EOM September 2013

Howdy Pilgrims!

My savings rate for September was 59%.  This is a little disappointing to me as my current goal for 2013 is to have a higher savings rate than 2012 (which was 67%) and right now I’m hovering around 65% for YTD.  From another perspective, saving 59% is way above the American average, but if I don’t hold myself to a higher standard than nobody else is going to.

This month I’d like to share some ways that I saved money in September.

  • My fiance’s dentist offers a promotion where if you refer a new patient, you (and the new patient) each get a $50 gift card to be used at local restaurants/spas.  For the month of September they doubled the promotion, and since I had been wanting to switch dentists anyway, we took advantage of it.  Just yesterday we got two gift cards in the mail for $100 each.  That is a total value of $200 that we get to enjoy for free!  Who still believes that you have to live austerely to realize extreme savings?
  • I did not buy GTAV (although I was sorely tempted).  For the uninitiated, this is a popular video game with a gigantic production budget.  Buying this game on its September 17 release date would have set me back $60.  I hope to own and play it eventually, but I can wait for it to go down in price.  Imagine consuming something that cost $266 million dollars to make, for the low price of $15 (the current price of an earlier but not yet obsolete game in the series).  The mind boggles.  In the meantime, I’ve been taking advantage of Microsoft’s “Games with Gold” XBOXLIVE promotion, which makes a game available for free download every 15 days.  Many of them are quite good, and I may not have known about them otherwise.
  • I applied for this Chase United MileagePlus Explorer credit card a few months ago, knowing that if I cancel it in less than a year I will avoid the annual fee.  One of the benefits of this card are the frequent flier miles they give you.  This month, I used those miles to purchase my plane ticket home for the winter holidays.  Expedia estimates the current price of the round-trip ticket I bought to be $422.  My fiance did the same, for total family savings of $844.  The total cost to us was $0!  Incredible.
  • I saved some money on groceries and other day-to-day living expenses by eating and living at an all-inclusive Jamaican resort for a week.  My special lady and I planned and paid for this trip back in March (my savings rate that month was about 50%).  On the way there and back we avoided hotel costs by staying a total of three nights with different friends of ours in Chicago, and avoided gas and tolls to/from Chicago by buying Megabus tickets way in advance (they were $6 each, round trip).  I get that Caribbean vacations aren’t exactly a great way to save money, but I mainly just wanted to include this picture.

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My tip for you this month is to take advantage of promotional deals, and try to make the most of your paid vacation (a little planning goes a long way).

Happy Saving!

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