My husband and I are in the pursuit of FI/RE. For those of you who don’t know what FI/RE is, the acronym stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. In order to reach FI/RE, we are decreasing our spending and increasing our multiple streams of income. We stopped purchasing these 10 things in order to free up cash in our budget to save for our first rental property.
I don’t want to get too Marie Kondo on you, but we stopped buying things that didn’t ‘spark joy.’
We’re debt free and on board with spending money if it brings us value, is a good deal and will improve our life.
My new mantra is quality over quantity, which is a huge mindshift change for me. I used to think more was better, but that is far from the truth. If you buy cheaply, you will spend more in the long run because you have to replace the items more often and won’t enjoy the quality of low-grade products.
Now, I use audible. Since I commute to work for 3 hours a day and am busy with work and Freedom In A Budget, audible has become my best friend. I listen to podcasts and audiobooks instead. I’ll leave a link to audible to get 2 free audiobooks.
I don’t drive my car to work anymore. I live 35 miles from my job and work from home 2 days a week. On the other 3 days I take the train. The train is not a pleasant experience by any means but it saves on gas, tolls and wear and tear on my car. If you’re interested in decreasing the amount of money you spend on gas, limit driving, and run all your errands in one day or on your way home from work. Challenge yourself to cut out one tank of gas a month.
3. Sale Items
I saved _____, but you didn’t save _____ you spend ____. Sometimes sales make sense when you specifically need the item, but be intentional about price cutting and flashy marketing. The entire point is to get you to spend more money. Don’t fall into this trap.
If I need a soda fix, I buy soda for home that I can get for 25 cents a can, instead of $3-4 at a restaurant. I also try to drink more water throughout the day. This keeps me away from the sugary and expensive soda. It also makes me hit my water goals.
5. Dryer Sheets:
I invested in dryer balls. These lil’ buddies help get wrinkles out of my clothes, make them super soft to the touch and dry my clothes faster. This means I less on my electric bill per month! I truly prefer dryer balls over dryer sheets because of the cost and the dangers of dryer sheets.
I started looking more into nutrition, eating less processed foods and focused on whole, clean meals. I get it, it’s easy to buy the pills rather than fixing our nutrition and increasing our exercise. Trust me though when I say, it is worth it to make changes to your diet in the long run. You will feel better and be healthier. You will spend less money on supplements and on health care costs.
7. Pre-cut Food
I could rant about the ridiculousness about pre cut and pre prepared food for a solid hour. A pineapple costs $2.50 when the cut fruit in a plastic container with a plastic seal costs $5. It’s horrible for the environment and you get 60% less fruit. Don’t do this. Stop doing this. Please.
8. Name Brand Food
Jordan Page went on Rachel Ray a couple of years ago and explained that most food processing plants have the same formulas for name brands and generic companies. They’re slapping different labels on the food and putting them on the same truck to be sold at the same place for different prices. When you pay for, say, Campbells, you’re paying for the name and the marketing behind that name. When you buy generic or ‘store brand,’ you’re getting the same exact product for up to 50% of the cost.
I personally do the majority of my grocery shopping at Aldi. Their price and quality is unbeatable. Click here to check out my grocery hauls and here for 11 things you should know before shopping at Aldi.
I cut cable over 10 years ago and haven’t looked back. We watch YouTube mostly with Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix thrown in the mix. In 2018, the average cost of cable per month was $107.20 a month. If you cut the cord in favor of streaming services, you could save over $1,200 per year.
10. Subscription Boxes
I’ve tried Target Beauty, Walmart Beauty and Fab Fit Fun. I used to love them and got so excited when they came in the mail, but I found that I only used a couple of items in each box. The other items became clutter in my house. I’d rather just buy what I need when I need it.
Ways I save money:
• Fetch Rewards is a free grocery savings app that rewards you just for snapping pictures of your receipts. That’s really it. Free gift cards on groceries on thousands of products every day, no matter where you get your groceries. Just scan your receipts and get gift cards from places like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, Ulta, Applebees. Use code QHKBH to earn 2,000 points ($2)!
• Rakuten/Ebates: Rakuten is my to go way to earn Cash Back from over 2,500 stores like Macy’s, Amazon, Sephora, Walmart and much more. Join Rakuten today for free, and you’ll get a $10 Cash Bonus to get you started! Every three months, you’ll get a Big Fat Check in the mail or a PayPal payment just for shopping.
• Hulu: Discover and watch movies, shows, Hulu Originals, past seasons, current episodes, sports, live news, and more with Hulu. Stream TV shows your way.
• CIT Bank offers CDs and savings accounts that provide a safe, secure way to grow your savings. With the CIT Bank No-Penalty CD, you get the security of an 11 month CD with no withdrawal penalty seven days or later after funds have been received.
• M1 Finance is an easy to use brokerage platform that allows you to invest in Fractional Shares and auto reinvest!
• Webull Get 2 Free Stocks on WeBull when you deposit $100 (Valued up to $1400).
• Glasses USA Save money by buying your prescription glasses, contacts or prescription sunglasses online. They have an easy to use virtual mirror so you can see what they look like on and carry tons of name brands up to 65% off your first pair.
• Budget Templates: Excel budget templates with pre-populated categories and formulas to keep you on track with hitting your financial goals.
What are some things that you don’t pay for in efforts to save money or pay down debt? Let me know!