A short time ago I came across a horse named “Savings Account”…she is on www.horseracingnation.com.
I thought to myself, I ought to have a savings account for my horses. They all too often have unexpected expenses that shouldn’t cause us to eat Top Ramen and toast for weeks! So I decided to look into further ways of budgeting our money. Any savings could be applied to a ” horse savings account”.
I searched ways we could cut corners and start! Below you will find a few tips we have put into practice.
Cut the cable…it was really hard in the beginning. Everyone was watching the latest and greatest shows and we felt left out with only 5 channels. We have the NEWS, and actually that is all we really need. Now, after not having it, we have more time to get things done, spent more time with our horses and see a reduction in the cable and electric charges. Approximately $120 a month savings. **See Note at bottom
Eating out two times less each week! Planning ahead, packing lunches, snacks and making our own dinners. This not only saves money, but saves calories and is healthier. We only eat out once a month now. Yes it is hard to get used to, but once you see the savings, it becomes rewarding. Approximate savings: $25 a week. (I’ll expand on my meal planning in a later post)
Use a water filter and recycling bottle! According to The Water Project, the average person in the USA spends around $100 a year on bottled water! Yikes, that is a lot of money for water and a lot of water bottles in our land fill. A Pur water filter from Home Depot was $24.97 and a nice bottle from Wal-Mart was $9.99. Our approximate savings is about $70.00 a year after the initial cost and $100 thereafter.
Use a plan for running errands. In our part of the country, gas is at $1.43/gal or $1.89/diesel; we fill up as much as we can, plan our errands in one jaunt if possible and conserve our fuel. Groceries, feed supply, bank, library, and post office…whatever they are. By doing this we can save approximately $20 a month.
Keep utilities down. We set our heat at 65o in the winter and in the summer at 80o for air-conditioning. If we feel a chill, we put on a robe, hoodie and slippers. We also have lots of throw blankets on the furniture, but sometimes the dogs get to them first! In the summer, we always have our tea and water pitchers filled, ice in the freezer and ceiling fans running in almost every room. Our savings ranges between $50-65 a month.
So let’s multiply each of these tips by 12, and double check the math!
No CABLE: ($120 x 12mo) $1440
Reduced Dining 4x a month ($25 x4 x 12) $1200
No bottled water $70 after initial cost or $100 if you already have the supplies.
Gasoline/combined trips $240 ($20 x 12)
Utility savings $600 if we use the lower figure ($50 x 12)
Total savings $3,550.00. That is a lot of savings with minimal sacrifice, other than cable. As a result, we can set that money aside for any unexpected vet bills, up coming clinics or shows, and unforeseen trailer repairs.
How do you prepare for the unexpected with your horse and hobbies? Comment and share in the space below to let us know!
A pony is a childhood dream; a horse is an adulthood treasure.
~ Rebecca Carroll
**02/28/2016: As a side note to the cable situation, attached is a link for a solution to having additional channels for minimal cost. Please visit www.makingsenseofcents.com