We all want to save money. That’s why you are here, right? I am definitely no different and that’s why I am here, too.
A bit of transparency here… Our family is in debt (and not just a little, a lot). I won’t name the figure, but just know, it is a lot! We basically lost two businesses in the last few years and just staying afloat caused us to build up a lot of debt. I’m sure some of you know what this feels like and are experiencing similar situations right now.
We are blessed (well, we have always been blessed) at this point to again have a steady income but it has not made the debt go away, far from it! We are basically following the Dave Ramsey Debt Reduction program of living on a “beans and rice budget” and snowballing our debt away. But it still will take us almost 4 years to pay off our debt. It seems like forever, but the freedom at the end will be amazing!
Sometimes saving money can seem like an insurmountable challenge and can be very frustrating. And if you are just starting this journey I want to encourage you to start thinking on a micro level. Break it down into small, manageable steps that you can easily handle.
If you are in debt or are saving for a large purchase like a car or wedding, or maybe you just want to stay home with your kids, the amount that you need for that can look so huge. It seems as though you will never achieve your goals, but in order to bring that goal down to something more manageable you need to start thinking about saving $5 a day or even $1 a day.
Can you turn the air conditioner up a degree? Switch your lawn watering to come on less? Carpool one day a week (or a month)? Switch to a generic brand? Make a goal to only use coupons for certain products or never pay over a certain dollar amount for something? Are your kids overscheduled so that cutting out one after-school activity would not only save on that specifically but also save on gas and give you more quality family time? There are so many ways to save $1 or $5 (or $10 a day), it’s not that much but adds it up!
• $1 a day = $365 a year.
• $5 a day = $1825 a year.
• $10 a day = $3650 a year.
Wow! That adds up quickly! And if you can put that money in the bank, you may get to your goal really fast, or at least faster that you thought you could.
Here are some things we personally cut that have made very little impact on our lives (Yes, we have had to cut out things that have hurt a bit more as well – that is a little harder).
• Stopped dying my hair (still get it cut at a nice salon) – $60 x 4= $240 a year.
• Cut the cable and got an antenna – $20 x 12 = $240 a year.
• Cut our phone land line down to the basic plan (some may want to get rid of that completely) – $25 x 12 = $300 a year.
• Downgrade our health insurance to a higher deductible plan – $350 x 12= $4200 a year.
These little things were very simple for us. (Sometimes I miss the Food Channel – lol.) And these easy changes save us almost $5000 a year. That’s crazy! If you knew you could have $5000 to go toward debt or in your savings account at the end of the year, and it wasn’t very difficult … wouldn’t you do it? And if it really is as easy as some of the above why not think a little harder and make it $10,000?
I know you can do it!
What are some budget changes you can make or have made to get to your goals?
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