I recently took a look at my finances and decided there was some fat I needed to cut.
For simplification, I did not include variable expenses such as groceries and gas…I figured I will tackle those next month. So I broke my fixed expenses down into two categories: needs and wants. Needs are 100% necessary, and do not have any wiggle room at the moment. Wants are the expenses I have every month that I decided I’ll have to justify.
- Rent :$900
- Car insurance: $56.45
- Employer 401k plan: $726
- Health insurance/dental/vision: $45
- Spotify membership: $10.65
- Amazon Prime: $14.11
- Acorns Investing: $1.00
- Orangetheory Fitness: $99
I took a look at my “wants” list and decided that I could make some sacrifices. I started with Amazon Prime. I use Amazon for shopping, Amazon Prime Video, and cloud storage for my photos. I wanted to keep Amazon Prime, so I looked into the yearly fee.
Normally, I don’t like committing to a yearly fee, because I like the option of being able to disable my account whenever I please, but I decided that I will be using Amazon for at least another year.
Amazon is $12.99 a month before taxes and the yearly fee is $119.00. Amazon is no dummy, and even calculated the savings for me.
So I switched my account to the yearly plan, and now I have $36.88. I have been living my life without this extra $36.88, so my trick is to act like that’s not extra money in my pocket. I take the $36.88 and deposit it right into my Acorns investing account.
I used to belong to a gym that cost $99 a month. Even though I can afford a $99 a month on gym, I decided that money could be used elsewhere. I cancelled my beloved gym membership and instead, I deposit an extra $100 into my employer 401k plan.
Take a few minutes today to audit your monthly expenses. Is there anything you can go without? Any recurring expenses you perhaps forgot about? Subscriptions you signed up for in college and forgot to cancel?
Dive deep into your phone plans, WiFi plans, and other monthly expenses to see what other options you have. Challenge yourself to downgrade to more basic cheaper options. You value your time so why not value your money. These “found” dollars come from small sacrifices that will pay off for you in the long run.
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