Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Recent Financial "Wins"

Sometimes, I get frustrated looking at my long-term goal of paying off my student loan debt. I have made some great progress, but I still have over $14,000 left to pay off. When I get in “one of those moods” where I feel like the hard work will never end and the debt will never go away, it is important for me to focus on smaller financial “wins.” Taken individually, my latest financial “wins” might not be that amazing. But altogether, they lead to great savings and further propel me towards my goals.

Here are my latest “wins”:

1. Purchasing conditioner for 30 cents. Last week I needed conditioner for my hair. The day I was going to stop by CVS to buy some, I noticed an email from CVS in my inbox. I normally ignore all of the “sales” because they usually just try to get you to buy more stuff that you don’t need. But this time, I opened it. And what did I find? An instant coupon for a generic hair conditioner. Since there isn’t much difference between conditioners, I lept at the chance. The coupon gave me an instant refund for the price of the conditioner ($4.99), so all I paid was 30 cents in tax. WIN!

2. Making my own hand lotion/scrub for free. This is another serendipitous find. I had bought an avocado and only used half of it, so I was thinking of ways to use the rest of the avocado before it went bad. That same day I happened upon the Crunchy Betty website and found a recipe for a hand lotion/scrub that contained an avocado! The only other ingredients are olive oil and sugar, and since I already had those, this hand spa treatment was free! WIN!

3. Walking to work is saving me money AND helping me contribute to retirement. Now that the weather is nice I’m walking to work in the mornings. This saves me at least $1.60 a day (the cost of one bus trip). Taken over five days, that’s $32 a month! When I did this math it dawned on me that I could minimize the amount of pre-tax dollars that go to my bus/metro card. I had been contributing $80 a month. Now I’m contributing $50. I freed up an extra $30 a month in my paycheck, allowing me to up my retirement contribution from 5% of my take-home pay to 6%. This allows me to save an extra $450 a year towards retirement, all pre-tax as well. So let’s recap - walking to work every day helps me save $450 MORE dollars towards retirement than not walking to work. Plus, it keeps me in good shape. DOUBLE WIN!

Via. I want to be that guy with the sunglasses, winning!
Have you had any financial “wins” lately?

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