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Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,659
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

Or we can call it the Grand Plan for 100 Grand.

 

I posted about a blurb I had read about someone who saved forward.  He looked at the big picture, included TSP and employer contributions, and figured out how much he COULD save for the month, the year, etc.

 

When I looked at my finances with this new perspective, I was wow'd by the big picture!  Previously, I felt like I was barely saving anything, with a $100 CD every payday and an extra $100 Ally cd per month.  I knew in the back of my mind that I was still doing the direct deposit from the house buying days is still going into that secret account, but I don't count it as "savings", ya know.  Out of sight, out of mind.  And I never considered the TSP and the employer 5% match as savings...

 

So, new perspective, relooked at my numbers, pulled every penny from every source I could and you know what?  I decided I could save xx amount by year's end.  DH and I had a difference of opinon as to who accurate my numbers should be posted here.  He didn't want me to post our real numbers.  Ok.  The percentages are 100% accurate.

 

For the purpose of this journey, my goal is to reach 100k by 12/31/2012.  I am not going to count the TSP or the employer match.  This will be just my very own pennies.

 

 

I can't decide what to call this plan, so it's being called both things -

 

Grand plan to 100 grand!

 

AND 

 

On my way to a 100k!

Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,659
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

[ Edited ]

In the last few years, I have downsized in so many ways!  I have sold and given away so many things that I didn't have a use for.   My home no longer has a guest room or a spare bathroom.  In the last seven years, we have downsized from an 8 bedroom house to a studio.  (At the time, we had 7 kids if you count the foster kids and everyone had thier own room.)

 

In this journey to a 100 grand, I started with five simple steps.

 

1.  Transfer all balances that are not earning interest into interest bearing accounts.   (The checking account that is not earning anything, dropped the balance to a penny.)

2.  Close out all unused bank accounts.  (I am from the day where out of state checks were not accepted, so a bank account was necessary in many places.)

3.  Start a spreadsheet to list all bank accounts, the bank balances, and the interest rates.  (Got a HUGE surprise there!)

4.  Add a bottom section to list what each bank offers for a 5 yr CD - the minimum balance and the interest rate. 

5.  Step back and look at what you really have and reconsider where the money is going.

 

I have spent the last two days following the first five steps.  :smileyhappy:   And in the process, I discovered that I had an extra 1k+ tucked away here and there that was not obvious when I did the first big picture look.   It took going through and listing every account, no matter how small the balance was to realize I had a little more than I thought.

 

Edited to add - DH doesn't believe the numbers.  We literally live paycheck to paycheck.   And to see that we have xx amount available shocks him.  And to think we could reach 100k by years end, well, he doens't believe it, but he is willing to try.

 

I did have two "duh" moments.  

 

1.   When I was in the shower (in the hotel), I was like duh, I should have asked for another free shampoo!  I always take them with me and use them all up.  If I don't need it, I don't ask for it.   So in this case, a hotel shampoo will give me one day of hair washing...not sure what the dollar (or cent) value of that would be...but still, every penny adds up!

 

2.   The hotel was doing free cookies tonight.  I couldn't eat them, so feeling kinda bummed.  DH had suggested we spend a dollar or two and go buy me cookies.  I said no - remember the goal.  Instead, I asked the employee if I could have a breakfast muffin instead.   The  employee said sure!   Sweet!  Saved two dollars.  :smileyhappy:

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FrugalRican
Posts: 2,876
Registered: ‎02-02-2012
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Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!


 

 

1.   When I was in the shower (in the hotel), I was like duh, I should have asked for another free shampoo!  I always take them with me and use them all up.  If I don't need it, I don't ask for it.   So in this case, a hotel shampoo will give me one day of hair washing...not sure what the dollar (or cent) value of that would be...but still, every penny adds up!

 

2.   The hotel was doing free cookies tonight.  I couldn't eat them, so feeling kinda bummed.  DH had suggested we spend a dollar or two and go buy me cookies.  I said no - remember the goal.  Instead, I asked the employee if I could have a breakfast muffin instead.   The  employee said sure!   Sweet!  Saved two dollars.  :smileyhappy:


(1) My DGF and I always take the complimentary stuff at the hotels. That's what it is there for. She cleans house right before check out. We've amassed quite the nice "back-up" toiletries because of it. I've actually had a bunch of nice cups of coffees because of this as well. That right there is an easy dollar saved.

 

(2) I could have sworn I had talked about cookies at hotels in another thread. I went to a Hampton Inn and they had them (I believe in Quakertown, PA)... and I grabbed a bunch. Just because you never know that you might want a snack somewhere down the road (we were taking a mini road trip) and voila, cookies. It actually did happen to us twice, and thankfully, we had the cookies. Definitely beats spending 5 bucks at a convinience store or a gas station where you are almost assured to be spending money on more than one thing.


(3) DGF loves to write to the companies that we use, but sometimes she'll write to the companies whose products are featured as complimentary at hotels. The email will tell them that we loved the products used and are looking to become regular buyers in the future. We've gotten coupons, vouchers, and even free samples at times. Just for 2 minutes of her time, another few dollars saved.

 

 

We do things like this all the time, specially me. Hence the forum name. Anything to save a buck, means a buck I can count on later.

Follow my financial journey: http://www.frugalrican.com


EQ FICO (01/16/2012): 656 - EQ FICO (02/16/2012): 743 - EQ (02/24/2012): 760 - EX (04/28/2012): 739 - GOAL 2013: 800+

AMEX BCE (0/10K) --- BOA 1-2-3 (0/15.9K) --- Discover More (0/6K) --- Chase Freedom Visa (0/1.4K) -- Hyatt Visa Sign. (0/5.8K) -- Barclay's NFL Card (0/7.5K) -- Chase Sapphire Preferred (0/5K)

Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,659
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

The first week has successfully passed. 

 

  • I had to stick to my guns about the laundry.  DH wanted to use the dryers at the Laundromat last time we went.  Since he went with me and really wanted to do it, I said it was ok but he needed to realize that it would use up the rest of our laundry money up.  That meant no more laundry before payday.  He said ok.   Hahahaha – a week later he’s talking about going to do laundry. I had to be VERY firm and say NO.   There is no money.  You have to wait until payday.   He grumbled…he likes laundry done every week, not every two weeks.  But he made his choice – to use the dryer.
  • Reorganized the kitchen cabinets.  Turns out I had more food than I thought!   So with some creativity, I have managed to stretch the food money through to payday.  I admit, it’s getting harder and harder to do this, but I am trying.  I chopped up the last two onions, put them in the crockpot, added some veggie broth and spices…and later the last of the tomatoes…made a great onion soup that has lasted 3 meals!   Took the last 3 potatoes and made them into hash browns.  Breakfast was hash browns and an apple.  Now I am snacking on the candied giner.  (oh. joy.)
  • Work sprung a "work meal" meeting.  Oh.  Joy.  Which means eating out.  Although it's a work expense, it comes out of the food budget becuase it happens in the here and the now.  Thank goodness we were stretching the food in the house!   We barely -- and I do mean BARELY -- have enough to attend the mandatory meeting and make the mandatory food purchases.  (They require everyone order.  No exceptions.)  We will go light, skimpy, eat before hand, and do the bare minimum.
  • In the process of looking for “something” (screws, I think) I found things I could freecycle AND things I could return to the store for a gift card!!  Weu weu!
  • The items I needed, but didn’t have, I told DH we had two choices – wait until the end of the month payday when there was new money in the budget for “household” stuffs or we had to do enough returns for a store credit.   Luckily, we had enough returns for a store credit to cover everything we needed.  Yeah!
  • Informed DH that if there is any food cash money left over come payday, it goes into our 100 grand plan.   His eyes got bigger – “Really??”   Yeppers!  So he is much more a partner now about eating in.
  • Found some money on the ground (21 cents) and that is being applied to the 100k.
  • Received a gift of $25 – that is going towards the plan of a 100 grand.
  • Mapped out payday money.  It's tight, but sticking to the goal of paying myself first.

 

So this past week was baby steps.

Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,659
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

FrugalRican - Some of the hotels I stay at offer free cookies (not all).  I do take two, if there is enough.  Shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.  I take what I will use or have used.  In the old days, I'd take the partially used tp off the roller, but not anymore.

 

I also ask the desk clerk, when I check in, for a few ingredients to cook dinner --- usually milk and butter.   They have always given me what I need.  Bless their hearts!

 

I still bring the last opened bar of soap with me from hotel to home to hotel, but it's mainly cuz I do not want to waste it.  I use to collect the unopened soaps, but anymore.  I need to go through what I have first.  I think I have 3 unused bars...

 

I stopped taking coffee cuz I was overwhelmed with it.   

 

But yeah, there are ways to reduce expenses with complimentary items.  :smileyhappy:

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FrugalRican
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Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!


IOBA wrote:

The first week has successfully passed. 

 

  • I had to stick to my guns about the laundry.  DH wanted to use the dryers at the Laundromat last time we went.  Since he went with me and really wanted to do it, I said it was ok but he needed to realize that it would use up the rest of our laundry money up.  That meant no more laundry before payday.  He said ok.   Hahahaha – a week later he’s talking about going to do laundry. I had to be VERY firm and say NO.   There is no money.  You have to wait until payday.   He grumbled…he likes laundry done every week, not every two weeks.  But he made his choice – to use the dryer.
  • Reorganized the kitchen cabinets.  Turns out I had more food than I thought!   So with some creativity, I have managed to stretch the food money through to payday.  I admit, it’s getting harder and harder to do this, but I am trying.  I chopped up the last two onions, put them in the crockpot, added some veggie broth and spices…and later the last of the tomatoes…made a great onion soup that has lasted 3 meals!   Took the last 3 potatoes and made them into hash browns.  Breakfast was hash browns and an apple.  Now I am snacking on the candied giner.  (oh. joy.)

 

So this past week was baby steps.


Just wanted to comment, since I had the first discussion with DGF. She doesn't understand why I do laundry every two weeks instead of every 3 or 4 days like she does. I rent and have no washer/dryer. She has her own house and does. She doesn't understand yet that it's a lot more convenient and cost-effective to have two weeks worth of clothes done at once rather than every few days. She has the convenience of doing them at home, first off, and I don't... so that alone makes a world of a difference. I also have to toy around with the times the laundromat is open and make sure I don't go there when it's full.

 

So I feel your pain on the laundry one. WAY cheaper to do it all at once then spread out.

 

I reorganized my pantry a few weeks ago and wanted to move to the front everything that expires this year.

Lo and behold, I found out I had enough pasta to feed 17 families. But only 3 jars of sauce. This is what the can-can sale at Shoprite does to you.

 

 

 

But back to you, I applaud your efforts. This is good stuff right here.

Follow my financial journey: http://www.frugalrican.com


EQ FICO (01/16/2012): 656 - EQ FICO (02/16/2012): 743 - EQ (02/24/2012): 760 - EX (04/28/2012): 739 - GOAL 2013: 800+

AMEX BCE (0/10K) --- BOA 1-2-3 (0/15.9K) --- Discover More (0/6K) --- Chase Freedom Visa (0/1.4K) -- Hyatt Visa Sign. (0/5.8K) -- Barclay's NFL Card (0/7.5K) -- Chase Sapphire Preferred (0/5K)

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Dawnstream
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-09-2012
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Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

I now have three c.d.'s at Ally, and I opened an interest checking account. The c.d.'s and interest checking account are to pay off my student loans, and make my auto insurance payment in August. (Any payments made on my student loans before May 5th will be applied towards my 3.4%, no matter how many letters I write or phone calls I make. After May 5th, I'm allowed to pay down the 6.8% student loan. I set up automatic payments from the Ally account to begin on May 7th, and all the money I want to pay on them before my grace period ends is in there or in the c.d.'s and will automatically deposit in there upon maturity.) I also set up another c.d., just because I had too much money. I started working full-time again in November, and I've been poor for so long, I just didn't know how to spend money anymore, so I'm going to save it all. I amassed a few thousand in my in my credit union checking account, but they made me mad. I opened a Discover high-yield savings account, new checking and savings accounts at a different credit union, now the new interest checking account and c.d.'s at Ally, all within the last month. I also wanted a credit score, again, (I lived cash-only after my divorce in 2003), so I've opened two major credit cards, one credit union credit card that I just closed (like I said, my credit union made me mad), one gas card and one retail charge card. I was playing with my credit score, but I raised it too much and now it's just sitting there, waiting for my accounts to mature or for me to get a mortgage or car loan. I needed a new game to play, so I started opening new accounts and c.d.'s. This is getting a little excessive. My DBF doesn't understand, neither does my brother or mother, but including the c.d.'s, the credit/charge cards, the checking and savings accounts, I've opened 12 total accounts since December. Before that, I had the same two accounts at my credit union for eight years. I think they're all juggled well and most of my payments or transfers are automatic, but this way I don't have to look at my money, and can continue living the frugal life to which I am accustomed.

 

IOBA, I get paid once a month, and I think I'll start getting a new c.d. every payday, too. This sounds like more fun than raising a credit score, plus I don't have to be offended by having too high of a balance in my accounts. :-P

Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,659
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

The second week came to a nice close.   Yeah!!

 

* I used the IRS calculator to figure out an estimate of tax obligation for tax year 2012.   Realized that if I tweak that and do that, I can squeeze even more out of my paycheck.  (Every year, for the first 3 months, I have my withholdings at the max - 10 dependents for the Federal.  So I get that extra to tide me though the first few months.)   So, did the math, and realized that when I had shifted back to the zero deductions, I woudl be overpaying.  So I tweaked and on Friday, I will get a sneak preview of what my new net amount will be.   Weu weu!!

 

* I have a tenative new budget based on the projected new net pay.  Will finalize it when I get the sneak peak.  Of course, I will continue to pay myself first.

 

* Decided to fully fund the IRA's asap!  My CU is offering a special CD at 3% APY for IRA's.   Count me in!

 

* Decided that the emergency fund should have 50k in it.  Don't have it right now.   But it's something to work towards.  I am still purchasing the CD's every payday.

 

* Discovered (or re-realized) that if I can put my annuity up to 10k, my interest rate will go up .05%.  Ok - did that.   :smileyhappy:   I already earn 54 cents a day...wonder if that will jump to 55 cents a day??  Or rather, WHEN it will jump to 55 cents a day.

 

* At one point, early in the week, I was sooo hungry, I was looking around the yard and wondering what was edible!  :smileyhappy:   Saw the bamboo....you know they sell that stuff in stores, right?  :smileywink:   I got past it and planted more seeds for a garden.

 

* Definitely going through the food in the house.   Those three cans of clams bought for clam chowder - made the clam chowder.  Only needed to spend $2.99 (plus tax) to get the one missing ingredient.  That can of salmon - ate it.  Been doing that.    Not sure how substainable the $200 a paycheck food budget is, but with some work, I think it can happen.   

 

* Paying for eating out and for groceries with cash.   All the extra coins go into the bank.  :smileyhappy:

 

* I buy an Ally CD every month.  Did it for April too, but instead of choosing the 4 yr one, which I normally do, I choose the no penalty 11 month.  It's earning basically the same as my savings account (.94%) and it will mature in 11 months.   I can then move it into something that is earning as much or more in interest.

 

* Of course, I update my chart almost daily.  :smileyhappy:   There is a gap between the reality and the goal.  We call that our "find under a rock" money.  Those loose coins I redeposit into the account helps reduce the amount of money we need to find under a rock.  :smileywink:   I know, it's corky, but we take pride in reducing that number.

 

*whew*  Can do this!!  

Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,659
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

Dawnstream - Welcome!   And yes, a CD every payday is much more fun than worrying about the credit score or worried about too much in the bank account.

 

I have an excel chart that tracks each CD and when it matures.  I am blessed that the CU allows me to continually add to any CD that is open.  So I have been adding to those now with loose change.  My goal is to (eventually) get their balances up to 2k.   But for now, I am stretching for $200 balance on each CD in addition to opening a new one each payday.   

 

I do count my total CD balances (if they are regular CD's) in the big plan for a 100 grand.   If they are IRA CD's (and I have a few of those), they are NOT included in my total.   The reason being I can't easily access those without stiff penalties to the IRS.   

 

Since I started the CD game, I have managed to save an astonishing 19k+!!   I know, right - awesome???   And that doesn't count the 3k I bought my youngest as a graduation gift.   He will be able to access it when he completes a BS or equalivent (sp) college degree.  It's meant to be seed money to get his own place or to help with another degree.

 

Have you sent a monetary goal to reach with CD's?   Are you laddering them so you have some that mature next year and in the years following?

Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,659
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Hop in! On my way to a 100k!

Oh, oh, oh!  Jumping up and down!!!   I moved the money from the savings account to the IRA - just like I mentioned in my plan.   (Least, I think I mentioned it...)

 

I am already earning more than a dollar a day in interest!!   This dollar and some change, if multiplied by 30 (days) is more than I was making in interest when it was just sitting in the bank!  Weu weu weu weu!!!

 

I don't count it in the big plan for a 100 grand, but I am thinking of starting another chart to watch my retirement grow.  :smileyhappy:

 


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