Easy Ways I’m Currently Saving $1,200 Each Month

Easy Ways I'm Currently Saving $1,200 Each MonthLately, we’ve been trying to save as much money as we realistically can.

We’re not doing anything too crazy, but we are trying to make a few lifestyle changes so we are not frivolously wasting money that doesn’t need to be spent.

We are mainly trying to save money so that we can put a large down payment on our next home. We also want to start investing more heavily and take more trips.

We’re saving money in many other different ways besides just the ones below. However, the ones below are areas we are primarily trying to work on and they equal a total savings of around $1,200 a month right now.

 

We’re eating out less.

I’ve talked about this in the past, but I’ve never really dived into this topic too deep because I’ve been ashamed. While we are spending no where near the ridiculous amounts of money that we used to spend on going out to eat, just a few months ago we were still not doing very well.

I estimate we are currently saving around $500 a month by not eating out as much over just a few months ago.

We have been able to cut down on eating out less by eating at home as much as we can. Of course that would be the case, but it’s really been meal planning and less food waste that has really helped us cut down on our food spending.

We now shop with a grocery list and stick to the grocery list as much as we can. We have no where near the amount of food waste we used to have. I believe I once read a statistic that said the average family throws away around 40% of the food they buy.

That’s a TON of food waste!

 

We’re cleaning out our pantry.

Our pantry and cabinets are nearly bare because of this one. We have been making meals out of the food products we already had in our pantry. I was sick of our pantry continually building up more and more. We had cans and boxes of food filled in our cabinets, so I made it our mission to finally start eating everything.

I’m sure some of you are laughing at this, but I know there are a LOT of you out there who are guilty of this as well.

At one point I believe we had around 5 different packages of spaghetti noodles in our pantry. That didn’t include the other 10 different kinds of pasta noodles we had in there as well. We also had cans of vegetables and everything else in there. It was ridiculous and it seemed like it was never ending.

Now though, I believe we only have a few cans left and we actually have NO pasta left. It’s like a whole new world here!

I believe we have probably saved around $100 by doing cleaning out our pantry. Seems like a lot but we had a lot of food in there, and I’m sure you do as well.

 

We have a fuel efficient car.

Last month, we got rid of our Camaro and traded it in for a 2015 Subaru Legacy. The Legacy was more affordable and it gets twice as good gas mileage, which is amazing.

We were tired of having two cars that only got 15 miles to the gallon (our other car is a Jeep Wrangler), so we decided to trade in the Camaro.

This switch has been saving us around $350 per month already.

We are about to go on another road trip, and driving the Subaru will save us around $400 on this trip alone. That is a GREAT amount in savings.

 

We’re thinking about cutting out our cable completely.

This is one we haven’t fully done yet, but we did recently lower our cable package. We cut some channels out and were able to save $20 each month. If we were to cut it further, we could save around an extra $40 a month.

The reason why we are thinking about cutting our cable is because we hardly ever watch it now that we have Netflix. We signed up for Netflix around two months ago and haven’t really watched anything else.

This means a potential overall savings of around $50 a month from cutting our cable and adding Netflix to our lives.

 

I’m on a unexpected clothing fast.

I haven’t been trying to lower my clothing spending, it just happened. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I bought any clothing for myself. I’m going to guess that it’s been around 5 months.

I’ve been to the mall a few times, but nothing ever seems to work so I just haven’t bought anything. Also, working from home means I’ve been a little lazy when it comes to finding fun outfits to wear.

I’m going to guess that this unplanned clothing fast has saved me around $200 each month.

Oh yeah, and I also sold some clothing the other day and made $40. I plan on also donating around 6 bags full of clothing as well. WOOHOO!

 

How are you currently trying to save money?

How much money do you think you save each month?

 

Do You Have Life Insurance?

Do You Have Life Insurance?

This is my family :)

According to the insurance research firm LIMRA, life insurance ownership is at its lowest point in over 50 years. This is a crazy statistic considering that approximately 44% of those who took part in the survey said they don’t have enough money to pay for expenses if their loved one were to pass away suddenly.

This study also reported that around 30% of households do not have life insurance at all.

One major task I have failed at since leaving my day job in 2013 is finding life insurance. When I had my day job, I had a small amount of life insurance provided and paid for by my employer. Nothing crazy, but I never looked any further into it at that time.

Now that I work for myself, I have no life insurance and that is something I would like to change, especially since we plan on having children in the next few years.

Even though finding life insurance is something I think about a decent amount, I actually haven’t done anything to start this process.

 

When does a person need life insurance?

Okay, not everyone needs life insurance. However, most do.

If you are single, have no debt, and no one depends on you, then you probably don’t need life insurance.

But, just because you are single doesn’t mean you don’t need it. If you have debt and have co-signers on your debt, then you should absolutely have life insurance. This is because if something were to happen to you, you don’t want your co-signer (it could be your parents, siblings, etc.) to have to be stuck paying your debt because you didn’t think of a plan.

I recently read a true story about a young adult who did not have life insurance. They passed away suddenly and left their student loan debt behind to their parents, who were her co-signers. They were left with monthly payments on her student loans of nearly $2,000 a month…

Also, if someone depends on you, such as a spouse, elderly parents, or children, then you definitely want life insurance as well. You want your loved ones to be taken care of if something were to happen to you, correct?

Do You Have Life Insurance? 3

What do I need to do to find the right life insurance for me and my family?

The other day, I heard about a company called Quotacy. They have a great looking website, so I won’t lie, that helped draw me in.

The website is really easy to use. All you do is click on over to “Get Started” on their website. Then, they ask for a little bit of information (such as your zip code, gender, etc.) and then you press “View Your Quote.”

They have easy to use sliders where you can adjust the duration of your coverage and the policy value so that you can try to find a monthly premium that works best for you.

After that, they ask some routine medical questions and then policies from various companies pop up on your screen. This is so that you can find different life insurance policies and how much your monthly premium varies from company to company so that you can find your best price.

Quotacy will take a second look at your online submission, and shop the market one more time to ensure you’re getting the best price. If they find a better one based on your unique lifestyle or health characteristics, they will communicate this with you, and let you decide which company to apply for. The insurance company you select will then review your application, and make the final approval before it goes into affect and Quotacy will keep you informed every step of the way.

Do You Have Life Insurance? 2

Some of the great things about this website include:

  • Quotacy doesn’t require you to log in or register in order to see estimated pricing.
  • Everything is VERY easy to understand.
  • It’s very quick to use and you can get an estimated quote in one minute.
  • They have an awesome blog that can help you understand life insurance better.

 

Do you have life insurance? Why or why not?

 

Living In A 200 Square Foot Tiny House – Could You Do It?

Living In A 200 Square Foot Tiny House - Could You Do It?When we first moved out when we were 18, we moved into a very small house.

It was extremely small at around 400 square feet (less than that if you don’t count the basement), but it was cheap, had a backyard and was located very close to the college I was about to start attending.

Also as a reminder, last year Jordann also posted about how she used to live in a 400 square foot house.

I recently became interested in tiny homes again when I was watching a documentary on Netflix (we’re starting to find cable less and less worthwhile) called Tiny: A Story About Living Small. This documentary followed a man building his very own tiny home, and the documentary also showed others who lived in their own tiny homes.

I find tiny homes very interesting. They make great use of their space, they are usually very cute, and they are very affordable. Even with the positives below though, I don’t think it’s something I could do.

For me, the negatives greatly outweigh the positives. I think we could do something smaller than what we currently have, but 200 square feet is just too extreme for me.

Below are the positives and negatives of living in a tiny house:

 

Pro: Your housing expenses will be cheaper.

The average tiny home costs less than $30,000 to build. That includes the exterior and interior of the home. That is very cheap! That is much cheaper than the average home.

However, I do think you have to remember about where you are going to place this tiny home. Yes, you can buy land for cheap, but land can also be very expensive in other areas.

Your home will also be cheaper in that your utility bills will be cheaper. It’s much cheaper to heat or cool down a 200 square foot house than a 2,000 square foot house.

Repairs, maintenance and replacements will also most likely be much cheaper in a tiny home.

 

Con: I think it would be difficult with children and pets.

We don’t have children yet, but we would like to have them in the future. With all of the people I’ve seen and read about who live in tiny homes, I don’t think there’s been a single one who had children or pets.

I think it would just be very difficult with a family. People need their space… Or, maybe that’s just me?

However, I think if it were just one or two people living in a tiny home, then it would probably be much more doable. When we lived in our 400 square foot house (let’s keep in mind that we haven’t lived there in a very long time), it wasn’t completely bad. The size didn’t really bother us at all at the time. I think it really helped that there were multiple small rooms to escape too, and there was also a front and backyard and porch.

 

Pro: You’ll spend less money on material items.

I am a bit of a hoarder. Just ask Wes and he will probably want to cry just thinking about how much stuff I have.

My closet is jam packed to the ceiling with stuff, and then I also have things in the guest bedroom and in our basement.

Moving into a tiny home would probably be a lifesaver in that I would be forced to think about each purchase I make. Since there’s only so much room in a tiny home, you will buy fewer items.

 

Con: Having guests over won’t be comfortable.

I remember watching in the documentary when the main person being filmed had guests over.

He invited his family over to see the home he just built and it was extremely cramped. It was almost like everyone had to bend over in order for their to be room for everyone.

Now, I’ll be honest, I don’t throw raging parties or anything, but I would like the option of having people over when I can. This is especially true since we plan on moving to a new state and we would like people to visit us occasionally.

 

Living In A 200 Square Foot Tiny House - Could You Do It?Pro: You may be able to bring the tiny house when traveling.

Okay, this doesn’t apply to every single tiny house, but there are some that are small enough where you can actually travel with it.

You can bring your tiny home to where you want it to be, and you may even be able to do some road trips in it as well.

This makes the list of possible places to live pretty much endless.

 

Con: Not a lot of personal space.

This is no surprise. They are called tiny homes for a reason. According to the documentary, tiny homes are homes that are 200 square feet or less. That is extremely small.

That’s smaller than my bedroom, and my bedroom is not huge by any means.

Since I work from home 24/7 now, I would like to have more space since I’m at home more. I think I would get a little crazy if I was in the same exact room hour after hour, day after day.

 

Would you ever live in a tiny home? Why or why not? How small could you go?

How big is your home currently?

 

Also, if you live in a tiny home (less than 250 square feet preferably), I’d love to hear from you and possibly conduct an interview for this blog. Please send me an email if you are interested.

 

Images all via Flickr by Tammy Strobel