Full-Time Saving

(photo credit: Mathieu Turle/Unsplash)

Yes, yet another savings post, but this is where we’re at right now.

Although travel remains out of picture for the rest of this year, Brett and I have big plans for the future, and our Number One priority now is to save, save, save. We want to sock away as much as possible to not only cover setting off on our next big adventure but to have enough to get ourselves to YaYu’s graduation in the spring of next year and to Japan in the fall.

Back in 2017 and last year I posted the list below of ways to save for travel. Since Brett and I are once again back into savings mode big time we are following our own saving advice and it’s making a big difference. Besides getting YaYu through school, future travel is our priority now, and in spite of rising inflation we’ve made a game of seeing how much we can put away each month.

Here’s how things we’re doing currently are going (using our own savings tips). Even on a fixed income there are still ways to save if travel or something else is a priority:

  1. Set up a dedicated travel savings account, and start a monthly allotment to that account. We have gone over our budget with a fine-toothed comb and found ways we could cut back so we’ve been able to increase the amount that goes into this account. The current amount will increase again once we get YaYu’s final bill paid in December – just a few more months to go!
  2. Save on regular budget categories, and then put the difference into travel savings. We do this every month, although it’s not easy lately with prices creeping up everywhere. One way we’re saving this way is rather than filling the tank when he goes for gasoline, Brett stops at a present amount about $7 under what a full tank would cost. The amount nearly fills the tank and seems to be enough for now to cover our driving. The extra $7 goes into our savings.
  3. Do a “no-spend” week, or month, and deposit all usual discretionary spending amounts into your savings. We have a full-time needs over wants mindset and do very little spending outside of fulfilling our needs. We have almost no discretionary spending, and what we do have is planned. Every week is pretty much a no-spend week, and almost all spending we do is planned in advance.
  4. Save change and $1 bills. Saving $1 bills and change is a habit for us now, but we are not shopping much these days and are putting away less than we used to. Only one store, Safeway, now lets us round up to the nearest $5, and we rarely shop there. The goal these days is to put away at least $300 per year. It’s not much, but like everything else, it helps. We have compared this to using a cash back credit card, and this method provides more savings.
  5. Recognize needs versus wants. We’ve got this down.
  6. Dedicate all refunds, rebates and gifts to travel savings. We don’t get many rebates/refunds now, but they still all go into the travel savings account when they do show up, like our Costco rebate last February. Once a year two of our three daughters refund us the cost of keeping them on our phone plan; next year all three will be sending us an annual payment.
  7. Get a travel rewards credit card. We use our rewards card to buy groceries and then pay the card balance immediately. It’s not a lot, but again, it adds up.
  8. Sell unused or unnecessary things. We have started going through our apartment and are already selling items we don’t use and know we will not be keeping. This includes items we have been storing for the girls and they have said they no longer want. I created my Etsy shop to sell our Japanese things, including my hashioki collection. We are putting nothing into storage when we leave this time, another big savings. We also try to sell one item a month through our local Buy & Sell group.
  9. Get a part-time job. We still have absolutely no interest in taking on jobs, even part-time, but I am now earning a small income from the blog, my Etsy shop is bringing in some income, we sell something on Buy & Sell, and we get a monthly payment from our neighbor for sharing our Internet. None of it is going to make us rich, but it does add up to a few hundred dollars a month.
  10. Be creative. I have earned three $500 Delta Airlines gift cards through Swagbucks for future travel and want to earn two more before we leave Hawaii. Swagbucks can drive me mad at times, but those gift cards will make a real difference. We still pick up change when we find it, and recycle bottles and cans as well. There are loads of other ways to earn extra money as well; these are the ones that work for us.

These ways to save got us over to Hawai’i in 2014, and helped us set out on our Big Adventure in 2018, and we’re confident will get us on the road again in style in 2023! Game on!

8 thoughts on “Full-Time Saving

  1. First of all, I don’t know where the time has gone, I’ve been following your blog since the year before you moved!

    My ex used to drive for Uber on the weekends to bring in some extra money to pay off his student loans. Probably not doable for you, but my uncle lives in Tucson, and he started doing it as well on weekday mornings around the university. He’s a sociable guy and enjoyed meeting people and making a little extra. Your tips reminded me of him!

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    1. We have known each other a long time! Hoping, hoping, hoping we can get together somewhere before we set off.

      Brett toyed with driving for Uber when we were here before, but in the end there were too many hurdles we didn’t want to jump over. So, we’ve found other income streams. I have to say our Japanese stuff we bought has provided one of our best income streams over the years. We’ve enjoyed it, and then have gotten/are getting our money back when it’s time for someone else to enjoy it.

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    1. That’s my motto. I always think about how the small stuff can drain your bank account or run up your credit card balance in a hurry, and realize the same is true for putting away small amounts into savings. It’s not flashy, but it really does add up.

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  2. So many ways to save, and I’m sure over time it amounts to a nice sum. I need to list some more things online to sell, but I haven’t gotten up the energy to photograph them, etc. I wrote it down as a goal going forward, as that seems to make me do things. 😜

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    1. We tally up our savings balances at the end of each month, and have always been surprised by how much we save each month, just from the small stuff.

      Getting things photographed and listed for sale online is WORK!! Brett is getting ready to open an eBay account and is amazed the effort he’s already put into it and he hasn’t even actually listed anything. I thought getting the hashioki up was going to kill me. For now, once a week, and one or two items, is enough. But, I’ve been happy with the sales so far, so there’s that.

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