Budget Life List

SAVE MORE TO EXPLORE

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Save $5,000 in a year for my Expedition Everywhere fund, that was where my financial challenge started. Also many months ago, a pandemic seemed possible but somewhat unlikely. A lot has changed in a short amount of time but accomplishing my life list has stayed constant. If anything, this pandemic has taught me that I need to increase my resolve to accomplish my dreams before another wave of climate-induced disaster, infectious pandemic, or other human malady comes in and tries to smash my plans. I say, no. Resolution is my solution to our current convolution. Boom!  

Busted Up Budget

You know what else has stayed constant? Budgets are still the best! I bet you didn’t see that coming! Because I use a budget, I know exactly how much is coming in and out every month. I use this insight to aggressively direct my money where I want it to go: No, money, you can’t have another purse, or more workout gear, and absolutely no ice cream! You. Are. Grounded!

There have been expenses that I have cut this month like personal and restaurant spending. Now before you judge me with your pitchforks for not supporting small businesses, I donated that money.

Helplessness feels like a wave trying to overwhelm me with sadness especially when I hear my loved ones furloughed or laid off. I baton the hatches, ride the wave of uncertainty, and use my untethered funding towards gift cards to buoy my swamped loved ones.

The Gift of Cards

Discounted gift cards. Yes, it is a thing and it’s not a scam. At least, not on CardCash where I get a bulk of my discounted gift cards. Don’t expect the discounts to be huge, 5-10% is common. Therefore, the savings is typically small unless you buy in bulk. This small amount of savings may seem insignificant but it’s more about the mindset.

If I aggressively save small amounts of money for my savings challenge, my mind is already primed to save when I receive bigger amounts of money. Speaking of money, BuLL Crew gets five dollars for using my referral code at CardCash. You win, I win, and we all deserved an *air* hug.

Bing Challenge = Bling Rewards

I cashed in my Microsoft Rewards of $5. I am sure your thinking, baller! Microsoft has a great useful reward program. If you sign up for this program, you can get rewarded for searching on their preferred internet browser Bing. Bing is okay. I enjoy the scenic daily pictures and it has many functions similar to Chrome. But, sadly, Chrome it is not! It doesn’t have as many viable search options and the user-friendly features are lacking. However, it does pay me to use their platform. Is an occasional inconvenience worth five dollars every other month? I say, yes!  

Sinking Funds to Avoid Sinking My Budget

I love sinking funds. Well, I prefer to have sinking funds. What is a sinking fund? Great question my curious friend! My “special” definition is saving small amounts of money consistently with the intent of using it on burdensome bills. I put this money in a separate savings account called, Adulting Adventures.

There is a start up cost if your thinking about pursuing this. I had to invest time into calculating how much money I will need throughout a year for all my large bills like car insurance, ring insurance, copay for medical insurance, Christmas gifts, etc. I prefer to pay myself in smaller, less noticeable, chunks instead of half my paycheck going to a bill. Adulting Adventures removes the sting from adulting. Typically paying for big bills as a lump sum is cheaper than paying for the monthly payments. Insurance doesn’t need any more of my money they have enough those greedy jerks!  

The Art of Homebodying

I used to be an awful homebody. I was desperate to be seen and do things but I changed because I became broke and less young. Luckily, I changed on my terms versus Coronavirus sticking its ugly head into my personal life. Even before this pandemic, I spent most of my time at home enjoying free hobbies.

At the top of my thrilling homebody endeavors is reading. I love to read. Right now, I am reading three books and frequently read at three blog posts a day. Not to mention the other reading rambles that I pursue on the interweb. This variety increases my knowledge and sparks creativity. At least, that is what I am telling myself.

Other homebound shenanigans include drawing. Drawing for Dummies has been a wonderful resource and seriously enhanced my “skills”. My initial comfort zone was stick figures, now I am confidently drawing animals and landscapes. Juggling, practicing yoga and meditation, talking to family and friends, taking walks, and baking have increased in frequency. I do recommend some caution with baking. I may have lost muscle mass but I have gained a few pounds with all the extra cookies and pies.

Slow Lane is Equaling Big Gains

My side hustle of babysitting is currently extinct which is unfortunate on various levels but I am still incredibly grateful to be employed. This is the primary reason I can say that my Expedition Everywhere account currently sits at $1,761. My goal was $1,600.

Will my future months get leaner? Possibly. However, at this moment, I am going to breathe in the gratitude and breathe out more gratitude.

How have your monthly goals been fairing?

Keep exploring!

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4 thoughts on “Savings Challenge VS Coronavirus: Whose Idea Was This?

  1. Glad to know that you’re doing fine. Well, my only source of income (online selling) is doing fine until all courier services were put on hold which made shipping items to customers impossible. This pandemic situation made me realize that I should diversify my sources of income. Our lockdown here is extended again until May 15 and I don’t know if it will be extended again. But after the extension, I’ll definitely working hard to diversify my income.

    I’m new to this FI thing and I’m excited to learn more about this. Keep blogging! I’m sure that your post are helping a lot of people like me.

    1. Dear Thrifty Hustler, that is a delightful compliment! I am glad you enjoyed it! Honestly, this savings challenge is one of my less popular posts but its the only one that keeps me on track with my finances.

      I am glad you found the FI world! I would consider myself “new” too. I have been frugal for years but I didn’t realize there is a big interweb community until I started blogging.

      Cheers to a happy financial future for the both of us!

  2. Love your positive vibes. I started reading fiction again since the lockdown. Over the past year I have only been reading stuff about personal finance but I felt the need to check out for a bit and found a good fiction book to a lovely distraction. I didn’t realize how much I missed it. Keep kickin’ butt!

    1. Useful Root, you are so sweet! Thank you for calling out my positive vibes with a positive comment!

      I get burnt out from the personal finance world too. I love being on this financial independence path but sometimes I need to live outside of the numbers to remember why I am doing all this.

      You keep up the great work over at the U$eful Root and we’ll get to that retirement early and we’ll live like FIRE champs!

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