Starting to Save Money – 869 Days to go

Yes I have been slacking with posting which is not a good thing. It has been about a month since I shared how we were going to start assembling the necessary money for the trip. After a couple weeks I have a quick update as to how we are going to start saving the money. Yes we have already made some mistakes.

My first plan had been to go ahead and just put all the money as cash in a box in the kitchen. I think there is value in that methodology because of the visual nature of it and the kids really can get involved. My children never really had a piggy bank before so finding a quarter on the ground and putting it into a box has some appeal to them.

The problem with the box for us was threefold. First, the money makes no money sitting in a box and since we still have 850+ days before our trip, it would be good to put any money we have to work for us. Second, having a box of cash in the house increases the likelihood we will dip into it when we just need a couple bucks for a random expense. I found I was putting IOUs into the box which defeated the entire purpose of the box. And the most difficult one was based off some of the more complex ways we were funding our trip. Cancelling recurring payments and banking the difference is difficult to do with a physical cash box. It did not make sense to go to the bank to take out money to put it in the box.

So now we have made some small adjustments. First, through my bank I have setup a way to buy GICs. We wanted an asset that is ultra conservative (i.e. I have no desire to lose 1 cent of the money we have saved) but we can still make a couple bucks in interest while having the capital secured. I could have opened a savings account but the rate was about 1/4th of the GIC and on top of that based on usage I might have incurred fees.

Second, I still keep the box in the house to keep the kids excited and to put loose cash in from selling household items and bottle returns. The only caveat is that I empty it once a month and buy a GIC. Also I have put the kids in charge of it so there is no chance of an IOU going in there.

And finally for the more complex funding elements we have in place, I plan to just put all the entries into an excel sheet and once a month transfer the money into a GIC purchase.

All the shortfalls aside it has been fun. We have saved a couple hundred dollars so far which is the beginning of something we want to realize. In our point of view it is the second concrete thing we have done to move our dream closer (this blog being the first).

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