Post # 31
kmmq72 : I wouldn’t consider anything you listed to be a “major” way to cut spending “way” down. The biggest expenses for most people are housing and cars. Controlling those expenses is significant, much more so than making coffee at home or cutting cable.
Buying an average priced new car every 10 years vs every 5 will save $150,000 or more in an average adult’s lifetime. You would have to cut spending by $8-9/day over 50 years go save the same amount of money. That’s a lot of lattes!
Same with housing. Buying the max priced home you’re approved for vs something more modest OR buying more home size-wise than you need are both huge money drains. Also, not moving as many times during a lifetime. Because most Americans net worth is almost entirely tied up in their home’s value, they lose on average 10% of their net worth every time they move due to closing costs and moving expenses.
Post # 32
Meal planning for the week (incorporating items you already have at home) and making a list before going to the grocery store is great because you don’t end up wandering around and grabbing extra items.
We home cook most meals and only eat out Saturday nights.
I eat greek yogurt daily and found it cheaper to buy a large container and distribute it into mini tupperware containers with fresh fruit instead of buying the $1/each cups. I’m sure this applies to many other items.
I drink water with lunch and dinner. Saved on buying juices/soda/etc. and much healthier!
I am not the type that gets my hair/nails done and that is a huge saver!
We save on heating/AC by not overdoing it. Like instead of making it super cozy, we might just have it on the low 60’s and wear a hoody.
Post # 33
I have all my monthly expense money direct deposited into a checking account, my savings goal direct deposited into an online savings account, and then whatever is left over goes in a checking account I have a debit card for and I only spend that money each month
Before I switched to that method I was using Mint.com to set budgets and check on how I was doing against each which was great but required a little more effort.
Setting a budget can be wonderfully freeing because then you don’t have to be stressed out when you do spend money, because you’ve already taken the time to look at your finances and decided it’s acceptable to spend $X on “optional items”. Plus it just helps you feel more in control.
We also just purchased a home and the biggest thing we did was change grocery shopping to Friday night. That way we have a fridge full of some things that we actually want to eat going into the weekend, instead of week old whatever. Plus sometimes we pick up something special to make at home Saturday night and for breakfast Sunday- still way cheaper than eating out.
Also it might be counterintuitive, but spending a little more on pre-portioned meals etc help avoid things like bagels for breakfast when you’re short on time.
Post # 34
We cut out cable. We share a friends Netflix account (and so does their entire family).
My SO got rid of his Amazon Prime because he and I both lost our student discount but we can share mine.
My SO has like an extra hour before he goes into his work so he makes me 2 K Cups of coffee in a tumbler before I go and i use the fancy creamers. Save a TON.
I make my breakfast in advance. I boil 9 eggs for my three days at work. Then pack leftovers for lunch. I then pack the leftovers and the eggs the morning before and grab that and coffee and run out the door. Enjoy both at my desk. You can probably get a bag of bagels for $2 and cream cheese for that price. And if you see if on sale you can freeze both and stock up. I have a cafe at my job I can toast at work or home. But prefer work.
For me to not over spend I literally schedule payments for my big bills in advance which honestly leaves me with no room to buy leisurely things that i can make at home myself.
Have your extra income if you have it auto sent to your savings. And just forget it even exists. I have done that for three years and look back and I am amazed at home much I saved. Before if I knew how much was there or it was in my main account… I would blow through it like nothing.
And credit karma stays free. No fees.
Post # 35
Apple_Blossom : I definitely am giong to start tracking my expenses. I really don’t now other than look on my banking app on my phone to see what my account balance is and what I’m spending on. In my head I know what I do/don’t have money to spend on, but a lot of my spending is random.. not in a bad way but still random.
barbie86 : Good point on the insurance shopping around and stuff. I know one thing we are doing is lumping our home insurance into our monthly mortgage and we also will be looking to combine home and vehicles under one policy, but that most likely will not happen until we are married.
Post # 36
dgirl715 : No not much of what I mentioned is “major” but to me, those things combined in a month would be considered a major expense. Like I said, saving that $100-ish between those small unecessary expenses will help in the long run and can be used towards other more important expenses. As far as our vehicles and cars go, like you said, we do not spend much on cars every 5 years… like we may not even purchase a new car until we’re senior citizens because we purchased good quality vehicles now. We also thought smart when buying this house. We could have bought a home in a subdivision for the same or more (most likely more) and it would probably have been bigger. BUT we bought an older, smaller home with land because down the road instead of moving to another subdivision, we can just build on the land we currently own.
12_Elle : The bagel thing is something I’m cutting out not only for the cost, but to be healthier. Meal planning is a common saving trend I’m noticing on this thread and I’ve been doing great at that by myself so that’s going to happen when we officially move into our house to save money too. I love your idea of shopping on a Friday night, usually its the weekends we tend to eat out most so I love this logic! I do think I’m going to put expenses in a spreadsheet and then budget, FI and I have talked because if we budget what we NEED to spend, that extra money left over can go into savings or used as a treat on something (trip, new outfit, date night, etc).
itsachickenwingthing : I think right now I used Free Credit Report and its $24.99/month and I did read the fine print saying “You have to call to cancel after a week, or it’ll recharge you automatically” but with life I just forgot. One thing I do with money in savings is weekly, I have a scheduled transfer of $100 into my savings… like sometimes I don’t even notice it is gone and at the same time I’m saving money so its wonderful! Also like you, my big bills are set up as automatic payments each month.
Post # 37
kmmq72 : I like the idea of budgeting where you spend your extra money! I always fall into the trap of spending money on little things and then at the end of the month I’m like “gee, if I had saved those times I was tempted by little things, I would be able to do inenthing I really wanted.” So that’s something I’m going to work on.
Another change I’ve made that I just thought of is getting a credit card that has high cash back. I buy everything on it and then pay it off every time I get paid. I’ve had it for 4 months and made $250 cash back so far 🙂
Also I just saw that you commute 45 minutes. My fiancé and I have a similar commute and have started commuting together Wednesday’s and Fridays. It takes some getting used to waiting for each other to get out of work, but has saved us huge amounts on gas/maintenance, and gives us some extra “us” time. We have 2 podcasts we listen to together which gives us something to look forward to.
Post # 38
The only other thing I would throw out is not being penny wise but pound foolish with where you save money. If you are spending money on something for your health, don’t take shortcuts! For example- DH and I could save a bunch if we bought cheaper grocceries. We buy higher quality food, which can cost more. This is something I’m not willing to skimp on because I think it’s important. Eating healthy keeps us healthy, which keeps us out of the doctors office and saves more in the long run!
Post # 39
kmmq72 : I’m only about 2 miles from Walmart and Target. But the subscribe and save saves us quite a bit of money compared to the prices at the local store. They have lower prices for using it and they also give a 15% discount when you have 5 items on your delivery list. So that’s really where I’m saving the money. It isn’t because I’m far away from town or anything.
Post # 40
For me it’s been taking advantage of my work perks – we have a keurig (and they will buy pretty much whatever kind of coffee we like) and also toast, jam, etc. So I can have my coffee and breakfast in the morning at work. Saves time and money!
Post # 41
italianbride0508 : I agree with you on this, and FI and I are on the same page with it as well. There are some things we will intentionally put more money towards because they are better quality. I think another PP mentioned this as well, we don’t think its going to “save” just to buy something cheaper initially then have it crap out. We would much rather spend more upfront and have whatever it may be last for a while.
MechEBee : Oh okay! I didn’t realize the price differences would be that significant in-store vs. online. Do you pay for shipping/deliver costs with the subscription? We live rural and WalMart as just started offering the new online order and pick-up at the door option, so not exactly the subscription thing but its a start.
jellybellynelly : I also have free coffee at work, which does currently save a lot! Other than coffee we dont have much for snacks around here though.
Post # 42
kmmq72 : I just made a very basic spreadsheet of my own: Date/ Credit ($ in)/ Debit ($ out)/ Balance/ details
And yes, having Tim Horton’s or Starbucks once a week instead of once or twice a day definitely feels like a treat. Much more appreciated rather than routine.
Post # 43
Don’t stop for coffee. And if you do, just get coffee and not a latte or whatever.
Call your cell company and see how much data you use and lower your plan accordingly. We were paying for so much data that we never used.
Pay off your car, if you have a payment. Being without a payment make you so less likely to get into a new one.
If you have a gym membership, exercise at home. Or go to a rec center or whatnot.
Keep your fridge nicely stocked. You will eat out less if you have food readily available and easy to make. And less frequent shopping saves money.
Bring your lunch to work
keep a snack on you so you won’t stop anywhere
If you wear daily contacts, only change them every other day
Buy nonperishable items in bulk. Not because it’s necessarily cheaper. But the less you have to go to the store, the less you will spend unnecessarily.
I don’t know what you spend on hair, but that crap can get Uber expensive. I switched salons.
Manicures and pedicures are only a luxury I indulge in occasionally.
And! If you are anything like me, tell yourself (when you are about to talk yourself into buying something you don’t need), “Sure I deserve it, but I deserve to be debt free more”.
If you can, transfer and credit card balances to zero percent cards
None of of these things will make a huge difference in and of themselves. But the pennies add up to dollars.
Post # 44
Also, I have all my bills auto deducted. Because I have to pay them, so they are never late, and I can’t put them off and just say “oh I’ll pay that next week”.
Post # 45
DH and I recently bought a house and have cut spending in the following ways:
1) We do not go out for dinner/drinks as often. We use to live in a very convenient area to go out. Now we have to drive or uber to restaurants and bars, so we go out 50% less. This has been great savings.
2) During the work week I never buy breakfast and each a packed lunch 4/5 days. I also started bringing coffee to work with me more often and now only buy coffee out a couple times a week. This has all added up.
3) We cut cable and use a Roku to for Sling, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. We also changed the internet bill over to my name so we could get the promotional rate.
4) We order our cats food from Chewy.com. They send it every few weeks and the prices are better than the stores in my area.
5) I have started making meal plans and our grocery bill is slowly going down.