Thursday, August 9, 2012

Disneyland Savings Plan (In Action)

A week or so ago, I wrote about how we're saving for Disneyland by cutting costs at home. I've tried to be mindful about our spending, but it's getting near crunch time, and we need to squirrel away money like...well, squirrels.

Here's how we've applied our own advice, what's working, and what we need to work on more.

Before The Big Squeeze, I went through our bank records for the last month and pitifully tallied ALL of our crummy expenses, even the ones I'm not so proud of, like fast food expenses.

After I cried like a baby about all the money I waste got a realistic look at our finances, I planned ways to cut back. Mostly we bought unnecessary items (like luscious cheeseburgers) when we didn't have the item readily available at home.

 I sought to change that.

a. Save on energy consumption.- I turned off the computer most nights.
-I've been turning off lights more.
-I've dimmed the TV (and if I go blind, well then, at least I went to D-Land.)
-I've been terrible about unplugging appliances, but I'll get better!
-I've washed clothes in cold water and used a dry towel in the dryer to cut down on drying time.
-I've not replaced light bulbs yet, but I will when these vampire-bulbs burn out.

b. Eat mindfully.
-I made simple, healthy meals every day (except one). Read more about low-cost meals here.
-We only had fast food once and it was an emergency, I promise.

c. Save on outtings.
-I've driven more calmly.
-I've used to find affordable gas.
-We haven't taken any field trips (moanandgroan).

d. Be mindful of spending.
-I've tracked our spending every day.  Seriously.
-I've tracked energy use every day. It's actually kinda fun.
-I've bought nothing new, except a gift for a baby shower.
-We've talked about saving with family members and come up with a plan to cut costs.

e. Cut costs and earn money wherever possible.
-I picked up extra work hours.
-I'm selling books online.
-I've recycled a big bag of aluminum.
-I still need to work on taking quicker showers.
-I cut Aidyn's hair at home, thus saving about 12 bucks.
Overall, we've cut our weekly costs by about 19%. It doesn't sound like much, but it saved us from spending a formerly extraneous $133, plus the extra money we've earned in increased hours.

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