Our 2024 Game Plan for Big Savings and More Fun

Our 2024 Game Plan for Big Savings and More Fun

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It’s not often that the word “fun” is associated with prioritizing savings. However, for a frugal gal like me, it can be super entertaining. Honestly, saving is a love language all on its own. Brian might not be as intense of a saver as I am, but we’ve learned how to balance each other out. Since we wrapped up our deck project, we’ve shifted our focus to this year’s game plan for big savings.

Our Savings Strategy

The most impactful approach to how we save is by living below our means! Maintaining a modest lifestyle allows us to spend, save, and invest intentionally. As we venture into 2024, I’d like to share the ways Brian and I plan to save big, live better, and have more fun.

While striving for big savings might not appear fun to everyone, we’ve learned how to make it enjoyable for both of us.

Here’s what’s on our agenda:

DIY Adventures

Truthfully, I am ridiculously grateful that both of us have a healthy appreciation for DIY projects. We’ve saved tens of thousands of dollars in the last few months alone, just by taking care of things ourselves. It’s great that we actually have a lot of fun problem-solving, working together, and learning new things.

The value of buying a new tool is worth the expense when compared to the cost of hiring labor. New tools are an investment in our projects and in ourselves. From regular home maintenance and upgrades to figuring out car repairs and more, we plan to DIY our way to new experiences and big savings! In fact, I have a VTEC solenoid leaking a bit of oil that’s calling my name…

Free community events

Why shell out cash when we can entertain ourselves for free?! As previously shared in our 2024 52 Experiences post, Brian and I are going to explore our neighborhood more through local community and library events.

We’ve already joined an architecture lecture and have accepted an invitation to tour unique and mid-century modern homes prior to their listing. As I’m looking over our community’s calendar, I’m excited to see that we have access to a variety of free concerts, cultural performances, and educational events.

Celebratory benchmarks for IRA contributions

In 2024, IRA contribution limits increased to $7,000 for individuals younger than age 50 and $8,000 for those age 50 and older. Brian and I will both be maxing out our Roth IRAs. We plan to fund our accounts as quickly as possible because: Time in the market is better than timing the market.

Hip, hip, hooray for savings!! Though my little heart is doing a happy dance, I know that it can sometimes feel unsatisfying to dump thousands of dollars into an account that won’t be touched until retirement. To counterbalance this feeling, Brian and I will celebrate each $1,000 deposit with a little moment of acknowledgement, such as a steak dinner, a new hiking trail, or a weekend getaway.

Small rewards throughout the process will keep us having fun and in the moment, all the while saving for the future.

Make the most of loyalty programs

Unfortunately, Brian and I didn’t have the best track record of maximizing the benefits of our loyalty programs in 2023. While we unquestionably enjoyed our fair share of travel and entertainment, we just didn’t take complete advantage of all of the benefits. In truth, we actually ended up donating a free night stay that could have been applied to a $500/night reservation.

This year, Brian and I are going to focus on fully benefiting from our loyalty programs. With comped stays, travel credits, and exclusive discounted rates, we plan to hit the road and save big on travel!

Learn to create our favorite restaurant dishes at home

Even though more than 80% of our meals are made at home, I think we could strive for an even greater percentage. Unless we’re traveling, we rarely dine out and instead opt for takeout when we treat ourselves to a meal. It can be hard to resist a craving when a local spot does such an incredible job. One of our favorite dishes, beef rendang, an Indonesian/Malaysian slow-cooked beef dry curry, takes hours to make. It’s a pricey treat, so we only order it once in a while.

Honestly, I think we would have a lot of fun learning how to make some of our favorites. Whether it’s a slow-cooked curry, fresh pasta, pizza, or street tacos with birria and marinated meats, Brian and I could likely save some money by creating these dishes at home.

Game On

Can we combine big savings with good times? I’m bettin’ on it. Our savings game plan should hopefully keep us on track and motivated to maintain financial wellness without sacrificing a well-lived life. It’s important to remember that saving doesn’t necessarily mean being restrictive. Rather than depriving ourselves of fun experiences, Brian and I are looking forward to discovering ways to save big and have fun at the same time.

Do you have a savings game plan for 2024? How do you think you can incorporate some fun into reaching your savings goals?

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2 Responses

  1. Don’t forget that you have the ability to do heavy research into whatever broken appliance, automotive, or home situation to save on labor. Some things are worth farming out to professionals. For example, I won’t repair my roof, paint my house, or replace my concrete driveway. It’s not that I can’t do it, but I don’t want to take a month or more to do what could be done by contractors with the proper tools and experience in a couple of days. However there is NOTHING like looking back on a job well done and saying “I did that, and I saved thousands”.

    1. Yes, that’s very true! It’s definitely important to gauge how reasonable or practical a DIY repair/project would be to undertake. Safety and time are key factors to keep in mind. I agree, though, that it’s pretty darn cool to look back on a project and say, “Whoa—I did that!”

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