$12, 338.33 to be exact
Saving money isn’t easy. An unexpected expense comes up and depletes your savings. Or you don’t have the savings account to begin with and end up with credit card debt.
It happens to us all. Saving isn’t fun. But, it needs to happen. Having a savings account is security, especially in times like these.
My motivation to save money was due to the insecurity of the pandemic and to purchase a cabin for our family getaways. We love hiking. We love the outdoors. And most of all we love to go away for the weekend.
But you can’t do that without money.
I had no savings when I become consumed with purchasing a cabin. I am also living in a one income household due to the pandemic.
I started with $0 and now have $12,338.33. I’m far from what I need but closer than I was 6 months ago. Here’s how I did it.
I limited ordering in and going out to eat.
This wasn’t as hard as I thought. With quarantine, we were forced to stay home. I was forced to cook. And honestly, it wasn’t that bad. There were nights we had breakfast for dinner. And days where a sandwich was lunch. I broke out my instant pot and made some quick meals. My husband cooks as well so we divided the load so it was easier to manage.
I kept an eye on mortgage rates and refinanced at the right time.
This took slightly more work. When the rate was low enough to justify a refi, I did it. It was added work for a couple of weeks but with the money I got back from escrow and the monthly amount saved with the new rate, it was worth it. I added $1391.00 to my savings with my escrow, and roughly $350 a month with my new mortgage payment.
Oh, and when you refi, you skip a mortgage payment. So I saved that amount too.
At the beginning of the month, I wrote down what I was allowed to spend.
I can’t lie — there’s slightly more discipline involved with this one. I have a calendar I use to jot down the kids schedules, events and work related due dates. In the beginning of the month, I made a list of the things I was allowed to spend money on that month.
This month, I wanted a barbell sponge for hip thrusts and a glute band. I wrote that on the top of the book and purchased it yesterday.
I switched jobs.
The key here is that I left a job after I received a bonus which of course contributed to my increased savings. I also took a job for slightly more money, $3K to be exact. It doesn’t break the bank but it’s helpful. I’ve also worked virtually so have saved on commuting expenses. While the rationale to switch jobs wasn’t focused on savings, I used the current situation to my advantage to begin saving.
There’s always a way to cut back on expenses, you just need to be disciplined.
Discipline is fun and all but I don’t want to sacrifice my lifestyle.
I get it. I felt the same. Here’s what I didn’t skimp on.
I didn’t skimp on groceries.
We shop at Whole Foods. Yes it’s expensive but we prefer high quality meats and vegetables. I didn’t cut back on our grocery budget and purchased some quick things to cook when I didn’t feel like cooking.
I didn’t stop living.
We enjoy hiking and continued to do so. It’s free so that helps. We also rescued a new dog. There’s been expenses with doing so but it was an expense I was willing to spend.
I didn’t stop drinking wine.
This is a big one for me. I love wine. Instead of running to the liquor store and spending way too much on a single bottle, I ordered from wsjwine.com through Groupon. I now get a shipment every 3 months with wine I’ve never tried. It’s usually around $9-$11 a bottle, which is much cheaper than the liquor store!
If I’ve managed to save money, you can too. Just keep it simple and remember not to stop living life. The more you sacrifice, the harder it will be to continue. Instead make some conscious spending decisions and commit to saving. That’s all it takes.