Savings Recap: January 2014

And just like that, January is gone. Well, actually, it’s two days gone at this point, and Happy Groundhogs Day with that. Fortunately for my wallet, though unfortunately for me, Punxsutawney Phil (aka the groundhog) saw his shadow today… yaaaay for six more weeks of winter (sarcasm).

This past month has been a slight roller coaster of emotions for me. I’m still determined as ever to make June 2015 my jumping off point, but at the same time I’m hesitant. I haven’t told anyone about this blog, though I’ve begun hinting at my imminent departure. I’m afraid that they’ll assume I’ll fail and after continually fighting that uphill battle, that I will.

What they don’t know, however, is the progress that I’ve made thus far. One month in.

  • Savings in Bulk (Beginning of the Month) As luck may have it, I had a surplus of cash this month — a rare occasion, mind you. At the beginning of the month, I was able to transfer a big lump of cash directly into my savings account. This will hardly ever happen, but it’s always nice when it does.
  • Savings in Bulk (Middle of the Month) More often than not, this will be when I typically transfer somewhat decent amount from my checking to my savings. Unfortunately, I have to do this every other paycheck so that I’m still able to afford le bills (sigh).
  • Penny Jar You know those New Year’s Resolutions money-saving challenges, the $1 a Week or $.01 a Day? Well, I’m doing both, and then basically what ever I have leftover in my pocket goes in too. I’ve definitely had to make it conscious effort to use cash more instead of depending on my debit/credit card (probably a good thing), but I started off the year with an extra $35 to go towards my savings. Even better, this number will continue to rise as the year goes on.
  • Selling Unused Gift Cards for Cash This really was a win in my book. A rare day spent cleaning my room meant I ended up $70 more the richer. #Winning

Total Saved in January: $576.93

Being perfectly honest, it’s going to be hard to save even this much on a routine basis. I live in Chicago with a roommate, earning below my industry average. The option to cut cable unfortunately doesn’t really exist, nor does the option to move in with family. The only areas I have left for drastic spending cuts include my monthly fun/everything else budget, which is already quite low, and extras I put towards my credit cards/students loans. It’s not an ideal situation to be in, and I’m constantly weighing the pros and cons of taking a second job. At some point, I know that I will at least to freshen up on my serving/bartending skills, but it’s worth thinking about just to help save the extra dough.

Are you also saving towards a goal? How did you do last month? What are your favorite money-saving tips?

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