I’ve been attempting to achieve FIRE (or even just FI) for just over a month. I wanted to do a summary post of what we have achieved so far. Also, what is measured is improved, so I’m helping myself by telling you all about it!
There have been 3 main ways I’ve attempted to improve our financial situation:
1. Tracking and reducing expenses.
If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been tracking expenses obsessively using YNAB. I cannot say exactly how much I’ve saved over previous months, as I’ve only tracked for October. Also we had 3 bigger and unusual expenses that aren’t very good to measure against. I hope to give you a better report at the end of November!
In terms of reducing expenses, the biggest win here was taking about 30 minutes to check around for better insurance rates for home and car. We got a quote that will save us $1600 over the next year! However because my current premium doesn’t end until summer of 2019, we will have to reduce the savings to about $1400. Still not too shabby! I have a bit more work to do to confirm that we will be getting the exact same coverage with the new provider. For you Canucks out there, check rates with Sonnet.ca.
Win number 2 – reducing my cell phone bill by switching providers. This will save us $470 over the next year.
Win number 3 – FOOD. Being a lot more strict about eating food we have in the house, and only buying groceries when we need them. I’d estimate we saved about $200 over previous months without trying too hard. We’ve saved over $100 on eating out, if not more.
Total estimated annual savings if we can maintain the reductions in the food budget and eating out: $5400. In.Sane.
2. Putting more towards debt.
We have a very large mortgage, and a smaller amount of consumer debt (about 10k). This month, we were able to put $1630 towards debt. Not shabby but I would like to increase this number next month with our newfound savings from other areas!
3. Attempting to bring in more income
Here are a few ways I’ve attempted to bring in extra income for the month of October!
I was able to collect over 20k points on PayTM after one month of use. Just downloading the app provided me with 10k points, so it will be a bit less for the month of November. My goal is to still average about 20k points per month, and get Hubs to join for a few more points here and there 🙂 20k PayTM points is equal to $20 in gift cards, which I’ve been cashing in at Esso to reduce my fuel budget. If I can maintain for the year, I will make about $240 payin’ my bills. Hurrah! Note: This app is currently only available in Canada and India. If you want to try it, send me a message and I’ll give you my referral code for an extra 5000 points when you pay your first bill. You get 10k points (i.e. $10 gift card) JUST for downloading the app!
Selling excess belongings.
As I mentioned in a previous post, we sold some stuffs on Ebay and Facebook/Kijiji in the month of October, netting ourselves about $280. WOOHOO! There’s more work to be done, but it’s a start. And the best part about getting rid of good stuff that you just no longer need? Being able to look at the empty space it left behind, and knowing that some day your life will be clutter free. It does something good for my brain. Everyone should try it.
Selling Regal Home and Gifts.
Back in the day, my mom and I used to love visiting the Regal store in my home town to check out all of the weird and wonderful items. Since those days (many years ago, I’d rather not say how many) the brick and mortar stores have gone by the wayside, and now the business is all online. Regal isn’t a moneymaker; commissions are pretty small. I think I really just became an Ambassador for nostalgic reasons. And, I bought this awesome sandwich cutter which my 5 year old is pretty excited about. It will cut both a TRAIN, AND a BOAT into your sandwich! It’s a must-have, people.
So far, I’ve spent about $40 starting my Regal business, and made ZERO DOLLARS. I should have some commission rolling in next month hopefully to cover off some my $40 investment. I don’t have super high hopes, but at least I can have awesomely shaped sandwiches.
- Starting this blog to keep myself accountable. I guess this will help me save more and also make more, by forcing me to think about the goal, write it down, and follow through. I did drop some hefty cash on this dealio – about $140 spent on hosting my blog for the next 3 years. Hopefully the accountability factor will help me save that money within the 3 year time frame. I will also be investigating ways to make money with my blog down the road.
I’m also trying to learn more about Investing and Real Estate to see what options exist when I do have extra cash freed up.
We certainly didn’t achieve FIRE or even FI this month. But HEY! Rome wasn’t built in a day! Therefore FIRE cannot be achieved in a month by doing random although slightly targeted things. What I WILL tell you is:
- I saved $5400 over the next year
- I made or will make $540-$180 on Side Hustles for a net of $340
- We paid $1630 towards debt
- We put $579 into savings this month
- I couldn’t answer ANY of these questions last month.
Here’s to a FIRE-Y November 🙂