Monday, January 16, 2017

A Penny Saved

Continuing with my theme of the ABC's of trucking, Today let's talk about the letter B.

Many words came to mind.  Backing. Bill of Lading. BS Artist. Big Truck...

But one of the most critical, in my opinion, is Budget.

In the world of electronic funds, it's a little easier to get access to money than it used to be.  This can be a good thing or a bad thing.

Back when I was starting, I had a certain amount each week.  When it was gone I was in trouble.  I had to make every nickel and dime count.  Many was the day I was living on ramen noodles and faith. 

Things are better now.  But I still like to keep things under control because easier to access can often mean easier to spend, and that can leave you scrambling to pay the bills. 

So what we do is have one bank account set up just for me to use on the road.  Each week we put my budgeted discretionary money in there and it's there for me to withdraw or access with a debit card any time I need to, throughout the week.

In the rare and unlikely event that I have an emergency come up, or another expense that causes me to exceed that,  we can decide how much needs to be transferred from our household account to cover it.  That way I'm not just randomly dipping into our household funds.

I make it into a sort of game to try to stay below budget every week, and save the difference. Some weeks it's easier than others. 

I engaged in an experiment in 2016.
I had read about the Penny A Day Challenge around Christmas of 2015 and decided I would give it a try.
It's very simple really.
On Jan 1, 2016, I put a penny in a jar. (In my case I used a cheap penny bank.)
On Jan 2, I put two pennies into the kitty. On Jan 3, three pennies. And so on...

It was easy at first; So easy it was tempting to just quit. But as the days progressed, the number kept growing.
By April 9, the 100th day of the year, when I was now adding $1.00 a day, it had become a habit. Every morning part of my morning ritual was to go through my pocket change from the previous day and take out the appropriate amount, before dropping the rest in a separate jar.  This jar, normally my laundry and vending machine money, came in handy later in the year when the daily challenge amount was more than my pocket change and I turned to the change jar to make up the difference.
Although it was easy at first, by the time July 18, the 200th day of the year pushed past the $2.00 mark it started to actually require a commitment. Of course by this time it was such a habit, a part of my daily life, that it made it easier to give up my afternoon donut and Coke. This in turn, presumably, had its own added health benefits.
And of course when Oct 25 rolled around and I hit the $3 per day mark, I was fully committed, and watching the money building up so much faster was part of the fun.
Continuing  for the entire year meant that since 2016 was a leap year and  it contained 366 days,  Dec 31, 2016 was the 366th day of the year so on that day I was up to $3.66 finishing my year contribution.
The result was a final tally of $671.61.

And the best part was that, since I resisted temptation to spend it early, I still had that in my hand AFTER Christmas.
It was such a fun way to challenge myself to save that I have decided to do it again this year.
But I'm going to add an additional challenge.
I'm also going to do the Dollar A Week challenge, which is self explanatory. $1 the first week, 2 dollars the second and so on throughout the year.

The tricky part will be that by the final week, if I am still doing both challenges, I will need to come up with $75.34, which currently exceeds my weekly discretionary allowance I have given myself.
Once I hit my limit,  I will need to find a way to generate additional money, either through mystery shopping or some other means of bringing in those extra dollars.  But we'll cross that bridge when it becomes a problem.
If I am able to keep up with both challenges, the Penny challenge should yield $667.96 while the Dollar challenge should add up to $1378.00 for a combined total of $2045.96.
I'd like to invite you, to join me in one or the other or both challenges.
I'll post periodic updates and try to provide some encouragement.
Lets do it!

Check out my other ABC's of Trucking posts.

B - Budget

Why not Head on over to ABC Wednesday and see what everyone else is writing about this week?


  1. I should start with the penny a day challenge. I will catch up today. How much would I need?? LOL, math challenged here!

  2. Lol. Today is Day 17 of the year. So if you start today with $1.53, you will be right on track.

    Good luck. It's fun!

  3. What a wondeful idea Troy.... indeed, life can be very challenging if money is low and stack of bills rising...

    Maybe I a going to pick up on this idea and try it for myself ;-)

    Anyway, wishing you all the luck with it.... and if you succeed, treat yourself with something nice, well earned!

    Have a nice ABC-Wednesday / _ Week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc=w=team)

  4. Wow, that's quite a challenge and good for you sticking to it.
    I really need to start saving but it is difficult on a fixed income. Thanks for setting my "wheels" in motion.

  5. Wonderful way to save and develop discipline!

  6. Creative post for B and great budget idea ~ thanks,
    Wishing you a Happy Week ahead ~ ^_^

  7. I hadn't heard about these ideas before. This would be a fun and highly visual way to teach saving to children and teens.

    1. Just think. If a school teacher did that the kids could pick up pennies they found and contribute them. How many fun classroom supplies could be acquired for $600+?

  8. great post and love the idea.. will be a good idea to teach the kids to save up as well..

  9. I started with a Happy Jar this every week..the members of my house have to write and put one happy moment in that jar. We will open that jar on the 31st of December and read up on all the happy blessed moments we will have this year.

    There is a "Letter Writing Challenge" starting from January 30th. It would be amazing if you could participate in it.
    Here is the link for it