Ouch! That hurt! Reducing expenses is no fun. Buy hey, someone has to do it, right?
Last month we decided to go on a mission: we decided to dramatically cut our expenses. There was only one problem . . . we had already gone down to bare bones. Or, so we thought! Dropping our expenses was going to be difficult, but we had to make the move because we are now on a new action plan that requires it.
So, sitting down together with my wife, we poured through our monthly expenses and found 8 ways to could reduce our expenses. Each reduction wasn’t very much, but cumulatively, you’ll find that it’ll add up to a bundle of savings! Are you ready to see how much YOU can save? Here are the 8 ways we dramatically reduced our expenses this month.
1. We cut Netflix.
Don’t get us wrong, we love Netflix. They’ve always treated us well, and delivered a great service. However, with us both working more than full time at our various endeavors, we just plain don’t have time to watch movies! While tempted to go to their new plan for $7.99/month that includes no DVDs yet unlimited computer streaming, we thought we’d be dramatic and cut the service all together. This saved us $9.99/month.
2. We reduced our internet speed to the economy tier.
Say it isn’t so! Well, it’s so. Since we cut Netflix, we knew that we weren’t going to need our blazing 20mbps. Instead, we went down to 1.5mbps (the economy tier). Not so hot for video, but if we save some money by having to let the stream buffer a few more seconds, so be it! Yes, there is a noticeable difference, but the economy tier works great for what we do most of: email, online classes, and blogging. This saved us $20.00/month.
3. We reduced our auto insurance by reviewing all our options.
Did we really know what uninsured motorist property damage was? Of course not. By reviewing all of these options, we were able to ensure that we weren’t double insured, and weren’t taking on unnecessary expenses. We’ve already reduced a few things, and we’re still working on a few more, but I estimate we’ll have reduced our auto insurance by $12.50/month.
4. We cut back on clothing spending.
We have a lot of clothes. Truly, all we need are maintenance dollars to make sure we can replace socks with holes in them or shirts that get eaten by our cats (yes, it happens). Any clothes that we are interested in buying and are non-mandatory come from our fun money category. We reduced our clothing expenses by $20.00/month.
5. We reduced our date money.
There are so many things we can do for fun together. Spending money doesn’t have to be one of them. We can go take a walk outside, go to the park, or watch a free video on Hulu.com (slightly choppy, but you get the idea). We reduced our date money by $20.00/month.
6. We reduced our fun money.
Every month, we each get a certain amount of fun money to spend on whatever! But given that we both feel we have more than we could ever ask for, reducing this category shouldn’t be difficult! In the end, we reduced our fun money budget by $40.00/month.
7. Christmas budget was slimmed down.
This past Christmas, we found that we didn’t use the whole allotted Christmas budget that we had intended. So, we decided to adjust accordingly and reduce our savings for Christmas by $3.00/month.
8. We’re unplugging electronic devices.
We’re trying our very best to unplug any electronic devices (especially at night) to reduce down our electricity bill. So far, we’ve seen a $10/month drop in our electricity expenses. Who knows if this drop will be more or less next month, but we’ll just have to keep up the habit to see what happens!
So there you have it! Overall, we’ve saved about $135.49/month. That comes to $1,625.88/year we’re going to save!
Reprinted from Christian Personal Finance.