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I am not naturally a frugal person. I was raised by two frugal parents, but I lean more towards wanting to shop and buy things. It has been a huge learning process for me to become more frugal and to learn the value and beauty in cutting back and saving money. This learning process has been over the course of years, and quite honestly, I’m still learning and trying to better myself. Today though I started thinking about all the things we have cut from our lifestyle over the years, and they have all been slowly cut out, and I was blown away with the amount of money we are saving ourselves just by making a few different lifestyle choices!
Pack that Lunch: $1000
Packing a lunch for work, instead of eating out with coworkers, has been our biggest money saver. Every night I pack a lunch for my husband to take to work. The lunch mostly consists of some leftovers from dinner, occasionally he will bring a sandwich. I was so surprised to find out this simple habit is saving us over $1000 a year!
Change your own oil: $210
My husband taught himself how to change the oil in our two vehicles, all it took was watching a few you tube videos. It takes him less than an hour to do and he claims it’s super easy. He uses this oil drum to drain the oil. You can deposit the oil for free at most auto parts stores. This is not some natural talent he has, he had to get out of his comfort zone to learn this skill, however this simple task saves us $210 a year.
Cut the Cable: $480
A few years ago we decided to get rid of our cable TV. We were actually already on a fairly cheap rate, but we decided we could do without it. We have saved $480 a year by doing this! There are so many great options for cheap TV. We use Netflix. But I have friends who use Hulu, Roku, or Amazon Prime.
At Home Haircuts: $200
I bought clippers 14 years ago for $20. You can find a similar pair to ours here: Wahl Complete Hair Cutting Kit. I have been cutting my husbands and sons hair ever since. This is a $200 annual savings. If you know me, you know that hair is really NOT a talent of mine. I have watched a few you tube tutorial videos and both my husband and son get very basic cuts. I have made my some a few mistakes on both of them, but I keep learning and trying. And luckily boys hair grows out fairly fast! 😉
Workout at Home: $840
We have never had a gym membership and this decision saves us $70 a month. We have learned to get a good workout in at home. We go for a run or bike ride during the summer and find great you tube videos to follow during the winter. I buy cheap weights and exercise equipment to use from the thrift store. My favorite you tube channels to follow are fitness blender and yoga with Adrienne.
The Results: $2730
Just by making these 5 adjustments to our lifestyle we save $2730 a year! So in five years we have saved $13,650! Ten years it will be $27,300! Those little expenses don’t seem like a big deal, but over time they add up to be a very very BIG deal.
It really has not been hard to cut any of these things from our budget. We have been living this way for years and honestly never seem to miss a gym membership or cable TV. It has just become our way of life, and it’s a great life! It can be hard to form new habits, but once you do those habits become your way of life and you often never really look back!
Take a look at your budget and lifestyle. Can you find a few things that you could change in order to save money? I promise the pay off is so worth it!