Before I got laid off, our savings account was terrific. We managed to save about $10,000 back in 2008, giving us a nice cushion after we bought our house. We also had one of those awesome online savings accounts which paid us about 3% interest versus the 0.01% our current bank is giving us.
But then I lost my job and our savings went out the window! Of course it’s great that we had it, because that’s what it’s for, right? A rainy day fund is to be used in case you need it. I will admit that I also slacked a bit. More planning would have prevented those nights where I didn’t feel like cooking and spent $25 on pizzas, or when I lost a bill and ended up paying a $10 late fee.
So for 2013, we’re getting back on track with being a financially-savvy family. My goal for January 1, 2014 is to have our emergency fund back up to at least $10,000. Here’s some ways we can probably save/make about $200 a month:
- No more buying magazines.
- Cut Sirius XM/Hulu.
- Only eating out once a month. No exceptions!
- Cut cable + home phone. I know I’m going to have to fight and fight and fight in order for my husband to agree to lose the cable, but we spend waaaay too much for channels we don’t watch.
- Get on lower cell phone plan.
- Dry clothes on racks rather than use the dryer.
- Consolidate our trips to the store so we’re not wasting gas.
- Begin using coupons. For real this time.
- Find another writing job to bring in more income.
- Increase blog traffic to increase ad revenue.
I’m still debating whether or not to pull my daughter out of private school. It’s a great school, for sure, but so is our local public school district (only reason she’ s not there is because she wasn’t old enough for kindergarten). However, this upcoming school year means I’ll have TWO kids in private school, pushing what was a reasonable tuition into the not-so-reasonable range. We still have to make a decision about that. I’m praying and listening.