Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another way of making ends meet........

I put money away in pots/boxes every week for different things.

Dd got a set of stackable boxes one year at Christmas, she never used them so I "borrowed" them and set them up as boxes to put money away each week.

I go to the bank once a week (generally a Friday) and withdraw a set amount each week. From that amount I put $20 in one box for Christmas, I put $20 in another box for birthdays, and $10 in another box for special occasions. I also transfer $60 a week into the ING account for vacation.

Now the goal behind all this is that when Christmas comes I am not scrambling to find money to pay for things. I put money in there every single week of the year, so there is always some money in there, so when I see something I want for Christmas there is always money there to pay for it. This has been a life saver for me, as I find Christmas very, very stressful, and this is one thing I don't stress out about, having money to pay for everything. Now $20 works for me, you may find you have to save less or even save more weekly, but believe me this is so worth while.

The idea behind the birthday box is the same. Having that money in there, is great so any time there is a birthday, there is always money in there to pay for it. The only draw back to this box is that it takes time to get going. As no doubt like many of you, we have certain months of the year that are very busy for birthdays and certain months of the year, where there are no birthdays. So I found it took over a year to make sure there was always money in the box to cover what birthdays were coming up. It does work though, and again is a life saver.

The special occasions box came about a couple of years ago when dd was turning 21 that year. 21 is a big birthday for the British as is the 18th birthday. So we gave the kids money to invest both times, I decided to put $10 away each week, there that I didn't have to scramble trying to find $500, or whatever weeks before her birthday. We then went on to have a couple of 60th birthdays and some special anniversary's etc. So again this box has proved to be a great help. I know when it was dh's 50th this year I was able to pay for a full set of golf clubs in cash for his birthday, as I had put the money away weekly for him.

Then there is the vacation "box" which isn't technically a box, as I transfer money into the ING each week for that. That $60 a week, doesn't actually pay for the full vacation, but it generally pays for the bulk of it each year. Again I don't miss $60 a week, whereas I would struggle to come up with $3,000 just like that for a vacation.

So basically what I am saying, finding a small amount each week to put away in an account or a box is a heck of a lot easier than probably coming up with $500 just like that. If you think you will "dip" into the pot/box and "borrow" money then by all means don't set up the pot system, move money directly into your savings account. I like the birthday money on hand, it's easier for me, the same with the Christmas pot. It's funny I rarely "borrow" money from the pots, and if I do, I do put it back in.

Just to say, the amounts I have mentioned works for me, however if you can't afford that much or you want to save more, go ahead, its the idea behind all this that I am hoping may help you.

Hopefully this has given you food for thought? Also if you have a minute I got this article in my in box this week with more money saving tips.


Rinkly Rimes said...

Is your husband as organised as you are! You make me feel quite inadequate!

Lakeland Jo said...

I have a piggy bank- hand painted for me by a good friend of mine- and we put money in him for betting at the races. We are memmbers of our local course, and on race days ( about four a year) Paul and I split whatever is in mister pig for our fun bets. I feel better about using that than raiding the bank.
Another great tip. We are using the internet bank one and its amazing how it is building up already.

Twisted Fencepost said...

This is something I have been trying to get started but just haven't gotten around to it.
With your persistance and great informative posts, I'm gonna have to start.

Erin said...

love your have such wonderful little ideas for saving.
enjoy reading about them.
have a great thursday.

Rudee said...

My niece, a waitress has a similar saving system for her bills. She splits her tips among different envelopes and when her bills are due, she sticks it in the bank and writes a check. She says otherwise she spends more and comes up short.

We have a giant plastic jar to save coins in. We always come up with about $500 a year just in quarters and such and split it when we cash it in on something special.

As far as Christmas, I always pay cash these days for what I buy. I'll not go into debt over this holiday.

Sandi McBride said...

You are a wise gal, Gill...I've been enjoying reading your "tips on how to save money" and have sent your ideas to my sons...they of the non money saving side of the family!

Janet said...

You are obviously very organised, Gill. Thanks for the tips.

Gill - That British Woman said...

thanks for all your comments, crazy busy again....come back tomorrow and you'll see why!!


CannedAm said...

What if you went with interest bearing savings accounts that have no fees for these different things? For me, cash isn't safe in the house. Too many things come up and I need to grab that money for something or other (as it's easier than going to the bank and with only one car I often cannot go to the bank). So I've set up another account and I just do the transfers online.

Banks had Christmas club accounts in the states...they're savings accounts and you can have a regular monthly deposit transferred from your checking. Then in November, they mail you a check for the balance. It always worked great as I didn't even have to think about it. No fees...very low interest, but the convenience was so worth it. Wish they'd offer that here!

You're so organized, you scare me sometimes ;)

mommanator said...

saving is so hard. I would def dip into it. I have to have it come out before I see it. Esp if my hubby has acess it will never be saved

Renie Burghardt said...

Very good tips! For Christmas shopping, I always have a Christmas Club account.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Have a wonderful Friday!


Clippy Mat said...

this reminds me of when i first got married and set up housekeeping i used to do the same thing. but it worked.
i like it.

Janeen said...

You are a well of talent I have barely tapped into! Wow, great ideas! You're a walking gold mine my dear! ha ha

I have a Christmas Acct at the bank and transfer money too during the year - gotta do it and the discipline is great to pass on to your children.

Denise said...

Another great post. I am not that organized but I do throw a few dollars into the glove compartment of our car for 'emergencies'. It has come in useful at times when we have forgotten to go to the bank and need quick cash. When I worked in England way back when we had a Christmas Club that one of the ladies organized. It mounted up quickly and took a lot of the stress out of buying gifts at Christmastime.

Marla said...

I wish I could be so thrifty with money. I just know I wouldn't take the time to do this faithfully!

Cathy said...

That's a great idea about the boxes. I'm just afraid I would grab a 20 here and there to pay for pizza or when the kids go to the movies at the last minute.