What we did to save more money each month.
I am not naturally a frugal person. I was raised by two frugal parents, but I lean more towards wanting to shop and buy all of the pretty things (I’m looking at YOU Target). It has been a huge learning process for me to become more frugal and to realize the value and beauty in cutting back and saving money. Learning my new frugal lifestyle has been over the course of years, and quite honestly, I’m still trying to better myself. Today though, I started thinking about all the things we have cut from our over the years, and I was blown away with the amount of money we are saving ourselves just by making a few different lifestyle choices! If you don’t know what to cut from budget, this article is for you! I truly hope it helps you learn how to reduce monthly expenses.
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Pack Your 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. A packed lunch doesn’t need to be anything special or fancy. Most days it’s just leftovers from dinner the night before, occasionally he will bring a sandwich.
It’s important for my husband to be sociable and build strong relationships at work. So, a few times a year he will bring some cash to work and go out to eat with his coworkers. There has been a few times he has joined them for lunch, and ordered something small. You can keep these strong relationships, while bringing a lunch from home.
I was so surprised to find out this simple habit is saving us over $1000 a year!
- Related: How to Save Money When Eating Out
Change your own oil: $210
The second thing we did to reduce monthly expenses was to change our own oil.
My husband taught himself how to change the oil in our two vehicles, all it took was watching a few YouTube 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. If he can do it, you can do it too!
Once you master changing your cars oil, consider looking into other car maintenance you can DIY. My husband has changed our brake pads and spark plugs from time to time. Honestly, I get a little nervous when he does it…..but we haven’t crashed yet!
This simple task DIY oil changes saves us $210 a year. It’s not a huge savings, but every penny adds up.
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. There are so many budget friendly alternative TV options available now.
You can sign up for Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, YouTube TV, Amazon Prime and more! I recommend limiting yourself to one or two subscription services. If we join all of them, you’ll probably end up paying more than you were paying for cable!
The best part is, you don’t even need to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy smart TV. Just invest in a simple, affordable Roku and you can watch each of your TV subscriptions.
We have saved $480 a year by doing this!
At Home Haircuts: $200
I have been giving my husband at home haircuts for over 15 years now, my son has been getting them since the year he was born. I am not a professional, hair is NOT my talent. I have watched a few YouTube tutorial videos and both my husband and son get very basic cuts. I have made a few mistakes on both of them, but I keep learning and trying. And luckily boys hair grows out fairly fast! 😉
All it took $20 to purchase clippers, and I’m still using the same set 14 years later! You can find a similar pair to ours here: Wahl Complete Hair Cutting Kit. This one quick purchase has saved us hundreds and hundreds over the years.
These at home haircuts saves us $200 each year.
Workout at Home: $840
Exercise is important for the human heart, body and mind. However, I have just never been willing to pay $70/month for a gym membership.
So, my husband and I have learned how to get a good workout from home. We go for a run or bike ride during the warm months. We love using free YouTube workout videos (my favorites are Yoga with Adrienne and PopSugar Fitness) at home and have even scored some really cheap used gym equipment that we enjoy on a regular basis.
These at home workouts are a $840 yearly savings!
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 during the day by day, 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!
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