Saturday, January 31, 2009

Shocking Savings

I'm TMI today!I just got back from filing my taxes. I am a lousy personal finance blogger because I don't keep track of how much money I have coming in. I don't tally every check, I don't excel every payment and because of the variations in side work and eBay profits I never have any idea how much money a new month will bring.

I'm not even curious enough to open my w2s at the end of the year.

What I do know is exactly how much I save and roughly how much my roth is worth daily. So after all taxes were done and tallies balanced I realized I saved almost 50% of everything I made last year! This is real money saved that I can look at in my bank account!

I am really shocked because I didn't focus much on money in 2008. I didn't budget much, I went to Cali twice, VA twice, Dominican Republic once and wandered around NJ. I concerted, took classes, attempted exercise, ate out, joined Blockbuster, bought computer peripherals, etc.

I'm really excited to be here without having stress attached to savings. It goes to show that if you ingrain basic money saving strategies you don't really need to worry about saving money when your income fluctuates.

So here are the ways I saved cash without overthinking it:

1. eBay - My hobby also brings me cash!
2. Drugstores & Rebates - Check out my Sobe water post from this week for illustration
3. Share Residence - I'm 30 with a roomy. She pays all utilities. That means 29% of my take home pay from my principal job goes towards housing, cable, internet, heat and electricity. People who rent on their own pay that much just in bills - forget how much they spend on rent!
4. Garage Sale / Craigslist - This brought in a few thousand last year. Remember all those Saturdays where I kept getting up early and going outside for a few hours? Cash racks up!
5. Side Jobs - Since I live off of my principal job with money left over all side money goes straight into savings
6. Drive Same Car - I drive an 06 vehicle and constantly get asked when I'm trading in since cars are so cheap now. Why would I add a monthly bill and end up doing the exact same thing? I bring it in for routine maintenance and its never given me problems. I'd be a fool to sell it just to satisfy others.

So that's really it. There's no big secret and everyone knows the only way out of debt is to spend less than you make. Once those habits are instilled savings just automatically happen; without having to deny yourself :)


Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-wow, good on you!! You've done fantastically well and should feel very proud too, your savings are an excellent achievement my dear!

Anny said...

Thanks! I'm shocked ;)