Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jan. Monthly Totals and Long Overdue Goals

January 2009 Monthly Totals:
Merchandise Total (before coupons): $2,564.46
Value of Coupons & Store Sales: $1,829.68
Tax: $26.87
Average % Saved: 73.73%
Rewards/Gift Cards/ECB's Used: $698.93
Rewards/Gift Cards/ECB's Earned: $575.55
Rebates: $208.33
Total Cost to me (after rewards earned and rebates): negative $22.23
Total Profit: $326.48
# of Items: 769
# of Free Items: 532

This month was a whirlwind of fun! This has definitely been my best month so far, and I really doubt I'll top this anytime soon. It started off strong with that lovely Garnier overage at Walgreens and then just kept getting better with the $3 CVS coupon. I kind of wish I'd kept track of how many times I used that CVS coupon, that would have been fun to see!

And now for some very overdue 2009 goals. This year, I want to shift my focus to savings. Last year, I was able to pay off my last credit card (hoorah!) which felt amazing. In May (five short payments away), my car will be fully paid off. At that point, my only debt will be my student loans. I probably shouldn't say "only" because my loans are very hefty (around $80,000 combined), but it will be nice to not have any consumer debt to pay. I plan to save my car payment each month ($265) into a savings account for another car when this one dies. My goal is to be able to save up enough to purchase my next car in cash, no financing at all. The only thing working against me is my long commute that puts about 90 miles on my car each day. But on the other hand, I have a Honda and they're known for running for a long time. I hope I can get another four years at least out of that car. At that point, I should have saved almost $10,000. We'll see how it works out.

In terms of savings, my immediate goal is a $1,000 short term savings fund. I had this accomplished already, but then the vet bill happened, so I need to replenish this. The next item on the agenda when that's done is to save enough for a six month emergency fund. I'd love to have $10,000 in there, but I know that's not going to happen this year. I also want to save at least $10,000 for a down payment for a house (again, not gonna happen this year but I'm going to get started). So how am I going to do this?
  • I'm going to cut down on deals where I have to spend cash. So this means I probably won't be buying much at RiteAid this year, unless its a moneymaker deal. If its just free after rebate, I probably won't be going after it, unless its something I really need or want. On many of these deals, I end up paying tax anyway, so its not really free afterall.
  • Any tax refund I get will be going right into savings.
  • Saving any leftover money from my grocery budget. I'm very happy that I'm at the point where I'm now able to do this. I budget $130 a month for groceries (it sometimes varies a bit) and whatever I don't spend is going right into savings. I was able to save about $30 this month. For anyone new to hounding - it really does take a while to get to this point so don't get discouraged.
Keep on Keepin' on Goals (things I was already doing but will continue in 2009)
  • All rebate checks will go into savings. I love to buy rebate items with CVS EB's or Walgreens gift card money - its like turning EB's into cash!
  • Save all of my change and put into savings. I cash this in at TD Bank (formerly Commerce) so there's no fee.
  • Use my Discover card for all non-cash purchases. I get back 5% on gas/auto purchases and 2% on everything else. Use reward money to get CVS gift cards - get a $40 CVS gift card and they give you an extra $5 on the card!
  • Sell stuff online when possible. I just bought four CD's from a music club for $12. I then burned/copied them on my computer so I have a copy and sold the originals online for $25!


Precious said...

You are doing terrific! I love your goals and know that you can do it. I will be cheering you on. I am trying to use up my stockpile.

Anonymous said...

you are doing great. So far this year I havent added up all my totals but I plan on it this month. I do know Ive saved a HUGE amount at CVS thanks to those 3.00 Q's/

I love how you posted your goals, I may do that in a day or two.

Melissa said...

looks good! keep it up! your shops are always fun to read about!

Jenny said...

I think you're doing great and your totals look fantastic! I read your deals and I still can't figure out how you manage to pull them up together. All that stuff that you got with $3CVS coupons was great! And I'm sure you'll get your goals done with all the savings from your deals.

frugalsuz said...

Thanks all for the encouragement! :)

hitenney said...

As they say, you're "da bomb" at being frugal! Great job, suz!

frugalsuz said...

Thank you so much! :)

Chicagolandia said...

You're already doing great with your goals. And your totals for the month are pretty darned impressive.

frugalsuz said...

Thank you so much! I definitely worked for that profit in January.