A Penny Saved


This week’s Spin Cycle is about Money and Cutting Costs.  I find this a very timely post. Not just because our economy sucks BIG time, but it’s something Hubby and I have consciously been trying to get a handle on. 

My husband has actually been taking part in a financial planning group sponsored by his employer.  It came in just the right time.  I had my hours cut back last year where I was working and went to work at a site closer to home.  Then in October I was laid off, then they hired me back on a temporary basis and I was let go AGAIN in February.  My husband had just started this financial planning course.

It turns out that the man hubby was working with told us that it was perfect that I was not working.  The financial planner advised my husband to call our mortgage company and talk to them about loan modification. It worked out wonderfully because to take advantage of the loan modification programs, I could not be working.   It seems to me that it would be a lot easier to make payments if both are working but, I guess that’s why they consider the modification.  It’s hard to pay everything you used to with only one income.  Turns out that modifying our loan cut our monthly payment almost in half!  Well worth a few phone calls.

The second thing he had us do, and it seems like such a simple thing, was to start another savings account and by following his instructions, he said we should be able to save close to $2,000 in the first year.  He told hubby that for the first month we were supposed to put our change in a jar every night and at the end of the month put it in a savings account.  At the end of the first month we had over $100.  That’s $100 we would probably have blown had we not cleaned out our pockets and purse ever y night.  The second month we were to put our one dollar bills in an envelope every night and at the end of the month, deposit it.  We also added in our five dollar bills. Hubby also stopped going by Subway almost every night for his “snack” on the way home and put that money aside rather than have it burn a hole in his pocket.  We ended up with over $200 the second month.  In two short months we had saved almost $400!  Now, that is nothing to sneeze at!

Money Jar - YEP It's a Tequila Bottle -Seems appropriate to me!

Our start on saving the ones this month

Another item he told us to look at was our insurance, both home and auto.  We have used the same insurance agent and company for our vehicles for about 15 years and never questioned it. He told us to shop around since our insurance was up for renewal.  We had never questioned it because our insurance company is one of those that advertises about being so low.  Well, we shopping around and cur our auto insurance by a couple hundred bucks…. A MONTH!  Yeah, we have horrible luck with auto insurance. Four vehicles and two drivers under 25, one of them a teenager, lots of accidents (not always our fault) and tickets so our insurance record looks like an accident waiting to happen, unfortunately. But still, by following his advice we were able to bring it down substantially.

The next month our project was food.  The first week we were to make menus and plan our meals ahead and try to go to the grocery story only once that week if possible.  The second week we were to eat out and see how cheaply the two of us could eat out.  Keep track of every penny you spend on food each week.   I feel this project had really opened our eyes to where we were blowing money and what we needed to do to tighten our belts and get a handle on our finances.

In about three months time we have saved over $500.  Our next project is to find something we consider a luxury and see how we could do without.  Unfortunately, they informed us that what we wanted to consider a luxury, they considered a necessity.  We really are pretty boring people and don’t really do a whole lot.  They have other managers that are giving up things they really enjoyed doing.  Like boating, or collecting expensive wines or extensive travelling.  Us, doing the yard ourselves, seemed to be good place to start.  I told you we were boring.

Unfortunately, Hubby says about half of the managers taking part in this experiment have already dropped out because it got too hard for them.  Can’t get results if you give up, right?  Of course, now that we’ve kicked out all our kids (not really – they abandoned us! L) it’s only hubby and I left at home so our expenses have been cut drastically anyway.  So, if you REALLY want to save, just kick your kids to the curb!

I think we have done a great job so far and I am really enjoying spending some time at home, trying to get our Spring Cleaning done.  I’m hoping this post will help you as much as it has helped US!  Good luck and start saving money.


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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20 Responses to A Penny Saved

  1. suzicate says:

    Guess, I need some training here! Oh, and some Spring cleaning, too!

  2. Those are all really good ways to save money. We can all do it, but we need to be reminded of how sometimes. I have cut way back in the last year. Alex has a good job and good pay, but the economy is so iffy. You really do need a “nest egg” for emergency situations. Getting the kids out of the nest is emotional, but mine kept coming back. Over and over and over. Fly little birds! Fly!

    • pegbur7 says:

      I love that… Fly little birds, fly! It is hard though.
      I have been amazed at how quickly it’s been building up with just little things!

  3. Hadassah says:

    If only I could be so disciplined. Thanks fantastic for you guys!!!

  4. That is such a great system! I love it :). Although I hope you’re allowed to go back to work sometime if you want to again :).

    • pegbur7 says:

      I’m thinking maybe later. Right now Hubby is enjoying me being off because he’s off during the week and when I work I’m off weekends so we never see each other. This way I’m always off when he is (and when he’s NOT 🙂 ).

  5. Ron says:

    EXCELLENT post, Peg!

    And BRAVA to both you and your hubby for disciplining yourselves to stick to this.

    You’ve given me some GREAT ideas about saving!! I do have a piggy bank where I drop all my loose coins at the end of the day, but I should also try the dollar bills.

    I’m pretty good at cutting costs, but what I need to work on is savings. I suppose I should stop drinking my two cups of coffee at Starbucks everyday because it really adds up, you know?

    Thanks again for such an informative post!

    Enjoyed it!

    Hope you’re having a great day…X

    • pegbur7 says:

      Thanks Ron! This guy did tell my hubby too that if you do go somewhere like Starbucks or certain food places a lot that you should buy gift cards and use them because then you’re less likely to spend more! I’m not sure how that’s supposed to deter us, but… oh, well. Now hubby gives me Starbucks gift cards all the time! LOL But I love my Caramel Macchiatas! But I “treat” myself a couple times a week. Otherwise, I have my coffeepot and #3 and her boyfriend gave me an expresso machine for home so I can make it myself if I’m industrious enough and it’s a lot cheaper!

  6. Spot says:

    Definitely good advice. The change one is so easy too! I use my ones though! I already plan out meals and grocery shop once every two weeks and always on a full stomach. It’s amazing how much that helps. And I do need to look into a better car insurance. Four vehicles, two teenage drivers is killing us! Even though the last accident should drop off in September and then we all have clean records!

    Thanks for sharing your tips!

    • pegbur7 says:

      Happy to help! I always like helping others if I’ve found a way to conserve. I just bundled my phone, internet and TV service too to save more money, I am on a roll! LOL

  7. Angelia Sims says:

    Wow, these are great, EASY tips. Nicccee! Thank you for sharing and I bet it’s great getting it all in order and sticking with the plan.

    • pegbur7 says:

      It is great! Sometimes I find myself kind of backsliding but hubby and I are there to support each other and remind each other so it’s going well!

  8. I always stick my change in a jar; then we use it for charity when a disaster strikes some place. But I love the idea about the dollars and even fives. I’m gonna try that one!

  9. How did I miss this? I’m so sorry, I blame the test, but it’s over, so hah!
    I love these ideas! We have a water jug for our coins as well and John shoves any loose dollars into a tin for our holiday fund. (we don’t want to have to use our savings to shell out the presents so we’re trying it this way this year instead) I haven’t asked how much is in the coin jar, not that full yet, but hopefully we’ll see some nice things come of it!
    You’re linked!

  10. Patty says:

    Well, my kids are way too young to kick out (though I have, on occasion considered it), so I think I’ll have to try other tactics. We have been collecting our change for years and I put it in the kids’ piggy banks. It’s been surprising the amount we have been able to collect.

    I really need to take your advice on the insurance; I think I can find some lower rates. Thanks for the idea!

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