Save to Give Challenge

In the land of resolutions, I did not meet one of my goals for last year.

Well, one is too small a number. I should say, there is one particular goal that I did not meet, which I’m going to tell you about.

Sorting my receipts to enter into the spreadsheet. Aren't you thrilled my face isn't in this photo since I'm in my bathrobe and, therefore, still hideous.

Last year I started using an excel spreadsheet, courtesy of Jenny at Southern Savers to track my spending and saving for each week.  (I’m linking you in case you want to use it.)  I had a mental goal of how much I wanted to spend, how much I wanted to save, and how much I wanted to give.

Give? You ask.  Yes.  Last year, I really felt like God was telling me that the amount we gave away should be at least equal to the amount we consumed, which incidentally, for you tenthers out there, is a scary amount more than 10% of our budget. So my goal was that, through intentional spending and saving, I wanted our family to give away as much or more than we spent on consumables like groceries, household items, etc. Basically things that don’t last.  Consuming doesn’t last. But giving does.

And, in the spirit of honesty, I am just going to tell you the amounts.  Maybe you will pass out or reject reading this blog once you learn how much we actually spent. (Especially since the two coupon bloggers that I follow both spent less than HALF of what we did!!)

Drumroll please . . .

In 2010, on consumables we

Spent: $5903 (Hooray! My goal was not to crack 6K.)

Saved: $6465 (Hooray! My goal was more than 50% saved.)

The bounty we have! (And such a cute kid!)

Gave: $?? Well, I’m not going to be do that. I thought I was when I started typing this post, but now I realized that would be pharisaical.  The non numerical summary is that we didn’t make it. We were very, very close, but we didn’t give away as much as we used up.

SO, I’m going to try again this year. I’m determined we can do it. I think I might up the ante and say that we are going to give away all the money that I SAVE through intentional spending.

Will this make us save less? Will it make us give more? Is this an arbitrary matching game?  Well, for me it has been a good motivation and it keeps me spending carefully and giving sacrificially, which is what God calls us to do with HIS money.

Here’s some inspiration.  Today at Harris Teeter Super Doubles, I spent $39 (saved $92).  Some of the pictures of my loot are pictured above.

Our Compassion Child since 2003

When I was thinking about writing this post I realized that for $38 a month–less than I spent today and WAY less than I saved, we sponsor this Compassion child.  So there you go . . . a little motivation.

Want to join the Save to Give Challenge? Download the spending tracker and get started!  Wouldn’t it be cool if all that couponing actually made a difference? Can you give more than you consume?

12 Responses to Save to Give Challenge

  1. Teri January 6, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    So my question is: is the amount you saved based off the store prices (before sales and coupons) or is it the amount you have in your savings account? I’m assuming the first but would be very impressed if it were the 2nd :)

  2. Teri January 6, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    And another thing… if the amount you saved is based on the retail price from Harris Teeter, CVS, etc; isn’t that number arbitrary? The reason I say this is because the “regular” prices at these stores are inflated and if I didn’t coupon, I would not shop there. I’d be shopping at WalMart and Aldi. This has always been my issue with the coupon bloggers’ “savings” amounts. Just a thought.

    • thelowryder January 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

      Well, it is the savings from those stores, plus other places I buy consumables like ALDI (where there is no savings listed on the receipt). I am also including consumables like supplies for my garden and yard. I do not really have a savings account because we give it away. I guess I can rationalize an inflated “savings” amount by matching it with my hopefully inflated “giving” amount. Actually, last year my goal was for our giving to match our spending amount anyway. Even if I only achieve that goal this year, I’ll be happy. Come on Teri, join in. :) You know you want to join the Challenge . . .

  3. Shelly @ Coupon Teacher January 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    What an amazing challenge you have set before yourself! Let me know what I can do to help!

  4. Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies January 7, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    Oh, I am so happy to see that handsome young man you sponsored. What a blessing!! 😀 Have you received any letters from him? If you need any help with the ever important letter writing aspect of this ministry, please feel free to stop by my blog sometime!!

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