Budget Life List

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There are more ways to save than a crowd of cats at a catnip convention. I fangirl ways to save because it’s the most practical and possible.

Could I ask for a raise?

Sure, but I’m pretty sure Congress is going to say no.

Could I look for a different job?

Sure, but I doubt I could find one with so much job satisfaction. I’m biased about where I work because there is more than one volunteer who used to be a paid staff member but then they retired and are now volunteering right where they were working.

What does that leave me with? All the finesse that a grumpy cat can muster, save!

Secondhand is in Demand

One of my fav way to save is secondhand.

Secondhand is cheaper than first-hand. Like cars and clothes, most of the depreciation happens when it leaves the lot.

I avoid assets draining their depredation all over my finances; they can leave that stain somewhere else.

Though my town is medium sized there are 5 places to shop secondhand and there may be more. Yard sales, eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook all have places to sell cheaper wares too, but I want minimal effort.

If I go to Goodwill with my 10% off coupon, I will save a bundle versus combing through other people’s stuff and doing mental math to calculate if it’s a good deal.

Recently, I bought 5 (3 UnderArmour, 1 Adidas, and 1 Victoria Secret) sports bras and paid $37 from a local resale shop. On Amazon, buying brand new, I would have been lucky to get 2 for $40.

No shame in the baller on a budget game!

Classy Coupons

Another fav way to save is with coupons.

When things can’t be bought secondhand like food or fun, the next option is deploying a coupon.

My weekly shopping trip is spent at Alberton’s. I go on Sundays because when I show my veteran ID, I get 10% off. I stack that with their loyalty program, which includes personalized and storewide coupons. Either way, I digitally clip my way to actual savings.

As of this year, I’ve saved $217.73 and for the past 4 years, I’ve saved $832.53. I can buy a whole pallet of Nutella with that savings!

Do Nothing

Being human, I’m locked into a specific list of needs. Food and shelter are priority number one. Everything else is optional. Simple thoughts I remind myself of when I’m staring at yet another pair of black stretchy yoga pants with pockets.

Pants should have pockets, especially stretchy ones.

Sometimes the best way to save is to do nothing. Fav ways to save include not:

  • Going to a clothing store
  • Visiting social media (boo effective advertisements)
  • Driving by my fav coffee shop
  • Visiting the cookies, chips, and everything chocolate aisle
  • Paying for gas inside the land of convenience temptation

Just like plastic pieces that cover electrical outlets to prevent unnecessary curiosity, so too do I try to create artificial spending barriers. The best barrier is a free barrier that’s self-imposed like a strict babysitter.

Gaming Gains

I like games. Not fancy games with controllers, screens, and a fan club on Twitch. Instead, I play games that involve saving.

Residing on my budget excel document is a spreadsheet that has been refined after years of practice like prosecco, prosciutto, and Oscar Isaac. This year the tab is called the 12k Challenge which reflects my gilded goal to save 12k in a year.

I use the length and width of the page, 621 boxes. When I have an addition to the goal, it gets a color-coded box. To date, the smallest entry was $2 and the biggest was $410.

This is how I push up my glasses and nerd out over saving.

I’ve tried other variations from using one color or keeping each amount at a standard amount. These options were okay, but I prefer changing colors when I crest goals and adding all amounts, especially small amounts.

I added up all the tiny, single-digit amounts ($2-9) and their combined leverage was $106!

Saving small amounts is how I master the savings game. If I can’t master the small saves, how will I level up for the big ones?

Joshua Becker, over at Becoming Minimalist, has seen the penny stash and knows it’s frugal ways, “And when our pennies have no focus or greater end, they become too easy to spend.”

Fav Ways to Save

There are more ways to save than stars in the sky, sea stars in the ocean, and stars who bemoan the paparazzi.

Like any good book nerd, I read about how others save and see if I can replicate their success. If I fail, like the true Ravenclaw I am, I watch YouTube and try again.

Failure is a lesson and a story for the blog. Winners get added to the ever-growing list of fav ways to save.

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