5 Ways We Saved in January

Hey there, friends!

2020 is the year that I've dubbed Visions Realized...since you know, 20/20 is perfect vision. I'm so clever (not really).

Last year I joined a local group in a savings challenge: to build an emergency fund of at least $1,000. I was able to complete it and have continued adding to that savings, but I also had another goal I didn't talk about a ton: to lower our consumer debt.

We started 2019 with $20,000 of debt. Yikes! Between car loans, medical bills, unexpected home repairs, and just plain too much purchasing, we had gotten into a nasty place, and I wanted out. I'm very happy to say that we were able to cut that number in half.  Yay! 

That brings me to this year's goal: get rid of the debt completely! Now, we had some crazy advantages that helped us last year that will not be present this year. My husband's company did a one-time extra bonus last year, and that knocked off a little over $1,000 for us. My daughter was also hit by a semi-truck (YES, a SEMI TRUCK - she was uninjured, thank goodness) and totaled our car. 90% of the damage was cosmetic, so we used the money we got for the accident to fix the 10% that actually needed it, kept the dents, and used the rest to help pay off another $3,000. 

Assuming we DON'T get run over by a semi this year (knock on wood, eh?), and knowing that we WON'T receive an extra work bonus, we're going to have to make up another $4,000 somehow in order to pay off the remaining 10 grand. I am absolutely committed to making that happen, through saving and side hustling.

So...here are five things I did in January to help save a little moolah:

  1. Got rid of Disney +:  My kids begged me for it. They wanted it so badly! So, yeah, I signed up with Disney Plus (but not before buying some stock, ha ha!) It's been fun and enjoyable to have, but frankly, we just don't watch enough for me to feel that it's worth it. My kids beg to differ and aren't thrilled. Who knows? We may sign up again when school is out for the summer and they can actually have more time to lounge around. In the meantime, I'm happy to save an extra $7 a month.
  2. Turned that thermostat DOWN: Every year I turn the thermostat down to help save some cash. We don't have a very well-insulated home, and dang the heating bill can stress me out! While the kids are in school I keep it down very low and keep myself bundled up. I work from home doing transcription, so I use fingertip-less gloves to keep my hands warm enough to type. 
  3. Bought and planted a basil plant: I grew basil over the summer and dried our excess harvest, and it turns out I didn't dry enough. Not NEARLY enough. Holy cow, I've become obsessed with basil. So rather than buy more dried stuff, I bought the plant itself and growing it in the sunny room of the house. Not only does my kitchen smell awesome, I'm getting fresh basil and I'm growing enough to be able to harvest and dry more again. Also, come spring I'm gonna plant a LOT more for the garden. :)
  4. Unplugged, unplugged, unplugged. We have a few surge protectors, and we were using some, but not all. I pulled out every surge protector we have and rearranged furniture, cords, etc so that I could turn those suckers off when not in use. Bye-bye, phantom energy usage!
  5. Planned meals around the pantry. We ran out of chicken. Chicken wasn't on sale. No biggie, we ate pork instead, from the freezer. You know, stuff like that. (I did buy quite a few boneless skinless chicken breasts later when they were on sale for $0.99/lb). Made a few soups with random leftovers. 

So there you have it. Five simple ways we saved in January. Gotta get my mind going for things I can do in February.  I'd love to hear how you did on your goals for the month. I'd love to hear how you're saving money. Let me know. :)

Talk soon!


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