Last year, I made the decision to cut back on unnecessary spending. Of course, I failed where shoes and purses were concerned; however, I was able to cut a significant amount out of my budget where I had been spending unnecessarily and it was causing me stress. Here's what I did.
$187.00 Cell Phone
I had an iPhone and so did Emily. I also had an Android work phone. I honestly became weirdly overwhelmed with the amount of texts, messages, etc., I was getting on a regular basis so I decided to cancel the iPhone accounts. My kids and the school, doctor's office, etc., have the work cell number to use in case of emergency. I absolutely do not miss the iPhone. Emily actually felt the same way. She was tired of being obsessed with the iPhone. She uses Google Hangouts to chat with her boyfriend and friends. Otherwise, she is unplugged. Smart kid. Savings so far: $187 a month
$119 Gym Membership
So, going to the gym was hit or miss anyway so I cancelled the membership. First of all, we have a gym at work that I could join for $15 a month. Walking outside is free. So is using one of the million web workouts. Just be real...if you're not using the membership, save yourself the money. When you get motivated again, you can always join. But don't hang on thinking 'one day, I'm gonna do that Zombie Workout' and let go. Savings are now: $306 a month.
$30 Trash Collection
A cheaper trash service literally knocked at my front door. Rather than hide from the solicitor, I actually chatted for a moment and found myself saving a ton. Instead of paying over a hundred dollars bi-monthly, I'm now paying $15 a month for excellent service. Yes, they don't pick up a Christmas tree when it is lying on the sidewalk next to your garbage can but mine is fake and it is a small price to pay. Savings: $336 a month.
I stretched my manicure out another week or two by filling it in myself. Honestly, I should cut it out completely and do my own nails but I get an acrylic overlay because my nails are so brittle that they tear constantly. Therefore, I splurge on a manicure. But instead of paying $80 a month, I stretch my manicure so it lasts long and only pay $40. Savings so far: $376.
$200 Mortgage Re-fi
I was paying over $200 on PMI insurance. When I refinanced my house in 2009, they said it didn't have the appropriate equity. Okay – that's fine. I got a four percent interest rate and my payment was lower. However, when the housing market crept back up and I did have more than 20 percent equity; I wasn't able to drop the PMI…because it was an FHA loan and the PMI had to stay on for 5 years. So I refinanced again and got a 3.75 percent interest rate and no mortgage insurance. The payment is now $207 lower and I'm paying half of a payment twice a month so it will be paid off much quicker than the original. Savings in total: $583. Cha Ching!!
I'm also writing for the web and making extra money a week. The cool thing about writing for internet sites is that you can make as much or as little as you want and you get a byline. More on ways to make extra money next time. Happy New Year!!