I am trying to be more serious and responsible with my money this year. Thus, as per my list of 32 this year, I have quite a few finance related items. If I stick to doing them, I think I will be in decent financial shape. A few of these are to create an emergency fund, decrease debt and keep it off, as well as have more money come off my paycheque so I do not owe taxes next year. As part of my July list of things to look forward to, I also included that I would be cheap this month.
Well, I have been making progress! First of all, I have set up my emergency fund and contributed to it. I will be sure to contribute at least once a month-no matter how small the contribution-and will not utilize these funds for anything else. Eventually, I will have a decent amount. Next, I know my car will require new tires this winter so I am planning ahead and already started setting aside funds so it will not seem like such a large expense later this year (and this will help me keep on track with my goals when that month comes along).
I also plan to decrease my debt dramatically this year. In order to do so, I have decided not to use my credit card at all and live off cash so I can keep better track of things and only spend what I have. So far so good. Also, when I have cash (which I never used to carry) I skim off a 5, 10, or 20$ bill here and there and set it aside. At the end of the month, I am going to take all those bills and apply them to my regular credit card payment to make a bigger dent than expected. I notice if I do not skim off the bills, I end up spending them. I guess the saying out of sight, out of mind is true!
Finally, I am finding that living cheap is not all that hard so far. As I mentioned in my July things to look forward to post, July is the height of summer and I still want to enjoy it so I am finding ways to enjoy on the cheap while not missing out. One way we have done so is by finding a mobile phone app that gives one all kinds of deals at local businesses-including restaurants. Yesterday we went out to our favourite pasta place to discover they had a “deal” on this app and we managed to save $15 as long as our bill was $30 or more. It was like getting the food we would be more than happy to pay full price for at half off. We will be sure to keep this app on hand when we go out to eat or need any services. Such an easy way to save money without sacrificing your lifestyle. When I upgrade to my smartphone, I am sure I will be able to take advantage of other special offers I currently do not know about.
We also did a few free things this past weekend such as visiting some local farms and vineyards and sampling what they have to offer. Of course, we enjoyed ice cream at one and picked up a bottle of wine at another but the costs would have been much higher at any regular stores. It was also just a nice outing for a summer weekend!
The only other thing I hope to take care of in the next while is asking for increased funds to be reduced from my paycheque each month but that will have to wait until our payroll person returns from her vacation. I feel if I stick to these things and maintain the pools of funds I have set up for different purposes, I should be in much better financial shape by the end of summer. Am looking forward to it!