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Mar 01

Some simple but probably not so easy money saving tips

One sure fire way to increase stress and problems after your transition, or in your marriage, is to jack up your finances.  Living paycheck to paycheck and being thousands of dollars in debt is one of the worst feelings in the world.  It’s like you’re sprinting on a hamster wheel and it seems as though there’s no way out.  So here are some ways you can save big bucks, but you’re probably not going to like them all.

Pack Your Lunch- up to $200/month

Unless you’re eating at the DFAC, buying lunch is going to cost you $7-10 a pop.  If you’re doing that every day that means you’re spending somewhere around $50 a week on lunch.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good whopper or a delicious buffet, I’ve got the pounds to prove it, but my wallet can’t take that kind of hit every day.  If there is more than one person in the house doing that, then you’re really into some big dollars.  If you pack your lunch, you can usually feed yourself for $2-3 which means you’re saving $35 a week.

Cut the Cord- $100/ month

Drop the cable bill.  Most of you already have a Netflix and Hulu account, then you’re also paying $150 a month for cable?  Let’s face it, you’ve got like 6 shows you DVR, but otherwise you’re not watching cable.  The one holdout has been sports for a long time, but now even they are moving to streaming services.  Get yourself a high-speed internet service for $50/ month and save on all those channels.  If you have that one favorite show that you just can’t get, you can always buy that show on Amazon.  You can usually get a whole season of something for like $30 which is still less than what an entire month of cable will cost.  Besides, the cable companies are assholes and I can’t wait for those fuckers to go out of business.

Quit Tobacco

If you’re a veteran, chances are you have smoked or dipped a day or two.  This one sucks, but if you are strapped for cash, you should total up how much you’re spending on chew or smokes.  Seriously, do the math, then think about what you could be doing with that money instead of spitting it into empty soda bottles.  I understand that shit is as addictive as cocaine, just writing this makes me want to drop in a plug and I can barely have two beers without needing a smoke, but I am a tightwad and that is a waste of money.  Just think about it.

Trade in your car

Oh yeah, I went there.  I once wrote an article about my Prius and how frustratingly smart of a financial choice it was.  I actually was paid to buy that car, and it reliably gets me to work every day.  I drive it for around 5 hours a week and fill up gas once a month.  It costs me $15 a month to get to work and back.  I used to drive an F-150, it was beautiful. This gorgeous black extended cab with leather seats, navigation, and XM radio.  I smiled every time I got in the driver’s seat, but I paid almost $300 a month for that thing and gas was atrocious.  So I made the decision that was right for my family and got rid of it.  I might not drive around as nice of a vehicle anymore, but I’ve taken my family to Disney several times and there are 5 digits in my savings account.  To me, it was a worthwhile trade.

Some things are easy to budget for: groceries, gas, electric, mortgage, etc. But some things catch you by surprise, like maybe your lunch bill.  Take a close look at your expenses and see where you can afford to make a cut.  If you do everything on this list, some of you can save up to $600 a month.

Being debt free is really like being released from bondage and financial security is a tremendous reward for your hard work.

-LJF

 

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