Budgeting, Cash Savings, CDs, Goal Setting, No Spend Year, Retirement Journey

How We saved $50,000 in One Year.

Pay yourself first.

Whaatt??? That’s not new. I know! It’s been around for years!

As my dear regulars know, I’ve attempted no spends, low spends, etc. for years trying to save money. My goal was always to stop my impulse spending and to be able to save some cash. Usually, it worked for a couple of months, but then I would ditch it, which in turn, made me feel like a failure.

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This past year, I attempted the Low/No Spend idea again, but got bored with it and fell off the rails. However, we were still able to save a little bit of cash, and in June, my husband and I purchased IBonds with the savings we had in the bank. The IBonds were paying 9.6%!

It was then that I had one of those light bulb moments. I decided to stop focusing on what I couldn’t buy (the spending) and focus on how quickly I could pull together large chunks of money (savings) to take advantage of the new higher rates of CDs.

This new focus changed the way I did the monthly budgeting. I started sending money I wanted to save to Ally Bank before I even paid my bills. Then, after fixed expenses, whatever was left was what we could spend, without guilt. As each month went by, I tried to up the savings amount and lower the spending amount, which in essence turned out to be a low spend anyway (with the added bonus of not beating myself up for buying a lipstick!)

Once the desired savings amount was in Ally Bank, I quickly transferred it into a non-penalty CD. (Interest rates aren’t huge for the CDs, but they are finally adding dollars (and not pennies) to the bottom line.) And, because it was in a CD, I was less inclined to pull the money out for something I really didn’t need. It absolutely worked, because after 12 months, we now have an extra $50,000** dollars in our cash savings accounts!

Our plan is to retire in early 2024, and I’m excited to keep up with my savings goals!

Have you been taking advantage of the CD and savings rates?

**Having said all of the above, I must mention we are empty nesters. We do not have college tuition payments (anymore!), or other child expenses. My husband is at the top of his game with income. This is our last push towards adding to our savings before my husband retires in 2024. Also, I say ‘I’ a lot because I’m the one who handles the bills. The savings would probably be $100,000 if it was up to my husband because he spends literally NO money. 😉

14 thoughts on “How We saved $50,000 in One Year.”

  1. Horray! You found something that works for you! I am super proud of you! (No excuses necessary for having a good income and a plan!)

    We started Ibonds October 2021. We did our second ones last month. Here is the website for Blissful. https://treasurydirect.gov/savings-bonds/i-bonds/i-bonds-interest-rates/
    Blissful- it is capped at $10,000 per person per calendar year. You cannot touch it for six months. It is a five year variable rate bond. The rate changes every six months (from the day you buy it). Our first bonds got 9.92the first six months and then 6.48 until last week.

    I been rolling CDs for three years. One IRA is up in two weeks. I’ll be rolling for 24 months at 4% with Navy Fed. I, also, move lump sum savings into CDs Like you, I tend to not spend it when in a CD. It also helps me ladder CDs.

    My kids call my savings “the winter pocket plan”. I am famous for putting the largest $bill I have in my winter coat pocket when I put it away for the summer…lol. Always a good surprise! When we were young it turned into hot Coco. this year it bought some leather gloves 🥳


    1. OMG Janette, this comment was packed FULL of awesome ideas! I love the winter pocket plan. :)! Thank you for detailing IBonds for Blissful. We are new to the game, but I do know a good interest rate when I see it. We will be buying more in the new year. I’ve been having so much more fun with saving now that you can actually get a decent interest rate. 🙂


  2. Hi Sharon, this is Chris. You guys did very well this year with your savings. We didn’t save as much as you did, but I was happy we were able to max out retirement accounts and add to our regular savings also. Hubby is still wanting to retire the end of 2023. One of our local banks is offering a 14 mo CD for 4.08% and I am planning to get one after the first of the year. Not sure how much yet.


  3. Happy Holidays, Sharon, Great job, ! You can plan all you want and God laughs. He gave me a a Godwin’s! . After 16 years of widowhood, I I connected with a widow of 11 years And we fell in loved and eloped a month later. Neither of us were looking for love but God was a great matchmaker.. We are slowly developing our life plans including new financial Goals that fulfill our bucket lists. Travel is fun again with a companion. I saved 15% of my income and increase my cash from dividends. Life is good! Sincerely, Lara


    1. Lara, this is such fabulous, fabulous news. Congratulations! I was wondering where you were. So glad to find out you were in a happy place!!!


      1. Thanks Cindy. Our high school reunion was quite an event. I have joined the Snowbird community and we are having the best Time of our lives together.
        lI can’t believe you deleted your blog when I got back from our honeymoon . Are you going to start another one? Never thought I’d get finished with babysitting my GS and two weeks later start a new journey wit h my soulmate. Sincerely, Lara


        1. Yes. New blog. Had a troll problem. CiphersFromCindy.Wordpress.com
          I spell my name with a “y”.
          Email is still the same.


  4. Sharon, you did very well. This is a good time to have cash. Snagged a 4.25% CD rate. Whew! is all I can say.


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