There are 2 ways to become wealthier.
You can either earn more income or cut down your expenses.
As you and I already know, doing any of these changes is easier said than done.
This past month I reflected on some of the “frugal” choices I’ve made. After doing some digging around it turns out that I’ve made quite a few smart moves. If you don’t already do so, it’s good to reflect on your previous month’s purchases to see how your finances are trending.
One easy way to do this instead of logging in to each of your bank accounts is through Personal Capital. Once logged in you can easily view what your net worth is, and receive notifications on how much you’ve spent in your current week vs last month.
Some of my wins were bigger than others, but I managed to save $10-$70 on each item. Here are my top 6 wins for this month, and hopefully you can do the same or even better.
1. Removed Focus@will subscription
Removing my Focus@will subscription was a difficult thing for me to do since I’m a big fan of staying focused when I do any of my tasks. Canceling this subscription has saved me $12 a month.
So why did I decide to remove this subscription? Well because I’ve found a more effective alternative. This application has a variety of different genres that all help you stay productive, and I noticed that for the past few months I’ve listened to one specific genre.
Keeping this in mind I decided to write down the artist name at the bottom of a few songs. After doing a quick Google search I found many of the songs that helped me stay focused each month. My solution was to spend $10 buying the whole album for one specific artist and spread out my purchases in the upcoming weeks for other songs.
2. Sold An Extra Phone
I ended up selling my extra phone on eBay for $200.
I technically bought an extra phone this month since my iPhone stopped woking. However, after my iPhone decided to work again I no longer needed my extra phone.
It’s always a good idea to have a backup phone. However, I’m careful with my phone, and if an emergency ever happens I’m comfortable buying a used one. This is when having emergency funds become useful.
3. Spent 50% on groceries
I’ve recently decided to track how much I spend on groceries each week. I had spent $180 last week and vowed to be more strategic on the following week.
This past week I wrote down a grocery list and committed to only buying those items. I did end up purchasing a few extra items, but only spent about $80. Not bad right?
4. Lunch At Work
It’s easy to eat lunch with coworkers, especially if your work location has a cafeteria. I committed to bringing lunch to work this past week, and I managed to save $10-$20 dollars.
I’m a big fan of eating out with friends and coworkers, so I do have a budget for this once a week.
5. Switched Cable Companies
I decided to switch cable companies and managed to save $30 a month.
The internet was bad at times, and sometimes the TV shows would freeze occasionally. So switching was a no brainer.
Unfortunately, due to many giant companies like Verizon, and Comcast dominating the cable industry we are limited to a few options. However, it’s always good to shop around and see which company will give you a better price.
A better solution altogether would be to opt out of purchasing cable TV in the first place. Since others in the house watch cable, I’m limited to my options. Still, after doing some shopping around I managed to snag a better deal for a better service provider.
I’m a big fan of saving money, but only when it makes sense. I’ve been burned in the past when I’ve tried penny-pinching on services or products. In the end, it only makes sense to save money if the quality remains the same.
This past month I’ve only saved money in areas that didn’t have much impact on my current lifestyle. In some instances changing money habits will be harder than others, but only you’ll be able to make the best choice.
What might help you is grabbing a blank sheet of paper and writing down the pros and cons for any financial decision you make. This has worked out for me in the past and can prevent you from becoming paralyzed when making a decision.
There are many people out there who live the “frugal” life thinking that saving money is the only way to accumulate wealth. I say that it’s better to grow your income, and save money ONLY when it makes sense.
Being “frugal” to the point where you wear crappy clothes, and live a minimalist lifestyle isn’t for everyone. Focus on building your wealth by saving 10%–20% of your income each month, and treat yourself to nice things with the remainder!
If you’re dedicated to reaching financial independence faster than most, be prepared to make some sacrifices along the way. Just make sure you enjoy the process.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Now the spotlight is on you!