Monday, April 26, 2010

May Challenge....Save $500

My family is facing a huge challenge starting May 1- save $500!! We have been crunching numbers and the only way to comfortably afford our dream home is if we can save/earn an extra $1000 a month. I know that earning $1000 will be difficult so my plan is to save $500 (or more!) and earn $500 a month.

Here are a few of our saving plans
* call around for a lower insurance rate
* found a cheaper trash plan- saving $15 a month- but we're going to see how much we can reduce our trash by composting and recycling everything we can. If we can get our trash down to a bag a week then we can eliminate trash pickup completely!! Saving $36 a month.
* calling about a better rate for Internet, home phone, and satellite.
*drastically reducing our amount of driving. Our budget is now $80 a month for gas. Savings $100
* Plan and follow menu---reduce trips to the store for just one item.
* shop our small market next door for weekly produce instead of driving across town

Earning Ideas-
* holding a huge yard sale!
* selling all our soccer equipment. My kids decided that they aren't soccer kids. We're going to focus on the sports we love (golf, gymnastics, and dance)
* selling baked goods/extra garden produce at our local farmer's market
* cleaning houses. I'm going to start cleaning one day a week.

Do you have any ideas for us?? What is your number one way to drastically cut your budget or earn money?


Jennifer said...

I'm sure you can do it! The only suggestion I have is to slash entertainment, clothing, gifts and activities budgets as well. Those are areas we cut from when we are trying reach a goal. We just did this and combined with the income I make doing things online we were able to cashflow the dog's surgery. I wish I could have put all that to the van loan, but oh well, at least we didn't have to pull it from savings. Good luck!

Jackie said...

I've been reading your blog for months now and I'm finally getting around to commenting! :)

What will you do with that one bag of trash if you can get it down to that? Also, when you clean, will you bring your kids with you or have someone watch them? Just curious because I've been thinking about cleaning too, but I don't know what to do with my kids. I used to know a lady who brought her kid with her while she cleaned and he played with legos the whole time. I can't see my daughter keeping herself busy like that. *lol*

We want to get a house too and stop renting, so I love this post! :)

autumn said...

when I clean I'll be leaving my kids with a friend.
if we get our trash down to one bag we'll use our landlord's dumpster or pay $1 per bag to take it to the dump.

momstheword said...

When our kids were little we bought our current home, and it was a stretch to buy it.

We stopped eating out. I tried various jobs over the years. I did before and after school babysitting for a neighbor. I had a home party business (like tupperware) but that takes you away from the family at night.

I had a job telephone existing customers and setting them up for a repeat service, but this one was hard as kids have to be quiet (so you do it during nap time or after they go to bed, if it's early enough).

Your cleaning job sounds great. Some of my jobs didn't work so well, like the phone one.

I did have a job for awhile that took me out of the home one day a week, and my mom babysat the kids.

Eventually, I learned to use a pricebook, and we cut our living expenses down, cut out cable and long distance (we bought a phone card from Sams), dropped the newspaper, bought clothes and things at yard sales, etc.

I also bought the kids clothes at Sears, because they have the Kid Advantage Program. That kept them in free jeans and things for years. My boys wore out their jeans like crazy, and every time they got a hole in their jeans, I took the jeans back and Sears replaced them free of charge. Great plan and it's totally free.

Oh, and we dropped our garbage service (for awhile) and we just bought some extra cans. Then we let the garbage pile up in the cans and made a dump run. It was cheaper than having a garbage service but we eventually paid for the service again. Summer came and the garbage piling up and outside smells were not working so well for us, lol!

~ Nan

Andrea said...

Hi Autumn! One way I cut costs is selling the kid's old clothes to a children's shop. I can earn $100 or more a season and use that to save money on clothes. I also shop Goodwill and yard sales.

Eating a couple of vegetarian meals a week will save a lot of money!

I babysit a little boy 3 times a week for extra cash and tithing.

And of course...GARDEN! During the summer, our grocery trips consist of the stuff we can't grow...milk, butter, eggs and dry goods.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

My list is pretty long; you can see it here:

I also make gifts for my family from things that I have on hand. For my mom for Mother's Day tomorrow, I am making a cheesecake (I have all the ingredients already) and I am giving her a flower arrangement from my garden.

For myself :) I am making a new skirt and blouse to wear to church from fabric and supplies that I have on hand. I am also making two flower arangments for myself from flowers in the garden; one for the kitchen table and one for my nightstand.

We're living from our pantry, and we're not able to shop right now, but I can still make do with what we have. This week I've been making pajama shorts for my oldest son from my husband's old shirts. By carefuly using our resources, we're able to have the things we need.

Good luck on your goal!

Frugalissa said...

get rid of satilite. If you need to watch TV watch it online virtually every show is on the net. Also some people even keep a home or cell phone instead of both. Plus go bare bones on the phone plan. You don't need call waiting, voicemail, etc. My phone is basic and it is $10.09 monthly.