Monday, January 31, 2011

Money Saving Monday: January Recap

Goodness, is it almost February already?!  Time has flown by. Between school (hello, thesis, how nice it is that we are getting so close), my research job, babysitting, camp directing, and my odd contract jobs, it's been a pretty fast month. And February isn't going to be much slower. 

Penny from The Saved Quarter (sponsor of The Saved Quarter Challenge) asked how this month went. As you can tell from my previous posts, this month has been an interesting financial ride.  Because so much of what I do is reimbursed through contract pay, mileage, etc. and those checks aren't very regular, it's been tight. Really tight. I emptied my savings (this was planned) to make a tuition payment, and expected money just wasn't there to replace it. Now, I'm about to be sitting on a whole lot of money. It never rains, but it pours.

Because of this, I haven't made as much progress as I would like.  I'll have a nice cushion to transfer to savings tomorrow, and some more paychecks will be coming in to bolster that cushion.  This will set me up to meet Goal #4 of having a modest emergency fund (always have an emergency fund FIRST!), and Goal #2 of having some travel money (disclosure: even though I want to save for graduation travel, I'm traveling internationally this spring on a free trip and will need a small amount of spending money). 

That being said, I've not been planning to pay off my loan or car repairs until the summer because that is when I will get a huge pay increase (temporarily). So, I'm fairly on track for those goals, as well as for my $100 holiday. I have 845 Swagbucks, and 2451 points on MyPoints   Combine that with some other tricks I have up my sleeve (updates to come later!), and that goal is progressing quite nicely. I'll be honest, I say I want to save for a $100 holiday, but I really want it to be a $0 holiday.

How have you met (or not met) your goals this month?


  1. I feel you on the irregular income.
    This month with all the big deposits at the start of the month and now lower than normal pay is just making it more clear that I need a savings cushion.
    Good luck with your $0 goal holiday!

  2. Just signed up for Swagbucks and only realized belatedly that your link wasn't your referral link! I'm thinking about signing up for MyPoints, so make sure you give me a referral link if they exist :D (Always link with your referral links, it'll get you to that $0 holiday that much faster!!!)

  3. You know, Shawn, I didn't even think about doing that. Fabulous idea!

  4. I am accruing Swagbucks and MyPoints for my 500 dollar Holiday Challenge. I modified Penny's challenge to meet my needs. By the time Christmas gets here, maybe I won't spend the whole 500 dollars!

  5. @morethanmom: Yeah, I've been doing the contract thing for awhile, so I'm used to it. I'm lucky that I have a somewhat stable salary besides those contract payments.

    @Lisa: That's what I'm hoping as well! I've also been exploring mystery shopping, but I'm not sure that's feasible considering my locale. I might end up going over because I like to buy presents when I travel which I'll be doing shortly (and I frequent handmade markets, which don't take MyPoints, Swagbucks, or giftcards!), but the thought is there! I figure that at the very least I'll be more conscious of my spending.

  6. I like the idea of the $0 Christmas! This Christmas we will have our 6 year old and a 9 month old to shop for, so I'm starting to pay more attention to earning Swagbucks for those Amazon cards and thinking of other ways I can earn a few dollars. I agree with the affiliate links as well, I use them everywhere and all of those clicks will add up eventually!