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Keyword: Save!

Are you guys savers or spenders? I'd like to cautiously say that I've been a pretty good saver through most of my life. I thank my dad for that one. I buy things, sure. And I spend a good chunk of money on food and travel, but overall, I do save a lot... as much as I can... without missing out on meaningful experiences.
As you guys know, I'm always trying to find a balance. With everything. It's fitting that my sign is a Pisces, right? Two fishing swimming away but also towards each other, creating a bigger current, and trying to find that balance. That’s me with all things. I feel like lately there has been a constant theme on this blog: minimizing as much as I can to maximize everything else. I guess this is the year for that. For me, anyway. Do you choose a word each year? I don't really, but if I had to choose one this year, it might be "save." Save money, save time, save the planet, save grace, everything.
I've never really had to sit down with my finances too much... I just save as much as I can, while spending as little as I can. You guys know, if I don't have money, I don't spend it. Simple as that. I use my credit card so that I can save points to travel, not for me to spend invisible money. My debit card is what I reach for almost exclusively. But I'm wondering, what would happen this year if I did try to save? If I sat down to budget and looked at all my expenses and made a plan? Where would I be this time next year? Could I grow my savings? Double it? Maybe triple it? I don’t know. It'd be interesting to find out. 
It's tough because life goes on and undoubtedly expenses will come up. Everything from the thousands and thousands I had to spend on medical bills last year or the looming car purchase I will have to make in the near future. My little red car (that I've grown to despise) has been holding strong for 10+ years now! But I am optimistic that if I make and follow a plan-- more money can be saved.
Despite being a good (great) saver, I have my downfalls when it comes to banking and money. I don't follow up on my accounts as much as I should at all. I have ended up with re-occurring payments that continued for far too long that should have been canceled months prior. Little things that could have been avoided, had I followed a short and long term financial plan.
And since we're here, talking about money, I should tell you, I'm hoping to save even more money to buy a second house... a much smaller house! I'm hoping to downsize our life! We're looking to rent out the house this year to help that process. But we'll see how it goes! Small(er) living here we come! 
As I work this year to make saving a part of my routine, I'm gladly teaming up with Regions Bank to offer some super helpful tips on how you (and me, duh) can create a successful yearly money saving plan.
Regions Bank actually has a great little check list for your yearly calendar. You can check out their super useful checklist: HERE. And in general, their whole website has SO many tools, blog posts, calculators, charts, etc. to help save money for your future. Like THIS financial check up list-- of things to do in the beginning of the year. 
Your Financial Planning Process Calendar: Save angst by scheduling monthly financial ‘to-dos
  • January: Look back; look forward; check your withholding status at work
  • February: Check your credit regularly; compile tax information
  • March: Meet with your tax professional; get rid of old information
  • April: Meet with your tax professional again
  • May: Review your insurance plans; do some spring cleaning; check your credit
  • June: Plan for the summer; go over your will, advanced directives for medical care and
  • estate plans
  • July: Tend to any home and car repair or maintenance issues
  • August: Plan for back-to-school expenses, refocus your financial goals with a mid-year
  • check in; check your credit
  • September: Prepare your home for winter; plan for car repairs or purchases
  • October: Make a holiday budget
  • November: Give back; check your credit
  • December: Create and stick to a holiday budget; make an extra mortgage payment and
  • apply it to your principal
Regions also has this great article on the importance of setting financial goals. Like I said, I've never done it too much-- but now that I do have a lot of business ideas and life plans, it is time I start. And why wait, you know? Why wait a month or a year to start saving, when I could start now? Anyway, all the articles are super straight forward and helpful. And instead of just reiterating all of them, I totally recommend you click over and read through them if you're hoping to save a little or a lot of money this year and in the future :)

Edit: Soooooo I wrote this post last week... and intuit time to now, the little red car got totaled (luckily no one was hurt.) Sooooo now I'm off to spend big chunk of money to buy a new car today. boo/yay.

This post is sponsored by Regions Bank. All opinions are my own.

11 comments:

  1. When you say you had to pay medical bills, does Alex get credit for helping or did you do it yourself?

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    1. this is the second time you've rudely (and unnecessarily) commented on my blog this month. We have separate bank accounts, alex did not pay my bills.

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  2. Love your post! From being an accountant and truly examining our family finances it is amazing how much you can save for a rainy day, emergency fund, retirement and traveling. Once I wrote down my plans and held ourselves accountable it really made a difference. I wish you all the best of luck! Side note have you see the documentary Minimalism? Probably one of the best that I have seen! Take Care!

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    1. I've watched the doc two times now! Even marlowe likes it! She asked if she could keep only 31 things, haha. I told her shed have to keep a bit more than that ;)

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  3. I feel like I’m in the same boat right now. Minimizing somethings because we have just last year realized what our (my husbands & mine) real dreams are and we want to maximize those possibilities. First thing we need to do that is money to buy land. So financial re-evaluation is the main theme in our house lately.

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    1. yesss! I would love to buy a big plot of land (to use AND protect). I'm rooting for your money saving and land buying!

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  4. I like that yearly calendar idea. It's not too late for me to jump in. Looking back en looking forward....ooo I could do that all year...So, that calendar seems like a good plan.

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  5. Can I ask you a question? this is really not meant to be rude, but I wonder how so many people who care about the environment (like you, or people from the minimalist movement) can travel by plane a lot without hesitating. What is the thought process behind that? It would be great if you could answer, cause I've been thinking a lot about it. I'd love to travel far away sometimes too, but I find it not to be in line with my values...

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    1. yes! so! I honestly think about this EVERY SINGLE TIME I'm on a plane. But my thought process is, it's not perfect, but I do want to travel--- and I'm not going to get very far by walking. So I try to balance it the best I can. Like, I did just go out and buy a Prius today. Even though I rarely drive anywhere, I'm thinking even a little bit of driving on a Prius is better than a little bit of driving in a regular car. And I make sure to travel with a water bottle + totes so that I don't have to go through plastic. those are just two tiny examples of course. But I do as much as I can-- I don't feel great about any bit of foot print I leave behind, but I don't want to sit curled up in a ball in the middle of my house either, ya know?

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  6. It's great to see you guys back togheter :)

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