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COVID-19 Experiments Finance Habits Health/Fitness Home Self Improvement Thinking

Conscious Spending – Starting 2021 HOT

Previously I wrote about my goals for 2021, and I have written many times about the various challenges, implementations and goals that have helped me to be better. This is no different, and I hope you’ll find your way through some of my other posts to read about my various experiments!

I like to watch youtube videos, listen to podcasts and other things to find inspiration, as well as just tune out a bit, but in a meaningful way. Today I was inspired while cruising youtube and thinking of my 2021 money habits, and decided that it was time to make SURE I took off into the new year with a fresh start, clean slate and as much positive momentum as I could muster. So, here’s how I spent my evening:

  1. Topped up my old Starbucks card on the app (read my previous post here about this) so I could have the annual Sbucks coffee budget established and ready to go. I didn’t want to wait too long and then forget, or end up using more in the start of 2021, so I am now set!
  2. Cancelled things! – If it was a recurring membership of some sort, I dug through and cancelled it. Apps on my phone, the computer, all were up for review and I ended up slashing (annually) a total of $523.00 +/- by ensuring the following was not going to renew automatically any longer: Audible, Masterclass, Piano learning app, and Calm Premium.
  3. Looked around – I ran the numbers and found that I (would) pay a total of roughly $120.00 annually for my Spotify premium account. Now, hear me out, I LOVE Spotify, heck, I even own stock in their company; however, I want to save money still. I found that on Amazon they have a premium gift card that is $99.00 and essentially covers the cost of a full year of premium. During Christmas, I had been gifted $100.00 Amazon gift card…so voila, I have $1.00 left on my amazon card, but at no cost to me, I now have my whole year of streaming music AND saved about $20.00 +/- in the process.
    Additionally, I decided that I would start a sinking fund to fund NEXT year’s spotify, so I only have to save $8.25/month to make sure I can do the same thing again.
  4. Paid upfront – This one isn’t so much saving me any money – but – more just psychologically pleases me. I typically pay my car insurance and renters insurance monthly. I saw that for the remaining 3 months of my current insurance cycle, I owed a reasonable amount, so I just paid it off in full. I like that it frees up some cash for me in the next 3 months (roughly between $90-$120.00 each month), which will be really helpful since the Federal government will be recouping money from me that I never asked them for in the first place, starting January first. This will give me a slight cushion, to accommodate for that, and gives me a 3 month head start for at least a part of my planned sinking fund to get going, so I can get out of that monthly cycle and transition to bi-annual, or even annual insurance payments. With COVID, my insurance carrier has actually been giving people rebates since we are all driving a lot less, so this could actually end up with me getting money back from them in the future and having credits toward that next billing cycle. Yay!
    I also (previously) purchased boxing class vouchers for my gym whenver there was a sale. With black friday, COVID, and Christmas/New Years…safe to say there’s a lot of good deals. I made sure to take advantage of them, and currently have stockpiled the equivalent of about 3 months of once weekly classes for about 60% of the full monthly price of a membership. Yes, I know it sort of is unfair to the business, but I also want to support in SOME way, rather than just saying I can’t go at all. I wont’ apologize for wanting to keep my fitness a priority AND still find ways to not break my own bank.
  5. Pen to paper – Oh yeah buddy, for me, I LOVE a good pen & paper session to outline goals and a spreadsheet for my budget! I put in the time to lay it out by my debts, and figured out which debts I want to tackle, in which order (total owed vs. interest rates) and how I want to prioritize for the year. It’s immensely satisfying, so if you aren’t into it, maybe give it another go!? Find an app you like. Add colors and different fonts. Make it FUN and work in the way your brain does, not how someone else says you should do it!
  6. Thought of future options – In thinking of how I can sort of “front load” other areas, I also established a list of places/companies and things that I would like for future gift cards, in lieu of people buying me “things” for birthdays or other celebrations. It won’t completely cover things, but Netflix, Amazon, Target, my boxing gym and Spotify are all places that a gift card could help! While not always the most exciting/romantic or creative gift, I enjoy working toward being out of debt, so I know I would appreciate them as much as anything!

Any other ideas?! I would love to hear them!

By DreamerSD

Life enthusiast

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