5 Small Changes We Made to Save Big Money Every Month

Quitting my corporate job was a great thing for me.  I could finally start my freelance career and start living the life I wanted.  However, that meant paring down all of my nonessential expenses to cut costs so that I could have financial flexibility to build my career.

I’ll never forget when I forced myself to face reality and take a long, hard look at my monthly expenses. It was very eye-opening and also a little bit embarrassing.  I was literally letting money slip through my fingers every month, losing it to subscriptions and bad habits. I actually found a couple of monthly costs I didn’t even recognize. Sigh.  If we wanted to stay out of debt and build in flexibility, we had to make a lot of changes. None of them were huge changes, but the following tips can result in big savings!

Ditch the Subscriptions

The ease and convenience of the internet makes it ridiculously simple to sign up for monthly services or subscriptions.  The problem with that ease is that you can just as easily lose or forget about some of these subscriptions. In fact, companies count on this.

It’s a Trap!

The free trial period allows for just enough time to pass so that the small monthly expense sneaks in, unnoticed. The subscription company may not be able to land your business for life, but they can silently siphon a couple of month’s costs from you before you really take notice.  They certainly had with me. No more!

Overall Savings per Month- $120 average monthly savings

Eat Out Less

One of the frequent cycles I found myself snared in was the last-minute take-out trap.  Once I got home and found there was nothing magically thawed out and ready to go, I made bad choices. Many times I would run out and grab takeout, which adds up quickly in monthly costs.

I leaned on meal planning to save money. Freezer meal planning is an effective way to avoid the costs of eating out all of the time.  Having a freezer stocked with a week’s worth of budget-friendly, easy meals could go a long way towards curbing the urge to grab take-out.

This allowed us to eliminate fast food runs almost entirely and cut eating out to twice a month.

Overall Savings per Month- $100 average monthly savings

Kill the Cable Bill

Our cable bill was easily over $100 a month.  Honestly, I felt like we were swimming in channels most of the time and definitely didn’t need everything we had.  I also wasn’t doing myself or my family any favors by making tv such a high priority in our lives.

We considered a few options and ended up going with Netflix and Hulu.  Netflix has a Basic plan at $8.99 per month. Hulu starts out at $5.99 per month. We did end up ponying up for Hulu Live so that my husband could still watch his favorite sporting programs.  The Hulu Live Service is $44.99 per month.

 If you add in the Amazon Prime combo that we were already paying for, we ended up still able to watch our favorite shows and sports but without breaking the bank.

Overall Savings per Month- $100 average monthly savings

Shop Second Hand

I like shoes, purses, nice jeans and the like.  A couple of my favorite brands to shop for are White House Black Market and Chicos.  It’s no secret that shopping name brands like these can be a real budget buster.  It doesn’t have to be if you have an open mind. 

I did some research, and I found a really great consignment store near my house.  They had a nice selection of higher-end career and casual clothing for discount prices.  Some of the clothes had the tags still on them! I even snagged much of my daughter’s back-to-school wardrobe there. 

I also regularly perused several online consignment stores such as Poshmark and thredUP to find the best prices for my favorite brands. Also, Goodwill can be a great place to find items if you are a determined shopper.

Overall Savings per Month- $50 average monthly savings

DIY to Save

There are a ton of products that you can make yourself with the help of Pinterest and a little creativity. Here are some ways to DIY it up rather than spend big money:

  • Gifts- make birthday presents yourself and save $
  • Beauty products-make everything from beard balm to bath bombs
  • DIY Home Décor -Create your own custom décor pieces with items you have on hand
  • Good Eats-start canning your vegetables and making you own sauces
  • Home Products-make you own cleaners and stain removers

Overall Savings per Month- $50 average monthly savings in beauty products alone

Small Changes like these may not seem to matter but they DO matter. When you add up our monthly savings on just these items, it’s is over $400 a month.  What costs can you eliminate? Start small- make a few small changes to see how much you save per month.

Please share your ideas!

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