On Friday Open Thread: I Didn't Yet Know About These Moneysavers

Some of these are things other people said, but whatever: I didn't know until a couple years ago that if you're shopping on a website you can probably google "[company] coupons" and find a valid coupon code (usually on RetailMeNot). I also didn't know until a few months ago that if you are an Amazon Prime member/guest, you can opt for "no-rush shipping" (5-7 business days instead of the 2 business days standard for Prime) and get a $1 credit towards instant watch movies/TV shows/Kindle books/I think physical books too. Since I have a TV show or two I buy through Instant Watch, and the stuff I buy on Amazon is rarely urgent, this pays off for me. Oh, and I didn't know until a couple years ago that I could get Kindle books through my local library! That's how I get the majority of my reading material, now. I also only recently learned about smile.amazon.com, where you can select a charity of your choice (they have a LOT of options - I chose a local state park friends organization) to get a donation that's a certain percentage of your order. I guess that's not exactly money saving, but it's a way I can donate to my favorite charity without spending money. I also didn't know until a few years ago that (at least at Publix, which is my grocery store) there are cheaper spices in the "ethnic foods" aisle than in the spices/baking aisle. Same goes for stuff like coconut milk, canned beans, etc. It's probably rooted in some deep-seated racist crap, but hey, cheaper spices.

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 2:12 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: February 2015 Check-in

@LookUponMyWorks Yesssss that's an awesome milestone!!

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 1:59 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: February 2015 Check-in

@daysgoby I worked on both at once, but prioritized emergency fund. While I was still working on the emergency fund, about 65-75% of my savings went towards the emergency fund while the rest went towards retirement.

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 1:59 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: February 2015 Check-in

@CMD+click Wow, awesome progress!! I've also spent time waffling over whether to pay off debt in one fell swoop (scary because savings are low and I might just increase my debt again) or to save some and pay off debt over time. I've always ended up with a middle ground between the two (well, all the times it's worked out in my favor).

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 1:52 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: February 2015 Check-in

@lizil That's basically how my first few check-ins (and some later ones) went, too. Glad you were able to get the furnace fixed and that grad school is on the horizon!

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 1:50 pm 1

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: February 2015 Check-in

@samburger Your early retirement fund savings rate is always inspiring! I am excited about my spouse finishing school and getting a job so we can start a similar fund.

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 1:49 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: February 2015 Check-in

@Louise Belcher Awesome progress on all fronts!!

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 1:47 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: February 2015 Check-in

Oh yay! It's here! :) This was a big month: without pre-planning, we adopted a puppy ($400 and counting) and I bought a new computer (a Chromebook, though, so only about $250). But we did GREAT anyway!! Granted, we got a $1387 tax refund, but I put $1000 of that into savings. After our lean-feeling January, this feels great. We just were really good about bringing lunch, cooking, and keeping our entertainment and other costs low (like, we only put gas in one of the cars once this month because we didn't take any weekend road trips). Credit cards, kept here to remind me not to get comfortable and start charging them up again: 2/2: $23 3/5: $0! It was ACTUALLY $0 on the last day of Feb and after today's payments go through it will be $0 again. Car loan (some awesome low APR): 1/6 and beyond: $6,643.42 (I got a lump sum of some of my compensation for the year and used it to pay all of my car payments for 2015, so this won’t move until Feb 2016 now. I’ve paid down $15,348.12 plus interest since June 2012, and am on track to pay it off October 2017, a little earlier than the December 2017 date originally planned.) Emergency fund: 2/2: $10,004.11 3/5: 10,007.06, of which $1,000.29 is now in a Barclay's Dream Account (I'll be transferring it over slowly). No emergencies this month! Short-term savings (This is earmarked for: car insurance, home insurance, flood insurance, life insurance, property taxes, new glasses, and car registration & maintenance. My goal this year is just to track it and make sure it’s spending down at the right rate.): 2/2: $6,154.38 3/5: $6,539.92 (+interest, +$1k from tax return, -$95 for a windstorm inspection that should lower my home insurance rates, -$405 for flood insurance for the next year) House fixes fund (This fund pays for home improvement over 2015 and maybe some of 2016, so I’m just watching it spend down this year.): 2/2: $5,309.93 3/5: $5,309.93 (I had hoped to spend some of these $$ on house stuff this week off but it's been consumed by PUPPY instead) Fun fund (I’d like to put $50-100 in a jar each month of 2015 to put towards something fun with my husband after he graduates in December, whether it’s a trip, a big purchase, or whatever. It’s a stretch on my budget but I’mma try it!): 2/2: $100 3/5: $200 and it wasn't nearly as hard this month despite all the big expenses! I even still have like $60 in my wallet.

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 12:52 pm 1

On Friday Estimate

Hoping for a monthly check-in later today too! My weekend: Tonight, champagne and dinner at home with my lovely husband, because as of 5PM today I am on SPRING BREAK! WOO! Saturday, hiking with the pup! A new adventure. Not sure where yet but it'll require a tank of gas ($30) and will probably include a snack on the road ($15). No plans for the evening. I do plan to make a camping reservation for later in the week: $20. Oh, and we need dog food and some bitter apple: $50. Sunday, more of not-much. I'm gonna budget $50 for nonsense or food out somewhere or something. Actually... we might go to Silver Springs for an event they're having, which would probably involve stopping at our favorite Indian restaurant in Ocala. So that's where those $50 are likely to go. And let's say grocery shopping for $80. I may also spend like $1,000 on house-related purchases but that's still an open question. It also comes out of separate savings so it's kind of not really weekend estimate material. Total: $245.

Posted on February 27, 2015 at 9:07 am 1

On Monday Check-in

@CMD+click It actually hasn't been as expensive as I thought it would (though mostly because she is a shelter pup and so her spay and initial shots were all free for me). She's due for a couple of "extra" vaccines but is otherwise good for a year, so that's nice. Anyway, I am totally comfortable with the cost so far (about $400 if Mint is to be believed, at least half of it stuff we don't need to buy again anytime soon, like a crate, bed, tags, and harness), and we have an emergency fund, so... hopefully it will work out financially! I KNOW it's working out for our family in all other ways. :) She's really the best.

Posted on February 23, 2015 at 5:12 pm 0