Year 1: SAVED some, LEARNED more

Who doesn't love to save money?  I want to do it any way I can!  Almost.  
After about a year of finding my way in this transition to SAHD, I've established some boundaries.

1.  I love and appreciate all the work that so many people do out there to find coupons, sales, great deals, and how to save money on almost any purchase.  It is clear that I do not have the interest or abilities to do that digging.  So many do a great job, why re-invent the wheel?

2.  I am not yet at the point where I am acting on all possible ways to save money.  I am not yet making Christmas ornaments out of egg shells.  But I do love a good yard sale!

3.  Gotta KISS...  Keep It Simple S(complete this term as you see fit).  It is more important than ever being home with the kids AND doing so much of this online work, it is easy to get distracted, waste time, and stray from the priority at hand.  I need to focus and simplify.  It is not easy but a worthwhile pursuit.

Keeping it simple, while focusing on priorities and providing a few practical take-aways is what I strive to do for myself, my family, and here on the DailySaving blog.  On with it!!

MICRO-MANAGE your finances.  I never considered myself to be a micro-manager as a sales leader but that was when I worked with talented people who could deliver results beyond what I could simply tell them to do...  Money can't do that.  Money will wander off and find it's way into trouble.  Most of the time I won't even know where it is, or what it's doing!

~ Keep track of what you spend.  You've heard that a million times for a reason.  (MominManagement suggests Mint.com) I like that one too...

~ Know what your financial reality is in REAL-TIME.  Pay cash more often. It pays.  Online payment is still a FREE gift.  Use it.  I'm obsessed, use it almost everyday.  It helps.

~  Know what things cost.  It takes practice but it helps you to realize when a sale is really a sale.  After one year, my brain is like a (slow) computer as I go up and down grocery aisles computing whether that item is actually a good deal or not.  I think it's becoming a sickness...  More on this later.

Take one idea.  Plan and try to implement it.  Get a little bit better today.

I'm wouldn't say I'm over the top (yet), I've never walked out of a grocery store with a carriage full of groceries for $3.24 but I do want to get better.  All this stuff from Walgreens that we actually use, I got for $1.06.  Whoa!  I've saved some but learned more in this past year.


Bob said...

I'm continually amazed at the people I know who don't use on-line bill paying. It is one of the very few things many banks aren't charging extra for...yet.

Besides the hassle factor of the US Mail, it costs money!

Daily Saving said...

Thanks, Bob! I couldn't agree more. I'm just waiting for the day when it's not as free as it is now... Maybe they let you make 1-2 free payments a month but anymore than that they charge. Remember the days when you had to wait for the paper statement in the mail to let you know how much you owed? I cringe when I think about it now!

Thanks again. Brian

Alexis said...

$1.06? WOW! Yep, I agree with Bob. I jumped on the on-line bill pay wagon a LONG time ago and LOVE it. Plus, if it's not on time, the bank takes responsibility and it doesn't cost you anything or count on your credit score. That has only happened once in 5 years and we pay lots of bills on line each month.

Elizabeth said...

I completely agree with the 'know what things cost' part. In my quest to save money, that has been the biggest thing I've learned too. A year ago when I walked into the grocery store, I assumed it was always cheaper to buy my precious lifeblood, Diet Coke, in bulk at Costco. One of my very first lessons in saving learned was that, in general, the Costco (and all warehouse stores) prices are decent, but can always be beat at the regular store using coupons + sales. Now I just know that under about $2.75/12 pack of DC is decent, under $2.25 is great, but it gets as cheap as $1.82. At Costco it will be the equivalent of $3.50 and not on sale at the grocery store it gets as high as $4.99. That information is the power.