Friday, February 24, 2017

five on friday: budgeting update

{1} It was just over a year ago that I looked at the same chart on Mint and basically every single month was in the red. Today I logged in to see how we're doing and I was so happy to see that budgeting has actually been really good for our financial health!

{2} We got a decent sized tax return this year so the first order of business was to pay off our van! I'm really excited to just be down to one car payment, which is the lease on my car. We are planning on putting the monthly van payment into savings so we can use it as a down payment when we buy out the lease.

{3} 2017 is the year we decided to pay more towards our mortgage. We transfer a little bit more than our annual mortgage each month. I used a mortgage repayment calculator to determine that if we started doing this each month, we would shorten our 30-year mortgage by 5 years and 5 months. I am hoping that as I become more established in my career and earn more (and as Jon goes back to work once the kids are in school) we can pay this down even faster.

{4} Meal planning has helped us save a lot! I try to plan out each meal for the week on the Friday prior so we can get groceries over the weekend. I do most of my cooking on Sunday for my lunches for the week. It also helps that we don't eat very much meat at all. However, I do try to buy meat when it's on sale so I can freeze it and save money that way.

{5} Cashback apps and sites. I started using Ebates in November and I've already earned $40.37 in cashback since just by shopping through their affiliate links. This is money I would have otherwise missed. I literally click a link and it redirects me to the desired site and when I place an order I get a specified percent back. Use this referral link to get $10 on your first purchase using Ebates. I also use Mr. Rebates, which is identical to Ebates but on some sites has a higher percentage cashback. Use this referral link to get $5 on your first verified Mr. Rebates purchase. Finally, I use Ibotta when I shop at the grocery store. I've earned over $40 in cashback through that. Use this referral link to get $10 back on your first verified purchase using Ibotta. 

Linking up with AmyKatieAprilAndreaNarci and Erika!

1 comment:

  1. We've been trying to really stick to a budget too and I am going to try some of your tips! Mint is a reality check for sure!!