If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you know I am a saver. I have two accounts, a chequing and a savings. Every single month on payday (we only pay ourselves once per month) I put a big chunk of money into the savings account. I record what the fund is made of on a single piece of paper - no complicated effort to be made. Right now there is a travel portion for our trip to Italy Spring of 2018, Christmas, big bill fund which is for house and car insurance and house taxes, a house repair/furniture/appliance fund, and medical fund for big ticket items like glasses as we self-insure for medical and dental. If I have one-off items I want to save for I create a new column.
This time of year the Christmas Fund is a priority. My savings goal is $1000 cash (we give our adult kids cash) and $200 in points/GCs. Some of that money goes towards paying for travel expenses relating to our December visit to Alberta. The rest of that visit is paid for in airline and hotel points so I haven't included the actual travel costs. The C word is four months away and this is where that fund stands:
$144.49 - Points/Freebies/GCs: I try and save all my freebie gift certificates and points to use in October and November, both for groceries and gifts.
Shoppers Drug Mart Points: $40 worth
PC Plus Points: $40
Amazon GCs from swagbucks $53
Amazon GCs from ebates.ca $11.49
Total $944.49 saved to date
As you can see it is almost fully funded. I am very near another $25 GC with Swagbucks and just about have another $10 in PC points. The remaining cash will be tucked away on the 15th of this month so that by September everything is fully funded for the year.
Every single month I choose a different fund to put the main part of the savings in but make sure to put a little into each fund each and every month, even if it is only $5. You can't get what you want if you don't consciously make an effort to make it happen.
We use our credit cards for the bulk of all purchases, and save at least $1000 to $2000 per year that way on airline tickets for our kids to see us and for us to fly places. Once the credit card is charged the funds are immediately used to pay it off. I pay my credit card 4-5 times per month online therefore it never ever gets too big and I don't pay a single cent per year in interest. Yes, we have to pay annual fees but only pay one in my name and one in hubby's name which more than pay for themselves.
We have been mortgage free for several years and no longer pay child support now that the kids are adults. We own a nice home and two vehicles, both purchased used and with cash. I've never bought or leased a brand new vehicle, we have only driven what we can afford to pay cash for. We live below our means every single day which means there is always some money to put into the different funds. Even when we had a mortgage and big bills we saved the same way, it just took longer to achieve the goals.
I used to have a friend who was single and she desperately wanted to buy her own home. She would save up some money but then rack her credit card up eating out and buying new clothes that never seemed to make her happy and would have to rob her home down payment fund to cover her debt. She always traded in and up on cars and eventually ended upside down on her car loan. She never got anywhere with her financial goals and still doesn't own her own home, instead pays extremely high rent in a town that actually has affordable real estate.
Are you a saver? Do you have any tricks to get what you want?