This year, I've set out to save money. Normally I feel like I'm half tightwad, half impulsive shopper. I'm trying to give the angel on my shoulder a little more airtime this year, and silence the devil with "but I have bills to pay off, dammit!" And won't it feel good to pay them off. My hubby and I are extremely good with our money, but everyone can leave further below their means. And, I have this crazy dream that some day, we can be totally and completely debt free, including our mortgage(s).
If you want to read about people making incredible sacrificing to reduce their debt, right now is a great time to be looking. My favorite blog is Chasing the Fire, because, well, this family has made some seriously admirable moves to pay off a huge amount of debt. It seems like everyone is on budget-watch these days, and it's kind of refreshing to me. I thought I might share some ideas I've gathered up from all my thrifty friends and start to share them here. So here's my first installment of Save-o-rama rama!
TIP 1: CUT OUT THE CABLE
Cable for us was an obvious "first luxury to go" item. We don't watch a ton of TV, so we wouldn't really miss it. Not to say that I didn't LOVE having a DVR for the first time, or compulsively watch American Pickers, Storage Wars, Millionaire Matchmaker, Auction Kings and other gems of the cable dial, but I can do without it. And our little pumpkin, who loves Chuggington, Handy Manny, and other cable friends, can too. Who knows, maybe it will force us to go outside more, or play more games as a family.
Instead of cable, we opted for a Wii with streaming Netflix. Here's how the savings breaks down:
--Cost of cable TV = $50/mo. or $600/yr.
--Cost of Wii = $140
--Cost of streaming Netflix = $8/mo. or $96/yr.
Total annual savings = $364 (plus we get to keep the Wii!)
Now of course we also did not HAVE to have the Wii, or streaming Netflix. But it took the sting away of having to give up something we did kinda like. And $364 paid toward a bill is not too shabby for something we now don't really miss at all! We have plenty of movies and cartoons to keep the whole pumpkin crew completely satisfied.
Next installment: crazy coupon lady!
Are you paying off your debt? What are you doing to save this year?