Saving up A Billion Cents
Near the end of February, our television died. One moment my husband was watching The Walking Dead and the next he was only hearing it (didn’t make it less anxiety-provoking for me). Not sure what broke- but it was a gonner. It turns out we had had that television for almost 8 years. Apparently today that’s not a bad run for a TV. We started shopping for a new one immediately. . . Yikes. My husband knows what he wants - 65 inches or more (anything else is so small!), OLED because it’s better. (He did go into a lengthy explanation here, but I have to admit, not much registered.) Combine those two and it's going to be spendy. So, we cooled our jets.
Two things happened when we decided to wait on a replacement.
1. We started being more productive as a family (surprise!) and
2. We started talking about how if we didn’t replace the TV right away, we could save some money.
No TV? We don’t need the cable package that sucks more time from our day than is healthy. I called our cable company to see about cutting back to just internet. After 45 educational minutes with the kind and informative, customer service (sales) person, we cut our bill by $68 a month. Wow! That works out to $816 a year! It also left us with more than basic cable, but no cable box, so only internet viewing options. No problem. No TV. (Apparently the most expensive move is trying to have internet only.)
$816 is not chump change. That’s a significant savings. Historically, my mind may have gone to, “Where else can we put that money?”. After talking about it, we thought more about how we want to save more for the future. We don’t need to spend, let’s just save it. Saving. We are decent savers. While exact budgeting is not a skill I excel at (working on it), we do consciously put a certain percentage away every month. We are in our early 40’s and would love to retire early, if possible.
I like to say my husband is an “Idea guy”. His brain is always running and he has a knack for thinking outside of the box. We brainstormed other ways we can cut back on spending and consuming in general. (Consuming is a huge part of our American culture. Our family definitely has room to improve it’s impact on the world, and our pockets.) So what if we found a way to track this? Many suggestions I found online came down to pennies at a time. Hey, pennies add up to dollars!
As I launch this, I am working on how to best determine, track and display our journey to save a billion cents (10 million dollars!). You are welcomed to follow along!
Follow along with our progress to A Billion Cents!