Thursday, August 27, 2009

adventures in saving money

Since this whol trip thing, I've been trying really hard to save money. This month I reached a milestone that I've never hit before. It's modest to those on the savings train, or much older but for me, it's a big deal.

MY FIRST $10,000!

That's right! At some point in time this month, probably towards two weeks ago I passed this milestone.

It's a temporary thing because this month is long. At the benning of the month, I'll lose about $1000 to expenses, but hey that's ok with me.

The best thing is that it all happened slowly. I literally got rich slowly.

I have to attribute most of the effort to the fact that I want to go travel the world, which has allowed me to save most of my money for that goal.

Currently, this is how my loot works out (roughly)

-$1000 in RRSPs
-$2000 in Emergency funds
-$4500 in trip savings
-$2500 in my chequings account.

The money in my chequing account, will be going towards things like my rent, my insurance, my cell phone bill, my credit card and my car repair deductable. So it's not, as they say, unencumbered, but hey, it's a milestone for me!

So how'd I do it? These few steps and tidbits of advice.

- cut down on expenses
I stopped eating out as much as possible, drive like a slow jackass, walk to work, changed all my bank accounts to no-fee ones, got a long distance plan on my cell phone. The biggest thing to help this along is to TRACK YOU SPENDING. I literally know every penny I've spent since my birthday because I've tracked it. Since then, I've only gone out for food 4 times. Imagine how much money you'd save if you cooked food. Plus, it's way more nutricious, AND ballin as heck to cook for yourself.

-increased income
I got a second job at my gf's work. That's helped me almost double my income. Literally. With the tips I make and the cumulative wage, it made my incomem almost 50 per cent higher. At best, my frugality cut down my expenses by maybe 20 per cent. That's good, but alone wouldn't have helped me get to where I am now, or where I want to be in the future.

-automated my savings
As soon as I get paid, I automatically get money taken away to cover my expenses, go into my savings, go into my RRSPs, which happens at ING Direct, the best, easiest way to save your money. As well, my cellphone bills, insurance and credit cards are all pre-authorized so that I just automatically pay them. It's easy. Any I never worry about penalties or, worse, not saving money. It adds up quick. Since I started working in Athabasca, I've just been saving slowly, which leads me to my last tip:

-learned to be patient
Saving takes time. It doesn't just happen. Right now, I save $50 a month to my RRSPs. Since starting working here, it's now $1000. That's crazy! and $50 a month? You could spend that much in like junk food if you don't watch it. I've got $4500 for my trip, just by saving half my paycheques since March, as well as saving things like my Income Tax cheque.

Anyway, I don't mean to brag. I'm just proud of myself. Anyone can do this, and more importantly should. Somehow in the worst economic downturn in recent history, I've been able to save my personal highest.

AND, I'm a nobody, some of you people are way smarter and can invest and whatnot and earn way more through business, or whatever, so if I can do this you can too.

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