Every year, it seems there are things we vow to do more of—exercise, eat healthy, drink more water. Grouped in with those items is always save money. Today, Arin is sharing how she has curbed her spending so far this year and five ways you can do the same!
We’ve all heard it—‘stop going out, stop splurging on clothes, stop buying things you don’t need.’ Easier said than done, right? My husband and I recently purchased our first home, and we’re quickly realizing that home-ownership comes with a hefty price. Obviously, we were aware that it would be costly, but there’s so many hidden expenses that we didn’t even think about. This has resulted in some serious budgeting (ah, the dreaded ‘B’ word!) and retail restraint. We’ve also had to make some major sacrifices to meet our financial goals. These sacrifices include limited nights out, vacations, etc. Obviously, we’ll be able to do these again in time, but, until then, we’re on the road to financial freedom! I wanted to share a few things we’ve been doing that have really helped us along this journey and helped up save money.
- Ditch the cable: We were spending close to $100 each month on cable, and this is an area we decided to cut back on. With streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Chromecast, it was a no-brainer for us. Here’s a trick: If your parents/family have a cable account, ask if you can use their login credentials. Download the apps of your favorite networks, and you can actually watch live television (with a cable log-in) while streaming to your TV! I still get my Food Network on a Saturday morning, and it’s 100-percent free thanks to some generous parents (p.s. it does absolutely nothing to their account).
- Small weekly saving transfers: Each week, I have my bank set to automatically deposit $30 into my savings account. By the end of each month, I have $120. This just helps curb my spending, and ensures that I’m setting aside money. It’s a great way to build an emergency fund, too.
- Use cash: This brings me back to those ‘allowance’ days! Take out a set amount of cash for the month, and once it’s gone, your spending is done. If you’re anything like me, swiping a credit card adds up. All of those little purchases make a dent on your checking. Utilizing this cash method ensures that we will not spend more than the allotted amount. This has seriously worked! Because the cash tends to go quickly, make sure you’re tracking that spending!
- No drinks: Here’s a tough one for some. If you are going out to dinner, skip the drinks. By ordering two drinks alone, we’d spend an extra $22 on the bill. By cutting out alcohol while dining out, we saved close to 40 percent on our bill. This honestly makes a huge difference when you’re saving money. Our average dinner bill is usually around $30 or less!
- Check your bank statements: I’m guilty of not checking my bank statements regularly. I recently went through it, and noticed that my bank was tacking on unnecessary fees. I also noticed several other errors (Uber charging me twice, etc) and it saved an average of $25 each month. My bank was nice enough to reverse the charges, so it definitely doesn’t hurt to ask. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on statements each month to ensure everything looks correct. It just takes a few minutes, and it really is worth it. In fact, it paid for our dinner!