The Change Bin
We have one of those Beefeater Gin change bin piggy bank type things that we continually throw change in. It’s a nice little monetary surprise when you decide to sit down and count it. I actually count the change when we’re ready because I can’t stand giving 9.8% to Coinstar. Well, I’ll let Coinstar count the pennies; they can have 9.8% of them. If your bank has a change counter they may let you use it for free. Anyway, that change really adds up. If you really want to let the money pile up in there, throw in a random dollar bill every now and then!
When I budget, I round up. What do I mean by that? If, my transportation monthly budget is $367, I might actually budget $370 or $375. Over the course of the year over many budgeting categories, I’ve saved an extra few hundred dollars without realizing it!
Andrea and I work out. We don’t belong to a gym because I’ve found it to be a money drain. However, I’ve invested in adjustable weights, a pair of good running shoes and some home workout videos. With a little discipline, working out at home saves us both time and money. I don’t have to drive to a gym, get changed, get my workout in, change back into street clothes and drive home. Before the kids get up or after they go to bed, we either go for a run, bang out a p90x workout or get in a quick 10 minute trainer workout. It works for us! Ya know...saving time and money as well as staying in shape!
Over the course of the last year or so I’ve been reading about, listening to podcasts and researching the topic of investing; so much so that I’m trying my hand at it outside of mutual funds. I’ve actually done pretty well so far and I’ll keep you posted as to how I’m doing from time to time. However, the market is not for everyone so I don’t suggest entering into this form of investing lightly and it should not be done before you are out of debt, have an emergency fund and saving for retirement.
Everyone falls off the proverbial wagon! The trick is getting back on. For example, I wrote about how we were hit with car trouble and medical expenses in an earlier post. Shit happens! That’s why we have an emergency fund. If you have to dip into the emergency fund, replenish it as quickly as possible and get back to the budget! Don’t use the fact that you had to dip into the emergency fund as a reason to buy an “emergency” wardrobe!