Jean's Money Blog

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How I Cut My Spending

Posted by on Jan 4, 2013

decision

I’ve read hundreds of articles about different ways to cut your budget in half, but never tried to re-imagine my budget.  The truth is, you get used to certain luxuries – especially when you haven’t had to save for anything.  I’ve always made a decent wage, but spent it nearly as fast as it was earned.  I always told myself that I’d start saving on the next paycheck.

I never learned my lesson, until I got into a fender bender that destroyed my car.  Friendly advice: make sure you opt  for the Gap insurance when you take out a loan on a car!  I didn’t , and I’m stuck making payments on a vehicle that’s been scrapped for parts.  I needed a new car to continue working, so for 2 years now I’ve been making double car payments.  That’s enough to force anyone to learn how to budget!

In order to clear enough money for my new car payment, I had to make sacrifices.  With any budget, it’s about decision.  How did I convince myself that I could survive without cable?  Make bargains.  No cable, but you can watch just about anything online now, right?  Keep internet.  Save $40 per month.  Upwards of $10 to go out for lunch every day at work?  Pack lunch, save $60+ per week ($240 per month).  Just like that – two small lifestyle changes and I’ve got an extra $280 each month to put towards my new car.

Anytime you adjust your budget, don’t think of what you’re losing – think of alternatives.  This makes it easier to consider the fact that you don’t need to be spending $4 a day on coffee that would cost you $0.10 at home.  It’s easier when you consider what you can do with the money you save, and think of opportunities that arise when you eliminate a luxury.

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