January 12, 2010
Saving, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 2
Just in case one of your resolutions is to "save money"...
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but still… I cannot believe that I am the only person in the world who has fun saving.
It’s time for my New Year’s cabinet inventory challenge, again.
You know the one… where I see what’s left in my pantry and make as many meals as possible without going to the market for groceries for as long as possible. Of course, I’ll need perishables like milk and yogurt and bread. But mainly, I try to spend January not spending money on groceries until I have used up the majority of canned, bottled and dry goods, anything else considered “staple”-like, and the contents of my freezer. Then, come February, I have a great deal of fun comparing store ads, clipping coupons and bargain shopping for more staples.
On the menu so far:
Pesto-filled mezzaluna with smoked chicken
Stuffed pork chops with balsamic glaze
Chili with sweet potato biscuits
Southwestern steak and rice
Turkey with apricots, cranberries and rice pilaf
Pulled pork loin w/ southern white sauce and bean salad
Shepherd’s Pie, Boca Burgers, and Quinoa spaghetti, at some point.
Not spending money is not exactly “saving,” though.
One thing I that I have found useful is the concept of zero-budgeting. The object of which is for income to equal out-go. Don’t mistake this for a “spend-every-penny-you-earn” or “live-life-only-for-today” philosophy. It’s more about an income of $1,000 a month and regular expenses of $950 a month. In order to zero-budget – you must allocate the $50.00 difference to something – hopefully to a savings account, or towards paying off larger debts owed such as vehicles or mortgages.
In order to save money, you first need to figure out exactly where it goes. So, I thought I'd share my tracking sheet with you.
The key to using it is to be completely honest about where every penny you spend is going.
Normal expenses are listed, but the categories are open to editing. Go ahead and type over any of the monthly expenses category to suit your needs. You may also insert a row anywhere between lines 4 and 33. Be sure not to type in line 35 - the red line. (This is a formula total line.)
Once you've entered January's expenses (all of them - include every little thing) you'll have a good idea where your money is going. It may take you a few months to figure out where you can save money.
Saving is something I had to grow into, and something I have to keep on top of.
Saving is not about not having any fun. Technically, you can save for that, too.
In this issue: Zero-Budgeting, Savings Accounts, Klinger.com., Randy Pausch, The Greater Price of Financial Security
Now Posted: Fun-Fundraising, Action Plan Mid-September
PS. If you'd like the spreadsheet - please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by jaselin at January 12, 2010 08:11 PM