Saving Made Simple – So, How Did I Do?

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It was easier than I thought.

Being in control of your money is just a matter of asserting yourself…telling yourself this is the way it is now, and there is no giving in.  I am now in control – complete control.

It was a combination of smart shopping, smart planning, and digging that got me to this point and I will forever be grateful to the P&G team for putting this challenge in front  of me, and to Gail Vaz Oxlade for putting her smarts into the Money Rules book.  Because I have now read it cover to cover and I am no longer a Money Moron.

So how did I do it?

I changed how I shopped, and how I looked at household chores.

bounty basicOn weeks where the budget was tight, I changed what I bought.  Though I never actually sacrificed quality.  Instead of my big package of Bounty and Charmin… I bought Bounty Basic and Charmin Basic.  The products held up to my messy kids, even the Puffs Basic with my sons recent cold!  tide simply clean

I no longer re-wash a load of laundry.  I know it may not seem like a big deal, but I was a chronic “leave the laundry in the washer and forget about it” and the cost involved in that is hidden…you don’t think about it.  But break it down – another wash cycle on the clothes & washer is wear and tear, another cap of Tide and Bounty ($$), power to run the washer and water to fill it.  When I wash a load of laundry over again because of straight up laziness…it’s eating away money from 4 different directions.

My groceries…  There is a lot of eating that goes on here, and we were spending on average $800/month. When broken down that gave me a weekly budget (according to Gail’s Budget Worksheet) of $162.  Instead of shopping weekly, I gave myself a $250 bi-weekly budget (so two big shops per month) making sure I had enough left over in my budget to pick up something here or there.

I started looking at other places our money was going.

I dug through our monthly expences…I read our insurance policies so that I understood them…I even cancelled our term policies as we had both whole life and term…and we have no debt to cover – we were over insured.  I got rid of little subscriptions that I pay for but never use.  All in all I found $900/year that we were wasting on those payments.  So what do you do when you find $900?  You take your hubby and you head down to the bank – where you open RRSP’s with automatic monthly transfers.  We were already spending this money, it’s not like we’re going to miss it!

And – I quit smoking.  I’ve seen enough episodes of Gail’s shows to know that the first thing she would tell me to do is quit smoking.  And after figuring out the cost/year of smoking ($2900) I decided that now is the time to let it go.  So today marks 14 days that I have been smoke free…I am using the patch to help me along this path, and there is a cost involved to that, so I’m not saving everything yet…but I will be.  My total savings per day right now is $3.60.  And everyday, before I go to bed I put $3.60 into my I Don’t Smoke Jar.   When I go to bed tonight, there will be $50.40 in my jar.  $50 that would have gone up in smoke.

So what has this challenge done for me?

  • It made me address my spending.
  • It made me look at the way I shop for groceries and household goods.
  • I stopped wasting money on things I don’t use or need.
  • We are now saving for our retirement (something we have never done before)
  • We are building an emergency fund (something we have never done before)
  • My kids will begin getting an allowance (of which they will have to save 20% of) in March
  • And this challenge may have even saved my life.

Thank you to the P&G team, and to Gail Vaz Oxlade for inspiring me to take this challenge.  Our family is on the right track and I am thrilled.

Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.





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  1. Congratulations on being smoke free and doing a fantastic job on this challenge.

  2. Congratulations on quitting smoking!

  3. I’ll remember all this next time I go shopping. Also, a big congratulations on quitting! I hope my father succeeds quitting too. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer from it so he’s trying to battle both.

  4. Victoria Ess says:

    Congrats on quitting smoking! You’re doing an amazing job with this challenge and I’m impressed by all the changes you’ve made.

  5. Congrats on quitting smoking. Keep it up!!!

  6. Darlene Schuller says:

    Congratulations on doing so well! I may have to check this book out for myself.

  7. Sounds like you did really well! You’ll never regret quitting smoking! Good on you!

  8. Sounds like you did well. Congrats on quitting smoking. Little changes can result in big gain in the long run!

  9. Congrats on quitting smoking! That’s a huge achievement!

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