx for $15 each. I had already checked a consignment shop and what they had looked really bad. Kohl's was outrageous and another discount store had nothing. They are large shirts, so they should be able to wear them for many Patriot Days to come. I caved for my kids, but I did not buy one for myself. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

So I am really not that frugal......

I just had to say this to get it out there. Also, I am impulsive, not just with shopping, but with life. Last winter I had this frugal plan and it sort of fell by the wayside. Many of my ideas do. I am great at getting ideas, but I am not always good at following through on them.

However, I am old folks. Yes, by frugal standards I feel old. I have been reading these frugal blogs written by people 10-15 younger than I am. These are amazingly smart people that had no debt and understood the dangers of it.  Why has it taken me this long?

I have always been really bad not that great with money. It has always burned a hole in my little pocket. Gel manicures, a few new clothes, nice haircuts and eating out are things that I have spent money on for so long.

So here are a few things I am going to hold off on so that I can make my $6,000 goal by the end of June.

  • Clothing-I do need clothing for work, but I have plenty of clothes in good condition. I can hold off on this purchase
  • Salons-I get in and out of the gel manicure routine. Gosh, they look so good. I am out now, so out I will stay.
  • Hair-Yikes. My hair is short and is really in need of a pick me up. My hair dresser charges $40 and I tip her, so I am trying to hold off for a bit more time.  I have done the cheap hair place route, but when it comes to short hair that can be a gamble. One gamble that I lost last year.  I will get keep blow drying it with extra mouse.
  • Eating Out-Our January eating out has been gift card based. I am working on a budget like there is no tomorrow, and while it is daunting. The pay off has been worth it. 
  • Kids need sneakers. I have a gift card and Kohl's cash with a 30% off coupon. I plan to take them there for sneakers and hope they find new sneakers that they love!
Oh, and I quit the gym. I mean I quit throwing money out of the window each month. I am an idiot sometimes.

So tomorrow is day 1 of making a big deposit into our savings. Then I am going to say. "Hon, I just put $500 in savings." Hopefully he will respond with a "How did  you do that?" and be super impressed  with how I was able to make that happen.  My simple plan includes an Excel spreadsheet. I don't really get how to use it, but I can use the sum function. I get paid every two weeks. I tweaked all my bills until I got a minimum of $500 per paycheck into savings. An extra goes into a miscellaneous column for kid clothing, birthday gifts or a desperate haircut:). Basically all the stuff I did not budget for. I am trying the envelope system, but I am so bad at it. This past paycheck I over budgeted on gas and used it for food. Not what you are supposed to do. Oh well, I am learning.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Extreme Hard Core Saving Plan

Starting today I am launching my Extreme Hard Core Saving Plan.  I have been cutting back for the new year and thinking about how to best enjoy life.

Note: January is a crazy time for teachers. Standardized tests loom and overall I always feel down and defeated at this time of year, but I digress.

My new goal is to sock as much from each check as I can. I have organized my bills and tried to budget for extras. I have a set grocery budget that I plan to stick with. We have done very well with groceries for January. 

Pay day is two days away. I just checked my account, made sure I had enough for gas and transferred my last $50 into savings. When I get paid Thursday, I plan to stick almost $500 from my check into savings. I have been transferring $200 per month, plus another $100 into another account, plus $100 into one of our 529.  Lame!  I could be saving so much more.  I have found some places to cut back and hope to save as much as humanly possible from each check through June. That is 12 checks @ hopefully $500 per check. I am hoping to add $6,000 to our savings in the next five months.

Can I make my goal?  Every single time I try to purchase something I will think $6,000, $6,000, $6,000. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Big Saving Plan

So I have been reading and reading and thinking and thinking.

I have a plan. Although we still have debt, including the mortgage and home improvement loans, I am going to begin an aggressive saving plan starting now through June. My goal is to save a minimum of $500 per check, which is about $1000 per month. Right now I am saving about $300 per month, however, ahem, sometimes I may take it out and use it. Let's not discuss that right now.

I am in love with my new plan, and knowing that we will have a big chunk of money in savings by June will give me the incentive not to spend any extra money.