Minimalist in DC

The Quest for Less "Stuff" & More Time

How I Saved $975 in Five Months

savingI’ve been putting off blogging about how much we’ve saved because I am woefully, horribly behind my $25K goal and I’m a little embarrassed about it. If I were saving $25K in a linear fashion, at just under five months, we should have $10,417 saved. In reality, I have saved just $975.11. Now, that’s not counting what’s going into retirement accounts, but it was never my intention to count that money since saving it is non-negotiable. I’m really trying to create a $25K buffer in the money left for spending.

I’m behind, but I’m optimistic and so I’ll choose to concentrate on the fact that I HAVE saved $975 so far! That’s nearly $1000 that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t set myself an amazingly high goal at the start.

Here’s How I’ve Saved $975 in Five Months

Below are the various ways I’ve saved or made money so far. Perhaps a couple of these ideas would work for you too!

  1. $65.39: I saved all interest earned in our checking and savings accounts through Ally Bank and dividends from a small amount of stock.
  2. $60: I won money in Vegas on a business trip! I could have easily spent it, but I saved it instead and it probably contributed to a tiny bit of that interest. To be fair, I won this before I started my minimalist journey, but I decided to use it to give me a jump-start on my goal.
  3. $100: I received two Amazon Gift Cards and I shifted the money from our “Household Items” budget category, the category that Amazon purchases most likely would come out of, into my $25K savings account.
  4. $38.42: I saved the extra money from eating out less. We didn’t try hard to change these habits because having one meal a week out is one of the highlights of our week, but instead of just rolling the unspent money over to the next month like usual, I saved it.
  5. $35.72: Funds left over from paying the mortgage used to be spent immediately on buying stuff for our house. Now I save them.
  6. $21.25: I sold 5 books using
  7. $54.53: Our savings category has been notoriously used to pay for things we probably don’t need. I was able to save a bit from it each month instead of just spending it right away.
  8. $390: We moved some retirement funds into a pre-tax 401(k), so we would have more cash on hand for emergencies. Luckily, there have been no such emergencies yet and so all of this goes into savings.
  9. $60: Gas prices have fallen over a dollar since I started this challenge and my budget is reaping the rewards.
  10. $63.40: Miscellaneous cash gifts. Our families are very generous and I’ve been able to save a bit from the cash gifts they’ve given us (after doing whatever they suggested with a bit of it – you have you enjoy your gifts too)!
  11. $86.40: Nathan got a bonus at work. This is what was left after I paid off some traveling debt.

I really should have examined this sooner because writing this post has completely inspired me to try harder. I think I’ll take up more regular accounting from now on.

Do you have other ideas for saving money? Share them!


  1. This is fantastic, Amber! $1000 in 5 months is a good chunk. One way I’d like to start saving is checking out books from the library. Last time I did that was in HS, which is pretty bad, so it might take a bit to start getting into that habit.

    • Hi Jossie – Yes! I actually did that about two years ago. I went from buying practically everything as kindle books to almost never spending money on books. It makes a big difference. Did you know most libraries let you request books they don’t have? It varies on how fast they can get them depending on the budget/demand, but that might help you too!

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