Editor’s note: This is an inspiring post from a dear internet friend who’s joining the 50% club. Only, she’s killing it, making 50% look like peanuts! Do you want to share your story about saving half? Let me know!
Hi! I’m Ronnie from All the Frugal Ladies. In honor of Frugal Portland’s new 50% club, this is my personal story on getting out of debt and racking up the savings. I hope it inspires others to save like I too have been inspired!
Saving $100,000 in Three Years
Some people consider me an extremist – a cheapskate, if you will. But being extreme about my savings was my personal goal – I was sick of being in debt and with no savings to fall back on.
I’m on year three of my quest to save and I’m getting close to my goal of saving… get this… $100,000! At that number, I no longer have to be worried – I can comfortably pay for my master’s degree tuition and even treat myself to a cruise if I feel like it. Ah, the good life of being debt-free!
So how did I do it? Simple! I spent the last three years devoting myself to living on less.
A breakdown of my finances
TOTAL MONTHLY EARNINGS: $3000
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES: $500
TOTAL MONTHLY SAVINGS: $2500
That’s equal to a…
TOTAL YEARLY SAVINGS: $30,000
Three years ago, I made a decision to change my life around. It hasn’t been easy, and it hasn’t been the most comfortable situation – but it’s been worth it. Here’s how I did it:
1) I don’t need to be independent!
My father lives alone in a cute, small apartment. He’s retired and spends most of his time playing poker or watching TV. He was happy to take me in as a flatmate for a few years – and presto! I saved on rent, bills, and as a bonus, I get dad-made breakfasts. Yum!
Savings: $858/month x 12 months = $10,296/year
2) Limiting the restaurant meals
I’m a horrible cook so this is a tough one for me, but I try to limit my dining out. Instead, I buy plenty of groceries and try to eat home-made meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, 7 days a week. Every so often, I’ll prize myself with a delicious restaurant meal – I deserve it!
Savings: $250 a month
3) Finding better deals
Why pay full price for a meal or any goods and services if you can get it half off on Groupon? I’ve become a master at finding coupons, discounts, and better deals. If a product is too expensive where I live, I’ll buy it from China – guilt free. Plus, I went through all my recurring monthly expenses and traded them in for cheaper alternatives. My monthly cell phone bill alone went down from $72 to $15 for an unlimited plan!
Savings: $200 a month
4) Public transportation
Sure, I would love to have a car (and at this point, I can actually afford it), but I also want to save right now. I live in a densely populated urban area, so buses are easily available. If I had a car, I would have to worry about paying for gas, insurance, upkeep and parking. Instead, I use buses as a savings trade-off: I save money, but I lose time and comfort (waiting for the bus is a killer). Fully worth it.
Savings: I spend only $80 a month on transportation – all of which is covered by my job!
5) I freelance – and yes, I’m exhausted
Free time? I have no free time. Every available moment I have in the day goes to my freelance gigs – writing and handling my three blogs. I make money on advertisement, affiliate purchases, sponsored posts, and running reviews and giveaways. I also apply to write articles on freelance sites. Next up, I’m considering creating some Fiverr gigs to make some extra small money on the side.
Earnings: $600 a month x 12 months = $7200
I’ve shared my experience. Now I’m curious: what is your plan to save part of your income? How much are you aiming to save?
Ronnie lives and breathes frugality. She loves to figure out how to spend less money, and enjoys the challenge of finding great deals and cheaper options. If you’re interested in joining her in her frugal quest, you can find her on Google+ or on her site.