Want to save $2,600 this year just by changing the way you shop for groceries and selling you (or your kid’s) unwanted or outgrown clothes on eBay or at a garage sale?? Want to use that extra money to accomplish the things you REALLY want in life? Then read on!!
My Approach to Saving Money and Reaching Our Goals
I enjoy the 50/50 approach: Pick a reasonable amount of money you’d like to save or invest each week, and get half of that number by SPENDING LESS on your expenses, and get the other half by MAKING MORE MONEY. This is much easier than it sounds. For example, I set a reasonable starting goal to save $50 per week, so I only need to cut our expenses by $25, and generate a mere $25 more income each week. You could go much higher with these numbers, but I wanted to start small so I didn’t get discouraged!
It’s important to have clearly defined goals and dreams for the future when you start a savings plan of this kind because it’s a great motivator to stay on track. Our big goals are to save a BIG down payment on a house (if not buy a fixer-upper outright!), save enough to have our wedding in about a year, and take an extended round-the-world trip! The wedding would be a One Year Goal, the trip would be a Five Year Goal, and the house would be a Ten Year Goal. What do you love? What would make you ecstatically happy to do? Buy a boat? A motorcycle? Pay off your mortgage early? Retire early? Take a 2 week cruise through The Caribbean? Send the kids to a great college? Move to Hawaii? Whatever it is, you can accomplish it this way as long as you’re consistent.
How I SPEND LESS Each Week
Right now (as is evident in my blog posts!) I’m focusing on saving that extra $25 from our grocery/food bills. I literally pay for our groceries each week with our spare change. I do this with a few different methods, “Not SO Extreme” couponing, cooking more from scratch, packing Mike a lunch for work, utilizing my Crock Pot to save on energy costs while cooking (not to mention TIME) and be able to buy less expensive cuts of meat that come out tasting like a million bucks, meal-planning, etc. You’ll find all this covered in my blog posts: frugal kitchen tips, coupon matchups for your favorite stores that will save you a bundle, stockpiling advice, and more. Later, I’ll be focusing on other ways to save each week as well.
How I MAKE MORE Money Each Week
This is easier than it sounds! This can be as simple as picking up a few extra hours at work, selling your gently used clothes on eBay, selling used books on Amazon, or hitting the flea market once a month. If you’re crafty, Etsy is a great place to sell your craft and art. I do freelance writing for a company that writes web content for different clients. To reach my $25 goal, I only need to write one 500 word article per week! It really takes no time at all to generate a bit of extra income.
How Much I Expect to Have Set Aside After 1 Year, 5 Years, and 10 Years
Saving $50 per week:
- 1 year $2,600
- 5 years $13,000
- 10 years $26,000
Obviously, if I invest this wisely in a high-interest savings account, bond/stocks, or a Money Market account, these numbers should improve drastically. But this simple example is not too shabby for just cutting a few coupons, cooking at home most of the time, and writing one 500 word article per week! As time goes on, I plan on expanding my plan to $100 per week, which would double the above amounts.
Check out this simple Savings Interest Calculator to see how much your money will be earning YOU in 5 or 10 years based on your annual interest rates for your savings/money market account.
Now just imagine how much more you could save if you shaved $50 off your cable bill, $30 off your monthly car insurance, $10 off your electric bill, and so on.
Did you know you can make your own household cleaners that are safe for animals and children and take seconds to put together (and cost only pennies?)
Did you know you could save $70 a month, just by cutting out four cocktails each week at a bar and drinking them at home instead?
Did you know there are websites out there dedicated to saving you up to 60% off your meals out?
I’ll be covering all this and more at Frugal for Two!
The possibilities are endless, and I’m sooo excited to start getting what I’ve always REALLY wanted!