The Positive Side:
What a wonderful Sunday!
Despite the nice weather outside, I've been here at home- catching up on my blog reading and finance surfing. During my little over one month recommitment to not smoking and spending frivolously, i'd managed to save up exactly $773.68 in 6 envelopes for the month of August. My September envelopes are filling up slowly but surely. Judging from the entries in my finance log, the savings total a little over 1K in what I call 'free money'. It's quite an accomplishment- considering this is all money i'd be giving away in the guise of habit (smoking, overeating), finance charge (credit cards), regular prices (formerly known as the anti-coupon mommy), can dumping (although the 5 cents is money already paid, consumers throw cans away to eliminate bulk can recyclings) . It's funny because my neighbors look at me like i'm crazy when I lug my cans in to the nearby supermarket. I smile because it's doing these things (recycling cans, passing on cigarettes, etc.) that have given me back some of my cash. I'd spend over a thousand bucks a year just buying cigarettes alone- this is money I'd never see again (at least not in the form of cash, anyway). When I see a can, I think to myself "I just found five cents!" Truthfully, if you examine your own budgets, I am almost positive there is some money waiting to be freed up. Here's an example of what I do:
Common Electricity bill in my house: 147.00 After replacing bulbs : 121.00 (-26.00)
Cable (Modem & Cable TV) 150.00 After negotiating with rep : 110.00 (-40.00)
Phone: 60.00 After changing package 51.00 (-9.00)
Now it doesn't look like much when read initially.. but if you calculate the total, I am now saving 75.00 in bills. BILLS THAT I'D USUALLY PAY BLINDLY. So what does Barb do? She takes that 75 bucks, creates an envelope called bill savings and adds it to the monthly envelope.
At the end of the year, Barb has 900.00 that she shouldn't have. Hence the term, FREE MONEY lol. That's just one envelope though. I have 6-7 envelopes on average during the month.
So when I load all those cans in my car when I go grocery shopping, I smile because it's doing these little things that give me a chance to open a CD with free money?
THE NEGATIVE SIDE...
**updated Monday Sep 19**
Ironically, my husband has been charging up his brand new store charge card because he has a 6K credit line. The problem is... the APR is 19.99%, and I am almost positive we'll have a carryover balance in October! I've manipulated the budget to include my envelopes and a little bit of ING funding but there is absolutely NO cushion for credit cards. So far his total on the card is 980.00 and coupled along with the gas card charges, we're looking at credit card bills around 1100.00
So now the debate begins... do I tap my envelopes or do I make him sweat it out?
I've got a little while to think about it though... let's see what happens
The envelope Queen vs. the charge card King
The Positive Side: