Monday, January 4, 2016

Saving more. Earning more.

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Hello 2016!  This is the year that I get serious about financial freedom.  I've always been somewhat frugal but I want to step it up.  I have decided not to spend any money in January beyond my fixed living expenses, food, and gas.  I really want to see my bank account balance go up.  So far, so good. I stayed in all weekend and watched movies (it was cold outside anyway).  I did run a couple errands and picked up a $1 loaf of bread from Walmart - but I used a gift card so there was nothing out of pocket. Actually, I have a few Walmart gift cards (I'll explain where they came from in a minute), so almost all of my food expenses will be covered with those. 

In addition to watching my bank account balance increase, I will also watch my retirement account balances increase.  I am saving 6% of my income in my 401K (my employer matches a portion of that) and I plan on maxing out my Roth IRA ($5500 - which I did last year also!).  

I don't make lots of money but saving half of my income is important to me.  That's my goal this year.  But that's not my only goal.  I also want to earn more.  This is my plan to do that:

Unfortunately, I don't have a "Make Money" button.  I do have some side hustles though.  While I hope to get a raise this year, that is out of my control.  For now, I earn extra money online.  

Swagbucks - Last year's earnings - $885.  I plan to get that over $1000 this year.

Quickrewards - Last year, I earned $180.  I started using the site in March so with a full year ahead, I should be able to increase this easily.

Gifthulk - Last year - $110.  I can do so much more on this site so I plan to double this number in 2016.

Perk - $225.  This is an easy phone app.  I definitely could do more so I'd like to see this number go to $300.

InstaGC - $26.  I started this site in December so not bad for one month.  That should be easy to beat.

I also plan on taking extra shifts at work.  I'm even thinking about adding a part time job on my day off.  I'll have to see if that is an option.  

So, that's my plan.  Earn more, save more.  Every month, I'll let you know how I'm doing.  Real numbers.  I'll also let you know how I'm doing it.  Small steps will add up and financial freedom will become a reality.