I guess I will start with a little recap of the "Cow Fund" for all of you Cutting Back newbies.
In September 2009 we purchased a quarter of a cow. It was something we did on a whim, and we just wrote a check for it.
Last year I started to feel like we needed to save for more things and become better stewards of what the Lord had entrusted us with. It was a personal thing, I am in no way trying to say it is wrong to buy a cow or a pair of shoes that you haven't saved for...when you can afford it. I have just made a conscious effort to stop impulse/unnecessary spending in general.
I was convinced that "saving up" for things would help with:
1. Impulse Buys- If you have to save for it you have plenty of time to see if you really want/need it.
2. Discipline- Discipline is something I think that most of us need more of...in one area or another. I desire to be better disciplined in every area of life, but I really focused on discipline in the area of spending in 2010.
Ways we saved for the Cow Fund:
1. Our grocery budget is $40 a week for the two of us. I did a few "Eating from the Pantry" months. I made as many meals as possible from the stockpile and freezer in those months and just bought necessities and produce. The others months I would save what I could and at the end of the month drop the leftover money into the jar.
2. Empty our pockets. Whenever our pockets were full of change we would dump it into the jar. Little by little it accumulated. It was so rewarding to watch the big jar fill up. It just goes to show that even the pennies add up over time!
The jar has been totaled:
Can you believe it? I couldn't! I took the jar to a Coin Star machine and let them do the work. I wasn't about the roll all of that change...it was worth the fee for me!
The crazy thing is that our cow man didn't come through for us this year...he had no cows to purchase. I think we found a supplier that can provide the meat in the spring. I am holding on to that money for now and by then I am sure there will be more money to cash in. After thinking about it I decided I should put that money in the bank...that is a lot of money to keep sitting by your kitchen window?!?
The lesson learned is that you can save quite a bit and not even miss it!
After documenting every grocery trip with pictures and totals this year in my Packing the Pantry posts...it is time to call it quits. I really don't enjoy doing the Packing the Pantry post and I hope you all understand! Instead I am going to spend my time on the things I do enjoy in efforts to make the blog better.
I will still be taking out $40 cash each week and sticking to that...don't you worry!