Feb 4, 2010

Update on my New Year’s Resolution: End of January

Last month, I shared my financial resolution for this year, which is to save a crazy amount of money to create a large cash cushion. I promised a monthly update, so here it is: we saved 3% of our goal in January.

So now I’m wondering if I was overly ambitious in setting my goal. The fact that we didn’t even come close to 5% really bums me out. Looking at our purchases, the only room I see for cutting back is in my stock-up purchases on things like shoes and clothes. But then I worry that not stocking up when I can will lead to greater expenses down the line. And, as the boys get older, they’re eating more, their clothes are getting more expensive, they’re getting involved in more activities, and so on and so forth – all of which costs more money. At least having two boys means items can be handed down, which saves on future expenses.

However, I do believe that even if we don't quite achieve our goal this year, we'll still be closer to it than we would have been otherwise. And, I'm keeping the story of Crystal from Money Saving Mom in mind to get me through the rough times.

As for the 3% that we did save, here are some of the specific ways we added to our savings account:

We paid ourselves first - This is the most basic and important key to saving consistently. Read more about this here.

Blog income - As always, thank you for your visits and clicks to boost my ad, affiliate and referral links income. Also as always, I reiterate my commitment to be as honest, transparent, and reliable as possible. (Read the full CFO disclosure.)

Swag Bucks - If you don’t know about Swag Bucks, start here. I redeemed $50 worth of Amazon certificates from Swag Bucks in January, and bought things I would have paid cash for (it’s fair to say "cash" since I pay off my credit cards every month).

Surveys - I’ll write more about making money through online surveys in the future, but I did want to note that I brought in a few dollars this way.

Online "garage sale" at Amazon Marketplace - I’ll write more about this in the future as well. In the meantime, you can read what I’ve written before about selling on Amazon.

We ate in - As I mentioned last week, my goal to save money has really motivated me to menu plan and cook, so we’ve been eating in almost exclusively. We’re not only saving money, we’re also eating healthier. There have been some marginal meals, but for the most part, our meals have been varied and delicious. Our eating out has been minimal, and I expect that trend will continue.

I'll have another update at the end of the month!

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