Posted by Tim Stobbs on April 29, 2008
With a week to go to the due date of our second child I’m a little busy. I’m cleaning up the house, freezing extra leftovers, clearing my desk at work and checking up on my plan. Our original goal of the plan was to save about $7600 in 8 months.
That goal changed around the new year with my last raise and the decision to cut back my leave from 8 weeks down to 6 weeks. I revised the total required to $5200 after getting an estimate of my benefits cost from HR while I’m on leave. As of last night our total savings was $5500. So we have made our goal!
What I find interesting about all this is I could have still made the first goal. I spend $1400 of our original savings on a stock, we put $900 of a bonus into RRSP’s and I don’t even have my $1700 tax refund yet. With those included I would have saved $9500 in eight months. WOW!
So how do you save like mad for a short term goal? Well over the last few months I’ve learned a few things.
- Do a Cash Flow Projection – This is the major source of our savings. We projected all incoming cash from all expected sources for 8 months and declared them savings before they ever arrived in our chequing account.
- Redirect existing savings – We moved about $200/month from early retirement savings over to baby savings.
- Cut your spending just a little bit more – I already had a cheap food bill, we cut it back just a little bit more by trying to eat more beans, chickpeas and lentils. We ate some new recipes (creamy chickpea soup rocks!) and also saved a few extra dollars each month.
- Save Surprises – We had two surprises that really helped. One was that $900 bonus cheque I mentioned above and the other was our heating bill for the winter was much cheaper than I originally had in the budget. So we banked an extra $300 for heating money we didn’t use.
So what’s your tip for saving for a short term goal? If you have one please share.