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?

 

4 Common Mistakes Made By The Self-Employed

5 Common Mistakes Made By The Self-EmployedI’ve been fully self-employed for almost a year now (side hustled for 3 years) and I have learned a lot over this time period.

No, I’m definitely not an expert but I do know a little bit about owning businesses and running them since that’s all I did when I had my day job as a business analyst.

As a quick summary, in my old day job some of my responsibilities included conducting interviews to learn more about a company and how they operated, analyzing any legal and business agreements, reviewing and/or compiling financial documents (including tax returns, financial reports, etc), and so on.

When I had this position, I saw some really amazing companies. I saw many companies where the owners completely started from scratch and built multi-million dollar companies which were extremely successful.

However, I also saw many, MANY companies that made some horrible mistakes. These companies operated at losses each and every year, and I just don’t know how they did it.

Even though I run a fairly simple business (all I need is a laptop and internet to work), I’m starting to understand more and more about what these business owners went through in order to get to where they currently are.

I’ve also made my own fair share of mistakes, and I know no one is perfect. Hopefully, you can avoid some mistakes though!

Below are four common mistakes made by the self-employed:

 

1. Not being organized.

This is a very common mistake made by the self-employed. I’m guilty of this one too.

I make this mistake all the time, but I am trying to improve. When you have your own business, you really need to work on being as organized as you possibly can.

You need to make sure to keep your personal and business finances separate, receipts organized, papers organized, and pretty much everything you use for when you do your taxes the following year need to be prepped and organized.

Keeping everything organized will help everything go much more smoothly when you eventually need the item. It’s easy to let each little thing slide and all of a sudden your disorganization will take over your life.

It might become impossible to find anything, and you might even lose important documents.

 

2. Thinking being self-employed will be easy.

Now, this one isn’t necessarily too common, but I do think it’s a common way that people who are NOT self-employed think.

I recently read an article about someone who quit their job and entered the self-employment world because they wanted to do something easier in life. Sadly, they found out the truth was the exact opposite.

Being self-employed isn’t a never-ending vacation. This is something too many people think. Just because you work for yourself and/or at home, it doesn’t mean that life is automatically easier.

You will need a plan for your business, research about how you will actually make an income, organize your finances, handle the legal side of owning a business, manage to not let your business takeover your life, provide services, sell products, find health insurance, save for retirement, and so on. Oh yeah, and don’t forget about taxes!

 

3. Not having an emergency fund.

I have seen too many people enter the self-employment life, only to have a few bad months and completely give up. I understand that running a business can be hard (see above), but I do think having an emergency fund can be a lifesaver in many situations.

Different people like to have a different amount in their emergency fund. I have a full year of expenses just in case everything completely tanks, or if something major happens to either of us or our home. Keep in mind that we do have a $12,000 deductible before we can actually use our health insurance, so we keep our emergency fund extra inflated with a year’s worth of expenses because of that as well.

An emergency fund can really help if you have a bad month, if something goes wrong with your business plan, or if you have some major expenses coming up.

Instead of completely giving up on your dream, your emergency fund can help you power through any bad months so that you don’t have to quit (unless you truly want to, of course).

 

4. Spending a crazy amount of money.

Luckily, my business is very cheap to run. I don’t need much in order to make an income. All I really need is my laptop and internet. Everything else I pay for are really just little luxuries to make everything a little bit easier.

When I first started my hustles, I ran it much more cheaply than I run it now. I wanted to save as much money as I possibly could.

This is not how everyone runs their business though. I have seen some business owners start their business by spending TOO much money on items that they probably do not need. Yes, some items are a need, but others can probably wait a little bit until you know you have a viable business plan.

Also, some spend a lot of money on their business just so they can write the expenses off on their tax return. Let me say this, just because you get to write it off it does not make the item free! You still have to pay for the item.

 

What mistakes have you seen or made?