Thursday, March 14, 2013

Update on Small Savings Projects

I started the year with several small savings projects and have been diligently trying to make them happen.  Some have been more successful than others.

First, I'm doing a 52 week savings plan with DD#1.  She is 7 and very interested in money.  We decided to save toward our Disneyland trip that is planned for January 2015.  The homeschool mom in me loves that I can do this project with DD#1 for calendar year 2013 and with DD#2 for calendar year 2014.  The financial planner in me loves that we'll have $2,756 saved in two years and DH and I won't have to try and figure out how to pay for vacation.  So far the savings plan has worked well, but I had hoped to have more of the 'expensive' weeks checked off by mid-March.  In the first 10 weeks we've saved a total of $100.  DD#1 was beside herself counting up that much money.  It'll be kind of fun to see her counting up $1,000 and the thought is an excellent motivator.

Second, DH has been super-frustrated with me when I overspend at Christmastime the last two years.  He is a huge Dave Ramsey fan and likes to remind me that Christmas is not an emergency.  It doesn't sneak up on us.  Yeah, Yeah, Yeah - He's preaching to the choir.  I like Dave Ramsey, too.  Last year DH asked me to plan out what I thought Christmas would cost overall so I figured out gifts, travel, Christmas cards & postage, tickets to holiday events, and even baking.  It was about $1,400 and that was being frugal.  He suggested saving $100/month all year, but there was zero wiggle room in the budget.  This year we were able to squeeze a Christmas line item in the spreadsheet and have been able to save $100 each of the first three months.  I'm hoping it continues!

Finally, I'm trying to set aside $10 each week for the occasional bulk purchase of groceries.  I particularly want to plan for big purchases of summer produce.  I've only been able to set aside that $10 about half the time, but it's a start and I'll keep trying.  I'm finding that when I don't have much cash left at the end of the week, I'd prefer to save in the Disneyland fund and skip the Summer Produce envelope.

I feel pretty good overall, but am wondering how things will progress now that the pantry challenge is over and I'll be spending more on groceries.


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