Thursday, December 17, 2009

My first savings

Well, #1 on my list of things to do was to save $5000 this year. I called and cut my cable from 100s of channels and a DVR to 24 channels. The bill went from $155 a month to $65 a month for TV, phone and internet. A savings of $90 per month. That's $1080 a year. The kids were a bit sad at first, but we are all adjusting. I am also finding other things to do (like up dating my blog!) because I am not watching T.V. I also did not review 2 newspaper subscriptions (a savings of $139).

Another thing I am trying to do this month is eat up what we have. I am only buying milk, produce and perishable items. I have a gluten free kid, so I do have to buy a few items in a pinch. For full disclosure, we belong to a meat CSA (community supported agriculture) and it is paid for until next October, so once a month I pick up a bag full of meat and 2 dozen eggs. Normally, by the 15th of the month I would have spent about $300 on groceries. This month I have spent $175. I am going to try and keep my food budget at about $500. That would save me another $1200 this year!

Kid #3 has a birthday coming up soon. I usually have an elborate party in a museum, petting farm, bounce house, etc. I have hired a hot dog vendor!!! We have bought expensive seats for a Major League Baseball game. This year when I asked kid #3 about what she wanted, her wish fits my new budget agenda perfectly. She wants friends over at our house for a tea party and to play in the dress up box. I have never (ever) spent less than $500 for one of my kids parties. My goal this time $200! We went to the library and got a tea party cookbook. I planned it for the middle of the afternoon, so providing a meal will not be required. I am not inviting family (or extended family). The menu planned by kid #3 for her 4th birthday is tiny hot dogs, veggies and dip, chocolate covered strawberries and pretzels, and pink cupcakeswith pink lemonade. The items will be homemade and cute. The girls will do a craft (items I already have), dip their own pretzels and strawberries and play in the dress up box, of course. This will also save me $300 if I do it right.

To recap, here are the savings I can actually count:
  1. Cable savings $1080
  2. Newspapers $139
  3. 15 days of food budget $125
Year To Date Total: $1344

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