When we start thinking about saving money, the first thing we stop buying for is the restaurants or the latte’s.
Do you ever think, maybe I could save money and still have some left over for some Chick-fil-a or some Tim Hortons – – – <— (Canadian here!)
I am here to tell you, sure you can. That is how we managed to pay off 60k of debt and still go visit our favorite restaurants and drink our favorite coffee.
Most think that expenses are not fluid and that they are fixed. If you have done all your homework and always look for the savings in everything you have spent on, then possibly you have nothing else that you can do.
My guess would be that if you are here reading this, it might not be the case. If you have debt and are feeling the squeeze of not enough money, then you might not be as great with money as you thought you might have been.
Hey don’t get me wrong, I am not here to judge you. I have been there. I had been there for over 35 years before I decided that the monthly diet of trying to cut out all the fun stuff and just live on macaroni and bland spaguetti sauce could not be sustained.
So I looked at our monthly expenses and started going through them deciding and seeing if there were better options.
I wanted to get rid of my debt, but still wanted to live. So I started attacking every bill and every expense with great intensity. From our utilities bill to our cell phone bills and see what I could trim or find alternatives to.
Now we sometimes went overboard because frankly, we are a bit obsessive when something works and starts picking up steam.
And seeing that debt start going down at rapid rates (finally!!) was a bit addictive.
And by no means, what I saved on does not mean you would want to save your money on, but in the end we shaved over $12000 a year on our expenses. That is 1k a month just on expenses and not the good stuff, like our Saturday morning breakfast at our fave restaurant.
We transferred that cash saved into our debt instead of adding it to our income and letting it burn a hole in our pocket and soon we just wanted to steamroll that sucker and after 3 years, we finally got rid of over 60K of debt.
Most of the expenses were quite simple to do once we got thinking about it, but if you are not in the right frame of mind, you can’t always see what is right in front of your nose.
Here are a 5 steps you can do if you are looking to save a few dollars to get out of debt or even just to free up some extra cash real quick.
- Take a look at your expenses and write down what you pay for them every month/year.
- Prioritize what you need for each one and see if you can cut down on some of the expenses.
- Start looking at doing changes on these one at a time and start reducing the cost. i.e. cutting cable and watching YouTube instead (sometimes the change is not obvious, just keep looking)
- For more fixed expenses like car insurance and such, do some research to see if you can find savings, such as premiums for having snow tires in winter or if you changed jobs and your kilometers might have changed if you travel less which could end up being big savings. You can also check with brokers to see if you can change to another company and save that way.
- Take the money you save and invest it, pay off debt or save it right away for a trip or car or whatever you may be longing for.
I guess some of these changes could be considered frugal in nature as well. Frugal to some but nothing that drastic for you. And that is the whole point. If you can live without it and nothing changes except your bank amounts, is it really a sacrifice at all or just a smart way of not spending your money!!
I also wrote a couple of e-books about how we manage to save on our expenses. I am linking them below if you are interested. They are quite simply written and nothing that will shock anyone, but if you have not thought of it, the reminder of things that can be done to save is nice.
Also the sale of these booklets not only helps you think up ideas of how to save fast but helps us continue our debt free journey as we now are working towards financial independence and being mortgage free.
Here are a few other books that are really popular in the debt free community. Click on the pictures to purchase off Amazon!