Monday, January 4, 2021

Tuesday, New Year? New Goals!


I have so many goals for this year and I hope to be able to complete most of them.  Last year was not good to us on the financial front. Between hubs and I we lost $15,000 in income and we took on debt with the new house. I do not regret the house, as I know it was the right thing to do.  I regret the debt, but we are fine and we can pay it off. We just felt it was smarter to pay back an investment account where we borrowed the money to pay cash for the house.  This saved us about $4000.00 in closing costs.  We then borrowed against the house to pay back the account.  This account was making us about 15% and the loan is at 3.26 for now.  It just made sense.   So you will see on the side I have listed what we owe on the house loan and the car.  These will go down monthly.  We also have a few other debts accrued with the house purchase.  I will be paying these off one at a time and the first one is also listed in this months things to do. Debt for the month $780.  Next month it will be another.  I am hoping to have all of these gone along with the car by the end of June.  I also want to pay at least $25,000 off the house loan.  I think this is doable. My plan for the next 6 months is to pay$1000.00 a month over the interest on the house until the car and other bills are paid off, then put all extra toward house.

I have never had sinking funds before.  I have had emergency savings and still do, but I need to start a sinking fund for our house taxes.  So that is another change I will have to add to the old budget.  I also have increased our grocery budget by $10.00 a week, or $60.00 a week.  Food is just more expensive.

One thing that was a real blessing in 2020 is that we spent far less money as we went no where and we did not get to eat out at all.  I really did no shopping as I needed nothing for myself.  I did shop for the new house, but that was limited to the family room and a new dryer and our garden wall. Not being able to spend money helped offset the $15,000 we did not get to earn.

I also have started some savings challenges for the year.

I am really excited about these and I may have taken on more than I can chew, but I loves me a challenge.

Those who have been with me know that I fill out $1000.00 saving charts like this one continually through the year.

This is money from my shop, from left over grocery money, or any extra money that comes in after our budget bills are paid. I just mark the chart and then disperse the money into other funds. So I will not count this as a challenge.  This is more of a total on how much I have managed to squirrel out of work, sales, and not spending.

#1 I always save all my spare change and put it in a big pink pig bank my daughter got me years ago for Christmas. This past year with the lock down, hubs and I would go every day to Mc d's and get our selves a large diet coke.  This cost $2.12.  Not a very good savings strategy, but it got us out of the house everyday and kept us sane.  Well worth the money considering we have no other bad habits.  We always threw any change in a cup in the car so we would not have to break dollar bills or other larger bills.  So my saving my change challenge, was well... challenged.


This year we must break another one or a larger bill and I will take the change immediately to my bank. thus forcing us to save more.  This will be cashed in on Dec 7th, for my Christmas mad money.

 #2 I am also saving all my $5.00 bills.  I love this challenge and it adds up very quickly.  In 2019 I saved over $2700 dollars and used this to pay off the rest of my house.  This last year I cash flowed many of the repairs on our old house with my $5.00 saving.  It was about $2600.00 to have the house painted and I paid for this with my 5 savings and the shop.  Then I did not save 5 bills for many months.  Just too hectic, with all the moves and lack of work and my discipline went out the window.  But the beginning of October I started again and I had $470.00 by Dec 15th.  So that was my Christmas fund.  I hope to save and not touch it this year?  I know Anne in the kitchen said she was frustrated with this, because every time she used a twenty she would get ones back. I however would take a 20 to Mcd's and get three 5's back almost every time which was frustrating as then I had to save the money.  Hubs would laugh at me when I would get three 5's back, as he knew I had limited fun money.

#3 My next challenge is also one I did in 2019 where you save a penny for every day of the year.  On Jan 1st 1 penny Jan 2nd 2 pennies, the 3rd 3 pennies.  By the end of the year you will have over $600.00.  I also used this to pay off our house.  Last year I started and then did not continue when we went into extensive remodel, I just needed all my cash to pay the contractors.  But I have started again.  I figure out how much needs to be saved for the month and put it in  a can. Sluggy found this at a thrift store and Sis fought her for it and gave it to me for my shop.  It sits in my window reminding me to be frugal and save.

#4 I added a new challenge this year. I made 52 envelopes numbered 1-52.  Every week I must put a $1, $5, $10, and a $20 bill in an envelope.  I will do this every week for  a year.   I will then put this toward something.

#5 Also new this year is the 100 envelope challenge.  Label 100 envelopes 1-100.  Choose 2 envelopes a week and save what is written on them.  Some weeks you will have an extra $100, some weeks you will barely get $1.00.  This is going to be a tough, but I want to try it.  I plan on selling many things on face book market place this year.  I just have to down size many things in our garage and house. I might teach a few classes here and there. I already have several envelopes filled as I came home with extra money from Christmas.

Do any of you want to save with me?  I think the change and the $5.00 are the easiest.

I am trying to do a no spend challenge also this month.  Just buying what we need.  Gas, pet food, fresh groceries and that is it.  I will eat out of the freezer and pantry.  Last night I pulled a large bag of frozen turkey soup meat out of the freezer.  I added a large container of chicken broth that was in the fridge and needed to be used.  Then one can of peas and carrots, a tbls of garlic, a large chopped onion, 5 peeled and chopped potatoes.  It was a good thick turkey soup and we had a salad.  Tomorrow I am going to make baking powder biscuits  and thicken the soup and have turkey over hot biscuits.

Both the girls are coming down with their babies tomorrow so I will make a triple batch of biscuits and send some home with each of them.  I have a large quantity of this turkey stew, way more than we can eat in a couple of days and it is good but I can only do turkey for say 3 meals.

I was able to get some work done on a wedding dress today and a mother of the bride dress.  I also cleaned my shop really well, and took stock of sewing.  I have 6 zippers to replace and  many piles of sewing to do.  I should start making some money. Made my first $5.00 of the year by sewing a patch on a motorcycle vest.  Of course it went right onto my chart and then into my $5.00 savings.  I also went to Jo anns to get zippers. 

Now I am going to go do a yoga video, hope I can move tomorrow....

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.



  1. Now, I only use my debit card, so I rarely have change--coins or bills. But, these are all very good ideas.

  2. I have all kinds of games I play with myself. Any "extra" money (not from our employers) automatically has to get funneled to our mortgage. If I make $7 on eBay, I make a $7 online payment to the mortgage. I haven't tracked rebates or anything like that in 2020, but I did put any extra money into the mortgage, so it all got sent to the right place.

    1. There are some really wacky challenges out there and I would love to do them all, but I would run out of mney fast.

  3. I save all my change every two weeks, plus any money leftover from my biweekly allowance.

    I am going to try selling some knitting this year (perhaps even some other crafty items) and if I actually manage to do so I will add these to my savings envelopes.

    God bless.

    1. I love to challenge myself to save,> I had way too many years of horrible crippling debt.

  4. I save $50 a month for Christmas, plus my bonus. I use that to pay a utility bill for each of my kids. I am practical but not much It seems to make them happy though. I pay. cash for gas since my card got hit by a skimmer several years ago. The leftover from breaking a bill is put in a mayonnaise jar, I used that to pay the $500 deductible for my roof repair when hurricane Zeta caused my neighbor’s tree to fall in my house.I also used that to pay for my $425 sewer repair later in the year. 2020 was such a natural disaster in my case, that I hope 2021 is better.

  5. If it was your neighbors tree don't they have to pay? But it sounds like your year was not much fun for natural disasters. The mayo jar is a good idea.