Cindy's 52 week challenge is still going strong. I get excited each Friday morning when I draw for the week I will be adding to my envelope. I have NO idea what we will do with the money at the end of the year. For now I am just enjoying watching the cash build up. Total so far $562.00!! All 3 of our DD's are working on this challenge. They are picking what week to add to their envelopes by what they have left in their wallets at the end of the week.
We decided to start over on an EF this year. Our goal is to build up $5,000.00 during the year. If we don't use the money it will move over to our long term savings come January 1st. So far that account is sitting at $1,611.12. I didn't get the go ahead from Mr. Murphy on this, hope he will agree and play nice!!
The next savings account we are working on is our Christmas/vacation fund. We have our first vacation coming up mid June for a week at the beach with the entire crew!! We are sitting pretty with $3,082.85 thus far. My goal is to cover all expenses for vacations and Christmas this year with (Maybe) something leftover to begin saving for a family Disney trip in 2014. I think we can, I think we can!!
I am pumped with our savings so far this year!! We were hit hard in February with all the Dr. and hospital bills that are sooo close to being paid in full. NICE!
While Kara splished splashed at the water table today I sat on the deck in the tiny bit cooler weather reviewing how we have done, how we got where we are, and what to do going forward to meet our saving goals.
January - We had a mostly no spend month. After all the spending from Halloween until Christmas I was SICK to death of shopping and merry making. Staying home, enjoying all that we have worked so hard for over the years, family time, and basically just being, is all we are in the mood for. As a result we had some good savings
February - I did a food stamp challenge, with a total budget for food of $254.00 for the month. Hubby was home for most of the month recovering from his surgery but unable to get out much, spending on entertainment was pretty darn low. I think doing the food stamp challenge put me in the mindset of having to "Make Do" in all area's of our life.
March - Hubby was back on a project so I was on my on. Grocery shopping was crazy low as I had soooo many "TO GO" meals put back there was need for anything other than milk, eggs and fruit each week. The Dr. bills started coming in fast and furious!!! We didn't want to use what we have saved in our HSA so it was a bare bones budget to pay everything off except the hospital bill. I did have a little shopping spree for myself purchasing Vera Bradley bags, no regrets!
April - This month might get tricky. We need to get the garden in (Spending). I want to get the flower planters filled (Spending). There are aways lots of "To Do's" around the house and yard once the warm weather hits (Spending) Hubby might be able to take a week off to spend at home (Lots of spending)HA
SOOOO, I need a good spending plan or the cash will be flying out the door but the paychecks don't seem to fly in nearly as fast. Here is where I hope to cut back so we can keep up the savings.
Utilities - Keep the air conditioner off for as long as possible UGH!!!! Might not seem like a big deal to many people but I am menopausal folks, this is a REAL big deal!!!
Groceries - Keep with the under $20.00 each week spending at the store. We have LOTS of food in the pantry and freezer this is a good time to make sure my rotation system is working!
Gas - Back when I had the grands full time I was using a tank of gas a week picking up and delivering them home. I can now get away with a tank about every 3 weeks. I hope to cut that back to going a whole month without a fill up
Don't be a sucker - For all to way too cute clothes in the stores for the grands!!!
Stay out of ALL stores - This one isn't hard for me as I hate to shop (except for fabric and the grands)
Sewing - "Make Do" with what I have on hand. I have enough fabric, projects, patterns, idea's, UFO's, and almost complete items on hand that could keep 10 ladies busy everyday of the week for well over a month!
Commission Sewing - While I really hate to do commission work (is it good enough, do they really like it, are the colors right) I have decided I will do a few quilts for some friends/acquaintances who have approached me several times wanting to buy a quilt. Doing anything for pay always puts me on edge I would much rather give things away :)
So that's my plan for April.
Does anyone else have the problem I seem to run into in that we do great saving for awhile then begin to get sloppy? I do have our retirement, HSA, and long term savings set up on auto pay or payroll deductions but the rest of the savings is what I squeeze out here and there each month. Sometimes I just don't squeeze as hard as I should. I'm not claiming to be poor because we are not, but we do feel STRONGLY that we should be good stewards of what God has blessed us with.
Way back when, we were pretty darn poor. We had no choice in saving for things, just about everything had to be saved up for. A kiddo getting sick would throw havoc on our budget if I didn't save every penny (and I do mean pennies!) Vacations were out of the question other than visits to see family (when they were still alive) Having more extra money at this time in our life makes is too easy to get sloppy!!
What tricks do you do to keep on track with your savings? I am feeling a little blog candy coming on, ya'll speak up now! Ha