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Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 Savings Plan

As I mentioned a couple days ago, one of my goals is to save more money. I thought I’d share a couple ways we are going to do this. First, we already have savings accounts set up with automatic deposits every other week. Those are for the kids’ college fund. We will keep those going. Last year, we kind of started this silly thing of saving every $5 bill we have. It doesn’t seem like much but over a matter of a few months, we managed to save almost $400 and we usually don’t have a lot of cash on hand. So we will still do that as well. To help give us incentive to save those $5 bills, we started an allowance for all of us. Don’t laugh – hear me out! My son gets an allowance for his chores each day. Depending on his behavior/attitude, he gets $0.20 per chore and has the opportunity for at least 6 chores a day. If he does them, he gets money. If he doesn’t, no monies for him! My husband and I are a little different. Obviously, we do the brunt of the housework, cooking, etc so it’s not really an allowance. I noticed that we spend less overall if we use cash instead of cards. So each Monday, I go get some cash and split it up between us (about $40 a week or so). If we have something we want or can’t live without, we use our allowance. Whatever is left goes in the “stash” for another day. I like this idea but I’m thinking of modifying it a bit. By far our biggest expense is food right now. We are making a lot of new adjustments and trying to figure out what will work with our diets. I will tell you that eating healthy is more expensive and eating organic or whole foods are even worse. That is why we have weekly meal plans. In order to have fresh produce on hand (real foods), we typically buy groceries once a week. I don’t have a problem with this, but I always end up going grocery shopping hungry and buying junk. So my goal is to only go big time pantry, freezer shopping once a month and if we need to go produce shopping weekly, that’s fine. If this works, our allowance amounts, etc. may change. You need a little entertainment or splurge every once in a while but we are going to try and minimize that. In addition to those ideas, we are also going to do a weekly savings that will be used to restock our savings from last year’s bills and maybe a nice little family treat (weekend getaway or something). Here’s the breakdown of all our savings plans:
  1. Bi-monthly savings deposits for each savings account  = $75 x 26 weeks = $1,950.00 a year
  2. Miscellaneous $5 bill savings (estimated) $5 per week x 52 weeks = $260.00 a year
  3. Increasing weekly savings (See chart below = total of $2,756.00 a year


WOW! If you did that for 10 years (without increase), you’ve just saved almost $50,000!

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