As we work to become debt-free, one of my goals is to widen the gap between us and debt. We can do that by breaking the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.
In the past, I have thrown all extra money towards debt rather than creating a buffer for emergencies. In doing so, when an emergency or unexpected expense comes along we fall into the trap of using credit. That must change, obviously.
It is my goal to save something every week - even if it's only $5 - to get into the habit of saving. Slowly, but surely the amount will increase if we leave it alone.
I was thinking of ways we could build our savings.
~ I could round up the amounts spent when I figure the checkbook so a cushion builds up there. My mother-in-law did that and always told her husband there was no money to spend. At the time of her death, she had a few thousand dollars in the bank.
~ Continue saving change in a large jar. It has never reached the full mark, so I'm anxious to see how much that baby holds!
~ Do the 52 week challenge. First week, save $1. Second week, save $2. The most you are putting aside is $52 in a week but at the end of that time I could have over $1,300!
~ Whatever money is saved using coupons, deposit the same amount into savings.
~ Save any rebates received. I just earned $5 from Lowe's when I bought paint in January.
~ Continue using SavingStar and allow that money to build up and transfer into savings periodically.
~ Take advantage of Christmas Club account. My banks won't allow you to touch that money until November, then I can transfer it to our savings.
~ But what about Christmas? Step up my use of Swagbucks to earn points to redeem for gifts cards for online retailers like Amazon or even PayPal and use those for my Christmas spending instead. If you would like to try Swagbucks, sign up under me at this referral link and you'll get 150 points right off the bat.
~ Save leftover money. Any money left in our checking can be transferred into savings each pay period.
~ Figure low for Alfred's paychecks and save the excess.
~ Sell stuff with the money being split between savings, debt, and immediate needs.
My goal is to have at least $1,000 saved for emergencies by the end of the year.
Rather than looking at the overall goal and getting overwhelmed, I am setting mini goals and celebrate reaching each milestone.
Goal 1: Save $100
Goal 2 : Save one day (8 hours minimum) of Alfred's gross wages
Goal 3: Save 20 hours of Alfred's gross wages
Goal 4: Save 30 hours of Alfred's gross wages
Goal 5: Save 40 hours of Alfred's gross wages
I'm beginning to think in possibilities. Any amount saved, no matter how small, is progress and is still better than nothing at all.