Random thoughts of an upbeat mind

Posts tagged ‘saving’

2016 Sealed Pot

Every year I throw my change into a “sealed pot” as a way of saving for Christmas. Usually I open and cash out in early December but as I did my Christmas shopping throughout the year I was able to squeeze it into my regular budget. Also I didn’t think it would be as much as previous years as I was using plastic more than cash.

Anyhoo, on the the reveal.

Some days I really am not the sharpest crayon in the box. Every year I weigh my sealed pot on my bathroom scale and it is a challenge.

There were more attempts which makes this next shot proof that I need to wear my thinking cap more often.


First and only shot on my kitchen scale. Why did I not think of this before?

Last weekend I took my sealed pot to the local bank where I previously threw the contents into their coin machine and presto change-o, a slip of paper with the grand total. Guess what is no longer there? Yup, the coin counter.So in the week I had to get coin wrappers.


Looks impressive, right?


Now to sort it all.


Top pile is “twoonies” which are 2 dollar coins, next “loonies”; 1 dollar coins, then quarters, dimes and nickels with a small amount of pennies, mostly American as Canada got rid of the penny years ago.

Any guesses as to how much is here?

Mind games, I play them

But only with myself. 😉

I learned long ago that I am the kind of person that needs to trick myself in order to not spend money.  Savings is a line item in my budget and requires me to transfer the money out of my regular bank account in order for the money to remain saved.

I refinanced my mortgage a few years ago and went with a new lender.  This meant a new change to me as I would now be responsible for paying my property taxes myself.  So I did what any smart person would do, I took the yearly amount and divided it by 26 and started to put that amount away every pay-day.  I also did this with my life insurance yearly payment.

After the first year, I had money left over after I paying my bills.

A light bulb went off.

The next year and all following years, I rounded the bi-weekly amount up.  This resulted in a bigger surplus.  I don’t record the total amount of this account anywhere in my budget spreadsheet.  The money in this account is not included in my net worth.  It is money I have hidden from myself.  It is becoming a secret emergency fund.

Mind games, I play them. 😉

In light of the great blackout of 2003 and more recently the effects of Hurricane Sandy, I have gotten a little more serious about increasing the secret stash of cash hidden in my home.  This stash is not record anywhere but would be used if I don’t have access to an ATM in a real emergency situation.  I need to think more about how much I would like to have on hand.  Right now I am leaning towards a grand total of $593.00 broken down like this:

1 x $100
2 x $50
5 x $20
10 x $10
20 x $5
25 x $2
25 x $1
40 x $0.25
50 x $0.10
40 x $0.05
100 x $0.01

I think this would give me the ability to make exact change for most items I would need to purchase in the short-term.

Mind games, I play them. 😉

My latest trick is to figure out what I have to spend weekly and then reduce that amount by a percentage or dollar amount.  I then walk around thinking I only have the smaller amount to last me through the week and try to stick by it.  The money that isn’t spent goes towards my debt.  It is a bit challenging but in light of my most recent weekly spending report, I think it’s paying off.

Mind games, I play them. 😉

What about you?  Are there any tricks that you use to keep yourself from spending money or to increase your savings?

What’s new

I have been a bit consumed with exercise and my calorie counting obsession that I have neglected to post about some other things that are going on with me. 😦

So here goes.

First things first, I got a raise!!!  Back in the beginning of October I was talking with my boss about workplace stuff and what not and I joked about my worth and she said she had been meaning to talk to her boss, who owns the company, about giving me a raise.  I smiled and agreed.  Then we didn’t speak about it again.  I put a little reminder in my head to revisit it again if I didn’t hear back from her by the end of October.

October came and went and my boss and I did not have a change to speak about my salary increase. 😦  Then in the first week of November she called me into her office and said basically we are not going to do a formal review.  She’s just going to tell me what my increase is because we all know that’s the only thing anyone is really interested.

She went to the owner with an “even” number for my new salary and he agreed.  This means an almost 4.5% increase for me!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 **dances jig**  New salary went into effect November 1.

Secondly, I decided to focus some energy on increasing my savings so I joined Single Ma’s saving challenge.  My goal is $10,000.  When I started I was just over half way there.  I was able to add an additional $960 this month bring my total to $6147!  This was made easy by a 3 pay month.  I don’t think that next month the increase will be so nice.

Lastly, I’ve gotten myself into a bit of a rut.  My life consists of work, home, sleep, rinse, repeat. 😦 So I went looking for volunteer opportunities and came across The Shoebox Project.  I am going to put together a shoebox.  It’s a little like the Secret Sister Swap Carla hosted which I had a lot of fun with.  The box needs to be assembled and delivered by December 10 which is absolutely doable.  I will post pictures once I get it all put together.

Fred Victor’s Women’s Shelter & Services is organizing its third annual fundraiser called “Women Strut for Women” in March 2013.  I made inquiries as to what volunteer opportunities are available.  Hopefully my schedule with allow me to offer up some of my time.

So there you go, now you are all caught up. 🙂