This is a particularly exciting Top 10 Thrifty Wins post for a couple of reasons:
First, we’re celebrating a year of budgeting! That’s right, we started our first serious budget in April 2018, and we’ve come a long way since. It was fun looking back on past budgets and comparing them to our March budget. We learned a lot over this last year, and I plan on posting more about that later!
Second, (and the reason why this post is obnoxiously late) Rick and I are expecting our first baby in October! We are thrilled, and I can’t believe we’re going to be parents! What an adventure this is going to be.
On to the Thrifty Wins:
1. Tax return. We had a nice tax return this year, which went straight to the student loans.
2. Third paycheck. Just because of the way the days of the month fell, I had a third paycheck this month. Straight to the loans.
3. $6500 loan payment. Thanks to numbers 1 & 2!
4. Under budget in groceries and electric bill. Rick’s been the sole chef in our house and was in charge of meal planning, grocery shopping and preparing all of our meals as I’ve been quite under the weather. (First trimester kicked my butt!) I’m really proud of him for staying under budget!
5. Packed own food when traveling. We still ate out or ordered take-out on occasion, but packing our own food saved us some money!
6. Not doing much. A lot of my weekend plans included staying home, resting and just low-key stuff, which saved us quite a bit on entertainment costs.
7. $5 Target gift card for stocking up on toiletries. I think it was a “spend $20, get a $5 giftcard” deal. It’s always nice to have a Target giftcard.
8. Earned $15 from Receipt Hog. This cashback app is pretty easy to use, and I scan all of my receipts into it to earn points, which go toward giftcards for Amazon, Visa or you can use Paypal.
9. Cashed in on credit card points and earned $50.
10. Found a new apartment! And we’ll be paying less than we anticipated. Of course we had to make some sacrifices, but I think it was the right decision. It’s smaller than we wanted, but I’ve been youtubing ideas for making the most of your living space, and I’m excited to organize it!
What an exciting month, actually, year of budgeting and wins! We worked hard this year, learned a lot and made some smart financial choices (some not so smart ones, too). But I think what made the biggest impact on paying off $58,570.62 of our student loans in a year, was our budget. If you want to save money for any reason or just want to have more control over your finances, start a budget! Even just tracking expenses for a month can be eye-opening! There are lots of different ways to do it, and if you’d like some guidance, you can see how we started our first budget.