Saturday, January 3, 2015

Saving Money Step by Step

Our big plan to be debt free in the next few years is starting with a bang in 2015!  After dropping down a level with our satellite provider and cancelling Netflix we are already saving almost $200 in the next year.  It might not be a life-changing chunk of change but it's only the start and we have a few other ideas up our sleeves still!
Bug had a much-needed surgery this past September and unfortunately our insurance provider never informed us that even though her doctor was in-network (as listed on their website) the office he does his surgeries out of is NOT in-network.  So after a crying phone call only to listen to them tsk tsk at me and say I should have known to check about the office (which, excuse my language, is bullshit, you're always told to check the doctor's status), and then another crying phone call to the surgery center's billing department (who told me that I'm not the first one this insurance company has screwed over), I was finally told that if we pay $300 a month for 12 months then we won't have to incur interest and her bill will be paid.  Okay, not near as good as the 80/20 our insurance was supposed to pay, but it's alot better than the $6,000 bill we were originally sent.
The good news out of all of this is that the 12 month no interest plan doesn't start until our insurance confers with them and that is supposed to be no earlier than this coming September.  So we are already paying a little bit at a time to help cut that bill down and not have to find an extra $300 every month.
I have to admit something.  I am a Keurig addict.  My parents gave me their machine (so at least I didn't have to shell out the big bucks for it) and I use it at least once every day.  My favorite is Cappuccino and I also like to drink plain Folger's coffee.  Their Keurig came to me with a reusable filter so that I can use my own coffee grounds and not have to buy the more expensive k-cups.  Instead of 50 cents a day I bought a $10 giant package of Folger's and it should last me the whole month at least.  With Cappuccino's I dropped down from drinking around five a week to maybe one or two.  My $30 a month coffee splurge is now at around $20.

Monthly Savings:
Monthly satellite fee-  $8/month and $96/year
Netflix cancellation-  $8/month and $88/year (it doesn't officially get cancelled until next billing cycle at end of January so might as well not even count one month)
Coffee-  $10/month and $120/year

Total savings:   $306 in 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Life/Book Goals for 2015

I am being overly ambitious this year with my resolutions.  Mainly because I've seen how happy our family is lately with the tiny changes we've made and I really want to keep it going.  Over this past year I've gotten a regular day to day job for the first time since I was pregnant with Goose nine and a half years ago.  The extra income isn't enough to write home about but it helps with groceries and I love not having to ask my husband for money all the time.  Having somewhere to go everyday and not sitting at home on my computer for hours on end has made me feel better about myself and I wouldn't go back to that depressed and lonely version of me for anything.

So in this coming year I hope to stay happy with my job and keep doing a good job so if any full time positions open up I will be first in line for them.  I recently worked full time for three weeks because someone was taking time off for surgery and the experience was amazing.  Not only was I working double the hours I normally work (so TWICE as much money!), but I also was able to eat breakfast and lunch every single day for free.  My girls went with me every morning since I had to be at work by 6:30 so they also received a free breakfast every day.  It was definitely worth having to get up at five every morning!

Home-wise, I have been doing a deep clean the last few weeks and our yard sale/donate pile has gotten so enormous that I've ran out of storage space in my shed.  My girls have cleaned their rooms and gutted several shelves in their bookcases without me even asking them.  I would love to keep that momentum going so that I feel more likely to clean on a regular basis.  Right now our house is almost too big for us because cleaning it just takes all my energy.  It is an all day job just doing the sweeping/mopping/vacuuming and general tidying.  My big goal in our home this year is to paint our play room.  It hasn't been touched since we moved in almost seven years ago and it's due for an overhaul.  It's a large room and there will have to be three separate colors chosen so I'm both looking forward to it and dreading it.

Every year I say I am going to exercise more and run on the treadmill every day but it only lasts a few weeks.  So I'm going to calm down and say maybe three times a week on the treadmill this year.  I've had a goal of running a 5K for a few years now but my lungs aren't quite on board with that yet.  Hopefully I can stick to the exercise and improve my breathing a little.

When it comes to reading I am going for quality over quantity.  I far surpassed my original 2014 goal of 75 books but there's no way I will reach that this new year.  I would love to completely shut myself off from ordering library books and concentrate on clearing my own overstuffed bookcases but there's a few series that I read with new books coming out in the next year and I refuse to wait until 2016 to read them.  I'm hoping to check no more than one out a month from the library and only use their used bookstore a few times over the year.  I bought a pile of big thick classics for Christmas and my hope is to read at least a few of them.  War and Peace is the one I'm most looking forward to!

My last big resolution is to work on saving more money for my family.  I know everyone has credit card debt and to be honest, I don't really think ours is as large as a lot of people's, but I'd still like to reduce it as much as possible.  I'm going to try the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge and put all of that money aside for our big planned Fall 2016 Disney World trip.  I would love to be able to pay all of our meals in cash when we go so that we can enjoy ourselves and order anything and everything we want!

(I got this printout from Fresh and Organized but there are a ton of them floating around the web)