January 27, 2011

My $400 Savings Challenge

Before I get into what I want to write about today, I want to remind everyone to continue to pray for Elizabeth's son, Jacob, and all of their family as Jacob goes through cancer treatments.  You can view Elizabeth's blog The Trenches of Mommyhood here

$400 Savings Challenge

On Monday we will take our son's car to the collision center for the autobody repairs that he sustained in his minor accident last month.  Our son turned 18 earlier this month and the car is actually my old car that he drives and it is in my husband's and my name. This car will last him through college and hopefully beyond.  So, since he is on our insurance, we will be paying the $500 deductible for the repairs. 

Our son has a job and the majority of his money goes to his college savings account, so we would never ask him to pay the $500.  This is what parents do for their children. 

We use a modified version of the envelope system in our budget.  We have money in savings earmarked for certain categories.  One of those categories is auto repairs.  So the money is there, but I hate it when we have to pull money out of savings and start to rebuild it again for those specific categories.

Well, over the past week I have been reading a couple of the blogs that I follow and a few of them are taking on the challenge of a No Spend Month in February.  If you're interested check out Sharon's Blog My Year of Spending Less and Living More and Maureen's Blog Toward Retirement with Debt.

I love reading about the challenge and will follow them daily to see how they are doing.  My challenge to myself is going to be different.  I want to cut back over the months of February and March in order to put $400 of that deductible money back into our savings account.  Now the total sum of $500 is a lofty sum for me to save in two months since we already are on a frugal budget.  In fact it is way too high and it would be self defeating to set a goal that high.  $400 is still a tough challenge but it may be attainable. I feel a challenge should be just that.  It should be challenging and perhaps hurt a little bit but should still be attainable if I stay on track. 

How do I plan to do this?  If you look at my blog list towards the bottom of the sidebar, you will find that I follow these blogs because they give me so many ideas on how to save money.  I learn a lot and I dedicate 1 hour a day to reading those blogs.  Also, I will really begin to learn to conserve more of our resources in order to save. 

Instead of using my debit card for paying for groceries and miscellaneous spending, I will take that money out of our account on my husband's pay day and will spend only what is necessary and will save the balance.  Having cash in hand will help me see how much I am actually spending and I will then be able to see my savings grow. Then on April 1st I will tally up my savings to see if I have met my goal.

I don't plan on telling my husband about the challenge I have given myself as I want to surprise him on April 1st with the money I have saved.  While I don't believe in keeping secrets from your spouse, somehow saving money and surprising him with the extra cash seems like one of those secrets that will be okay to keep.  It's the secrets of hiding debt from a spouse that is a big No No.

My husband will continue to take money out of his paychecks to add to savings and some of that will be earmarked towards auto repairs.  He will be building that savings amount back up as we always do.  So I think on April 1st it will be a pleasant surprise when I hand him some extra cash that I have saved.


Sharon said...

That's a great goal! (I'm sorry that your son got into an accident, but I'm glad he is doing okay!) I agree, you shouldn't set yourself up for failure. Goals should be attainable.

I find a lot of inspiration on blogs, and I'm afraid I may spend a bit more than an hour on them a day! OOPS.

Looking forward to February and saving too! It's almost here....

Martha said...

I spend about an hour a day going through my blog list and I love it. I deserve the down time and I am able to learn so much from you and others.

Elizabeth said...

If you like blogs that do challenges, I think you would love www.hardworkhomestead.blogspot.com She is as frugal as one can be!

Martha said...


Thanks for the tip. Also, I hope everything is going well for you today in your area of the world. I am constantly thinking of you and Jacob and will continue to pray.

Maureen said...

Martha I think that is a great challenge you have given yourself, and I wish I could see Hubbies face when he gets the $400 because I,m sure you will succeed.

We can all motivate each other.