Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Money Saving Challenge 2014
Well, I am gearing up for the 2014 Money Saving Challenge. Any of you who have joined in prior years know how it worked back then. However, this year I am changing it up a bit. It will be more detailed and organized. You have to set your goals out before January 1st. You don't have to share what your goals are but you should get them set for yourselves in your own budgets. If you want to share in comments what they are you can. It's totally up to you. No one should feel that they can't join because they don't want anyone to know they are paying off credit card debt or any other kind of debt. Keep that private and just join for the ways to save that you can share. That way we all benefit.
Whether you are paying off debt, saving a down payment for a home, a second home or income property, saving to pay cash for a car, saving to pay tuition bills, saving for retirement, saving for a vacation or any other goal, you are all welcome to join.
First, I want people to realize that saving money is very simple. It can be done one of two ways. The first is making more income. I believe everyone knows how to do that by taking on more hours at work, getting another job that pays more, or by getting a part time job in addition to the job you have. I know jobs for many are hard to come by in this economy but it can be done. For those of you trying to get an additional part time job, many places are hiring. I am seeing signs in my area. If you can't get a new job or an additional job, how about writing and selling an E-book in your field of expertise. That could bring in some significant money. You could also monetize your blog which will bring in a little bit of money. You can also do it by taking surveys, using rewards cards, etc. You all, by now, know the ropes on how to do those things.
The second way is to cut back on your spending. This is the way I have to do it. We only have so much income from retirement plans, investments, savings, etc. each month. Our Social Security that we get is earmarked for our children to inherit so we won't touch that for the Challenge. We also have some real estate that will be producing income but all of that income is also earmarked for our children and grandchildren. So I will not be using any money from that. So the way I save is not to spend and to do that I have to severely cut back the amount that we can spend every month. There are necessities that have to be paid for and some luxuries. But we don't go overboard on the luxuries. Once in a while, we do go out to dinner or pay for some other form of entertainment. But we don't go out to dinner 2-3 times a week. For us that is just wasting money. By eating at home, I can make gourmet meals for a whole lot less than paying to eat them out. Plus I know that my hands and utensils are clean. My son worked in a few restaurants during college. He has told me the stories of what happens in restaurant kitchens and it isn't pretty.
I know there are some of you that think every penny you now have is accounted for and you can't save. But I don't believe that. There are always ways to save. Even if it is only $ 5.00 from your grocery budget money. Make your own food from scratch. Anyone can make their own bread, spaghetti sauce, salad dressings, etc. Use less meat per meal. Make a casserole, stir fry, etc. instead of always cooking a roast, or chops or chicken breasts. Grow your own vegetables within your growing season. I could go on and on.
I know a lot of you love the postings that I do on what we saved each week. They will continue in 2014. But I will also begin the challenge showing the $ 12,855. that I want to save in 2014. Yes, my figure in the prior post was off by $5.00. I guess the $12,850. was so shocking that I didn't hear the additional $ 5.00. Each month I will show what I have put into savings to replace it. I will write detailed posts on how we are saving money. I will cut back on what we spend and I will show you how every day that I post.
Each month I will also issue a different challenge. But that doesn't mean that just because one month we are working on our grocery budget, that you shouldn't cut back on your utilities and everything else. You should be doing everything every month to reach your savings goal. You just can't concentrate on one and ignore the rest. January will be Cutting Your Utility Costs. Since it is winter, this should benefit everyone.
I am truly hoping that I can put this money back into our Medical Dental Fund by the end of 2014. We will see. It is going to take a lot of cutting and hard work on our part. But we are up to the Challenge. How about you?
Please feel free to share with us your thoughts by leaving a comment. If you want to join the Money Saving Challenge in 2014, leave me a message with your blog address or just your first name and I will add you to those who have already signed up by putting you on the list in my sidebar.