Every Little Bit Counts

Paul & I want to travel. So badly. We’ve been talking and talking and talking about it since before we were married, but we’ve decided enough talking, let’s do something about it! So, we are making slow, baby steps towards it.

Our first move? Getting passports! We got some money for Christmas and decided, no time like the present – and applied for them. It was something very tangible, and affordable (thanks, Father!) that gave us hope we might actually make this travel thing happen someday.

Our next move? Saving money. “This is hard to do when you don’t have a lot to begin with”, my creative-writing-master’s-degree-graduate-student husband pointed out. But my philosophy? Every little bit counts.

I’d love to hear how you all pinch pennies in your budget! Please do share. I read somewhere that you should always keep researching how to save money because people are always coming up with great ways to save the dough. And it’s true! I’ve found great resources on the internet and hope to find more.

Actually, I almost bought a book about money-saving tips but then realized how ridiculous that would be. Spend money to learn how to save money? Silly. So instead, I put ten bucks in the jar. Ten bucks I would’ve spent on the book, now is saved! We’ll see how long we can keep that philosophy up. We wanted to go to a movie downtown but decided we could do Netflix at home instead. So, twenty bucks went in the jar! Every little bit counts.

I’ve also begun asking myself, “Do I really want that new Beyonce cd, or would I rather spend that on an espresso and croissant in Paris?” Duh, easy decision. It’s amazing how perspective can change my spending habits.

A few ‘little bit’ things we’ve done:

Turned our thermostat down 2 degrees.

Unplug our power strip with electric things at night/when we aren’t using it.

Cut down on food waste! I’m embarrassed to say I’m really bad about this.

Condense our errand-running trips in the car. I totally take for granted that I can just pop in the car and run up north to Target without even thinking about it. I’ll go even if I just need one thing. So my new errand best friend? Lists.

Every time we have cash in our wallet, it goes in the jar. Also, any extra non-paycheck money we get goes straight into savings.

There’s many more things I’d like to do, but this is where we are now. Every little bit counts!



12 thoughts on “Every Little Bit Counts

  1. Way to go! I think putting money in the jar for what you don’t buy is really good idea! And you’re not alone, Joe and I had to sell our car to buy our plane tickets, hahaha, so hopefully it doesn’t come down to that for you and Paul. Hope all the saving go well! Keep us updated on your progress. xoxo

  2. All of your ideas are really great! I never spend $5 bills or quarters – they always go into a special envelope/jar – and they add up quickly. I love your throwing the $20 you would have spent going to the movie into your jar. You’ve inspired me to get busier. 🙂

  3. Would you consider canning or dehydrating in the harvest months? These two take no electricity/freezer to store. If your kitchen is small, borrow one :). Ask anyone you know who might cross paths with free veggies. Stock up to save cash over the winter.

  4. Here are my tips! I’ve saved over a thousand bucks in six months doing this 🙂
    1 – Make sure the jar you use has a hole too small to reach fingers in there to “borrow”. We use an extra large beer bottle. When it’s too full to add more cash, put it in a sock and smash it with a hammer. Then add it to savings.
    2 – Name a savings account at your bank with the name of your first big trip. (Yes, you can do that) Such as “Paris” or “Aruba”. When you receive your bank statements at the end of each month, you can see how much is saved just for Paris! It’s VERY rewarding to see that amount grow with a precise intention. Much better than just saying “savings”.
    3 – I put a sticker on my debit card of the place I want to go. (Right now it’s a sticker of Lincoln. We are going to go to D.C.) EVERY time I go to use that card, I see Lincoln staring at me saying : “put the Cheetos back, and come see me instead. ”
    The sticker method has helped me the most. I also have one on my phone (for online ordering restraint) and on the outside of my wallet. I just printed off a small image from the computer and “laminated” it with tape. Works great. Hope these help! Happy saving!!

    • Kelsy, these are fantastic. Definitely getting a jar with no-reach top. Brilliant! I’m tempted to take money out of it all the time. And LOVE the picture idea! I’m such a visual person, so that will be perfect. Searching Eiffel Tower images currently. (: Thank you!! Also, good for you for saving so much in so short a time! You inspire me.

  5. Cheap places to stay when you get there: hostels, convents (really – we’ve done it), and some bed & breakfasts… Rick Steves’ travel books and videos are great resources, and you can check them out from the library. I’m pretty sure your local library would have his books and videos, since he’s out of Seattle.

    • Also, get the book with money-saving tips at the library! I get DVDs at our library. I sometimes have to wait a couple months to see the newest movies, but sometimes I get lucky and get on the hold list right after the title has been added to the catalog and am one of the first in line. Libraries are a great way to save money.

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