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A Savings Update

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Christmas savings is still the same at $705.  We are having a lean couple of weeks as we owe on taxes this year.  I will continue to save as I am able.  I am on track at this point.

Cruise savings update.  I have $550 saved for our future cruise.  We had a savings account that had $150 in it that we didn’t contribute to regularly.  My husband said I could start the cruise account with that $150 and we updated it so that we could transfer online (We have had it for years.  Maybe before we were married?  I don’t remember.)  I have been trying to trim down my grocery budget and put any leftover grocery money in there.  Having this cruise as a goal has really helped me to want to save money.  It has made me really think about what I am spending my money on.  I have been a much wiser shopper and I have been able to keep more of my money in my pocket that may have gone out to various stores.  Also, if we were good with our money I do try to slide a little extra into that account.  It will take a while to save for a cruise for 9 people.

Cash money in the safe.  We have $320.  I am trying to put aside some money in our safe.  I read a book about the depression recently and it had lots of different people’s stories in the book.  One common theme was that a lot, not all, but a lot of people had some money in the bank during the depression.  When the banks closed, they were unable to get to their money.  This concerns me.  The banks were closed for a few months where people couldn’t access their very own money.  I want to be prepared in case something like that happens.

This book taught me a lot of things.  Nowadays, our country and our people have too much.  We have too much stuff and too much debt.  I want to be a good example to my children to have a budget and stick to it.

I want them to realize all of the “stuff” that we have, and how that “stuff” can be taken away very quickly with no income or savings.  During the depression people were willing to work, but there were no jobs.  People were hungry and cold.  The adults were eating only one meal a day so that their kids could have more food.  They were desperate.  But they worked anywhere doing any job.  They weren’t too good to do a hard days work.  I want my children to be willing to do whatever is necessary to provide for their family.

Also, I came to understand a little about how the communities worked together as best as they could to meet each others needs.  The bartering system was a big help to get goods and services from one family to another.  I want them to think about what skills might be valuable in desperate times.   Skills that aren’t common right now may make life easier in hard times.  For example, a butcher to prepare wild game that is killed.   I want them to consider what items would be good for trading.  For example firewood for people in subdivisions with little access to trees. I want them to imagine what someone would be willing to trade for that is readily available now, but may not be available in hard times.  For example sweets.  Having bees and honey may be valuable.  When times are tough, it’s the basics that count.  All of the things that we think are luxuries, like big houses, may be a detriment in harder times.

I want them to work towards spending and savings goals.  I want them to have to wait to get some of the things that they want to purchase.  I want them to do the hard things that are required to be debt free.

I understand that there are times when debt must be incurred, especially when they are young and starting out in the world, but I don’t want them to take debt lightly.  It is a big deal to have to pay back money that you don’t have.  It is a headache that stays with you until it is gone.

I had student loans and credit card debt when I got out of graduate school.  I couldn’t wait for it to be gone.  I scrimped and saved and paid every penny I had to get those paid off as quickly as possible.  It was a long (3-and-a half-years) and painful process for me.  I don’t ever want to forget those lessons.  As Dave Ramsey says, “the borrower is the slave to the lender”.  I learned that I don’t ever want to face those lessons again.  I will wait and save.  It is harder, but more rewarding that way.

How about you, do you live by a budget?  How much is too much debt?

Ann

March Update On $2500 For Christmas 2014

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Well, here we are at the end of the first quarter of 2014.  In some ways it has been flying by, and in other ways (the weather) it has seemed to go by so slowly.

I am continuing to save for Christmas 2014.  I have had a couple of hiccups in my plan, but I paid myself back, and I am continuing to push forward.

I currently have $705 saved for Christmas.  Since this is the end of the first quarter, if I can keep this pace, I will meet my goal!

It is really hard for me to save and not touch it, but I am slowly learning discipline and  that is always a good thing.

I keep telling myself that there will be no Christmas spending stress this year.  That I can give to all of those good causes that I see, and it does help keep me going.

How about you, are you saving for Christmas?  It’s not too late.  Join me and so many others out there who are trying to have a stress-free Christmas.

 

Ann

February Update on Christmas Savings for 2014

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It’s been a while since I updated on my Christmas savings for 2014.  I am trying to come up with $2500 for Christmas so that we can have a well planned out, stress free Christmas.  When I last posted about this topic I had $239.

I am happy to report that I now have $440 for Christmas.  I am chugging away with my goal.

I am finding out that the first battle is getting a plan, which I have (to save $2500).  The second battle is working the plan that I made, which I am so far (setting money aside when my husband gets paid and saving any unexpected cash that I can get my hands on).  But by far, the hardest battle for me is not touching the money.  I seem to always have something that wants to wreck my plan.

How do you keep your plan rolling down the track?  Are you preparing for Christmas?

Ann

Update On $2500 Savings For Christmas and Grocery/Household Update

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It is the end of another 2 week pay period for my husband.  I had $17 left over from our miscellaneous cash spending.  That brings my total up to $239.   The kids reimbursed me for a few items that they bought, I had some egg money to add to my total (we have chickens and sell the eggs).  Money is moving in the right direction!!  I haven’t been tempted to take any out.  I’m trying to be disciplined.  Day-to-day is okay it, is when I have a mini-crisis about money (which I do from time to time because I’m unorganized) that I am tempted to pull money out to avert the crisis, but then I’m not very disciplined about getting the money back into the account.  To resist this problem, I am trying to be more organized than I ever have been.  I’m tracking my spending and checking my account balances more frequently than I used to check them.

On another positive note, I did keep track of my spending for the third week in a row.  My total was 362.76.  I seem to be going higher and higher.  Oh well, right now I am just tracking.  I think at the end of the month I will get the grand total and try to get February to be less than January.  Baby steps.

How about you?  How is your spending going?  Is it me or does January seem to be never-ending?

Ann

Christmas Saving Update

Here is an update on how I plan to save $2500 for Christmas 2014.  At the end of the 2 week period (my husband gets paid every 2 weeks)  I had $35 left over.  I now have $115 in my envelope!  I had a couple of snowflakes that I added in as well.  I am starting off the year well.  Now, not to touch it until next Christmas season.  That is the hardest part for me!
 
How about you, are you planning ahead for next Christmas?
 
Ann

How I Plan To Come Up With $2500 for Christmas 2014

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I currently have $84 towards my goal of $2500 for Christmas 2014.  I take money from the ATM each time my husband gets paid.  I pay my kids commissions from it, give my husband some cash, and give myself cash.  I only take the cash out when he gets paid.  The money has to last until the next payday.  If I have any cash left over, I add it to my Christmas envelope.  I start over each time my husband gets paid.  I also add any rebate money I receive and any other cash I am not expecting, like if my kids want to buy something online with their own money, and then they pay me back.   I’m off to a good start.  I need to keep the momentum going!

Ann