It's EVERY DAY CHOICES.
We pulled from our IRA in March enough to go to Dec.. We put part in each of our 4 savings acct and the rest in a CD. At this point we could go to end of Jan before needing to pull again from the IRA.
First we saved some every month from the IRA because Hubby changed where and when he was hauling. Since a couple of the "single" haulers are more willing to haul out of state(Hubby has a nicer truck and longer flat bed trailer so got most of those hauls) and earn bigger bucks... there was a gap needing filled in the local hauls. He has started picking up hauls in the evening *something he hasn't done before. We just moved supper/dinner to earlier and added a fruit or dairy snack later. SO he is now covering all his bills for the business !!! AND has two contacts where he will be hauling for the one once a week and the other one every 6 wks. Steady work helps. Right now what ever job he can get he takes. Thursday is doctor appts and errands. I switched an appt to later in the afternoon so he could haul in the morning.There has only been one month he only made half of what he needed.... we actually counted on having to cover a total of 6 months for this first year in the business. We only had to cover 1/2 month. WE know there will be a bigger bill when his renewal for legal stuff comes in during Oct to mid Jan which is low earning months.
I turn off the AC and all the fans in the morning, open windows and doors if it's below 77 degrees. I will not turn the AC back on until after 3 or even after dinner unless Wilbur, our oldest dog pants heavy. Rascal a year younger and black doesn't pant as quickly as Wilbur. Still I will not turn on the AC I turn on the ceiling fans and floor fans if that doesn't help him I turn the AC on 78.. I keep the curtains shut and the windows shut if it's above 77 degrees. I found that the Amish do this a lot as it keeps the hot air and humidity from coming in as soon. Our electric dropped by $50 in 30 days. Hubby was a little grumpy but since the AC at 76, will run with a ceiling fan while he sleeps he has adjusted. We found if we put a fans in front of the vents on the floor it helps move the air and the AC doesn't run as much.110 is cheaper to run than 220. I also opened the old cast iron floor vent in the ceiling in the front room to the east loft, allows the hot air to go up to the loft so Hubby is more comfortable.
I got Hubby to take 5 min showers instead of 20 min showers. His excuse was his shoulder length thin hair... mine is almost to my hips and still very thick,so that didn't float with me. He also realized after I shoved a bucket in his shower that he was letting it run a lot more than he thought before getting in it. My 2 inches of water compared to his over flowing same size as mine bucket . I also pointed out that his bathroom in the farthest from the water heater so we needed to run the hot water at the mudroom (used to be the kitchen)sink first to help get the hot water faster to his shower... Simple solution was I wash the hand wash dishes in that sink instead the kitchen sink BEFORE he takes his shower, if we have no hand wash dishes or he wants to take one sooner he uses the other bathroom which is a lot closer to the water heater. His bucket is now just at a quart a little more than mine. That also lowered the electric but in that one switch of timing showers we saved a bag of salt which costs us $10/month with delivery.
I checked our farm insurance and our vehicle ins and got it lowered by 10 % saving us $350 total a month ... some how the over hangs on barn on the original ins got flipped to lean too's and they still had the old truck which has not been tagged in over 2 months and now sold listed. We don't drive the dog truck or the jeep much either. So that was changed and I got the over charge back as a credit. We take the jeep as it's best on gas, Hubby has finally gotten in the habit that when he is checking with the Amish about pick ups and drop offs to take the jeep instead of the work truck.He has an app on his phone that tracks mileage for personal, medical and business so it doesn't matter what he is driving.
Our escrow on the mortgage was over by $50 a month. I got that lowered so it's not a refund at the end of the year due to over payment.
I got a discount for paying the propane in full in cash instead of credit card. That savings comes out to $100 a month.
I changed 2 different meds that dropped the price to $5 for a 3 month supply saving $10 a month.
Instead of buying a soccer ball for my PT I am using a foam cooler that is the same width. Daughter 3 suggested this as she does the same exercise for her C.P. also.
We needed new silverware as Hubby can't hold on to the ones we have now. Instead of buying what I would love to have in style etc, I focused on what would work for him. It was half of what I wanted. Granddaughter B said if we find out he could not use them she would buy them from us as she just moved out on her own.
I cut $50 a month by no longer ordering books (cookbooks are my go to and I read them like novels)for my kindle or paperbacks. I read a lot. A book every other day.I have went to free library and free unlimited kindle. IF I really want the book It has to come out money I make either ice for the Amish neighbor, selling asparagus that ran us over or driving someone some where. I am saving that money to help replace hoop house next year.
The biggest saving has came to how I have stocked everything back up. My stock up budget is separate from my grocery budget. When things were tighter it was part of that budget. Now it's not.
First I know I spend $500 a month (eating out is included in this)( a year of no garden when we moved here and not having much to bring with us) so for stocking up I budget $400 a month for stocking up (figuring that $100 is fresh produce and dairy) That's $4800 for stocking up medical, filters for things in the house, non food, personal, dogs and food to go 12 months.
I changed where I am shopping, what brand I am buying and setting lower limits. YES lower limits. IF I can go without it, or make due (think Clorox in a bucket with rags instead of wipes) I will.
I went to Aldi's, Dollar General, Family Dollar, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Save A Lot, Amish bulk stores, dent can store , home improvement stores (Home depot, Lowes and Mendards) and old fashion hardware stores when I was already in area. Hubby also did it when he was stopping while hauling for Amish ( they will ask to stop at certain stores). I checked prices on line between Kroger's, Walmart, Sam's club,Target and Amazon. Except for buying the dogs meds, flour, sugar and yeast I could go without what is still on the list. I made sure the medical and household filters were first. I have a written lists that is updated every time something comes through the door. I take a picture of the lists and send it to Hubby so we both don't waste money by buying too much of something.
By doing it this way.... I still have $2400 in the stock up acct...which is earning a bit of interest, not much but a bit.
It's the daily