Do you want to save more money? How about an extra $500 each month? Of course, you do! What a silly question right? Well, it’s pretty easy to do…but are you willing to do it?
Did you know you already have it, but you are giving it to others? Here are the changes my wife and I made a few years ago to give ourselves nearly an extra $500 a month in available cash and $6,000 a year. It’s not talking, this is cold, hard cash staying in our accounts.
Fastest Ways to Make Money – Stop Giving It to Others!
The second fastest way that I’ve been able to increase my savings and investments is to stop giving my money away to others. The fastest way I’ve increased my money was to ask for a raise, but that doesn’t always result in a yes.
I DO CONTROL all the money I spend. We’re not talking about frugal tips here we are just talking about plain smart money management. You can spend a lot of time doing side jobs but look at what you spend first.
It Is Worth the Time and Effort to Save Money
I’m not trying to live like a hermit or be miserable. These were minor changes that had very little impact on my life but a huge impact on my wallet. You can more than max out a Roth from these changes alone. If you are making $50,000 a year this is like instantly receiving an 11.5% raise. I know it’s not a “real” raise…but at the end of the day, $500 saved or $500 earned is the same 5 Ben Franklins in your hand.
Take The Time to Fill Out a New W-4 At Work
We were getting back $2,500 a year in taxes which is awesome to get so much money…but not so awesome because I was giving a large interest-free loan to the government. Take 15 minutes to fill it out and send it to your HR or Payroll.
A W-4 form has a worksheet that will help you determine what you need to put down for your claimed allowances. A lot of people don’t give it a second thought or even a first thought, but it could mean an extra couple of hundred dollars each month. You may want to check with a tax professional as well before making the change.
Extra money = $208 per month
Cut The Cord
When you hear cut the cord many people think you are shutting down the TV. You’re not! You’re just tired of paying an outrageous bill for cable or satellite for channels you may or may not use.
My initial satellite bill started at $30 a month. I was totally fine with that, but it grew up to $70 a month and I was getting fewer channels because of battles between channels and satellite. Sorry, I’m not paying for that.
We cut out satellite and got Netflix for $8 a month. You can get channels over the air as well and we also have multiple apps on our tablets including CBS, NBC, ABC, CW, PBS, A&E, Disney Jr., History, Team Coco, ABC Family, Discovery, USA, Comedy Central, and others. We still watch our favorites: CSI, Blacklist, White Collar, Graceland…and ugh..the Bachelor (not my favorite).
I do lose out on sports which is the biggest drawback and the only thing keeping cable and satellite alive, but my neighbors and family still have cable so if I want to watch a game it is available. The time I save compared to what I used to watch is probably the best part. We had withdrawals for the first month, but after that, we wished we had done it sooner.
Extra money = $62 per month
Cell Phone Bill
At my current business, they gave me a cell phone for the job. Then when I was put into management, I was given a smartphone. We had our choice of Samsung Galaxy or iPhones. The iPhone was $$$ and the Samsung was free, so it was a no-brainer for me to go with the free Galaxy 4 and the free bill each month.
My bill of $49 a month was dropped since the company was now paying for my bill since managers are technically on-call all the time. Have you asked your company if they will pay your bill?
Extra money = $49 per month
Another change we made was to drop our utility bill down a bit. We have a natural gas fireplace and there was no reason to have the pilot light going all the time, just burning gas and money when we were not using the fireplace.
I also tweaked the watering schedule on my lawn. I love a nice green lawn. I worked on a country club golf course for 7 years so exact mowing stripes and perfect grass are ingrained in me. I changed the watering schedule from 4 days a week to 3 and there was no difference except in the bill.
We are big fans of casual wear in our house, especially after being dressed up all day with work so it is hoodies all the time, so we dropped the temperature a few degrees in the winter and also took advantage of a programmable thermostat, so it wasn’t cranking out heat all the time.
Extra money = $47 per month
One of our neighbors started his own internet provider business and has high-speed internet for $30 a month. He has undercut everyone in the market and his clientele exploded and he saved us some money. If it goes down then the person in charge is up the street, but after 1 1/2 years it has never gone down.
Extra money = $20 per month
When I was a reporter, I couldn’t really haul my lunch around with me. You can’t exactly take it in the courtroom or in the mountains chasing down a wildfire. You just never know where you are going to be so I’d pick it up when I could, but some days you just starve because there isn’t time.
Now with an office job, I take my lunch every day. I like making my own lunch mainly for health reasons more than the money, but money and less grease are nice. Less grease = less running at night. I’m going conservative on this amount with just $5 a day for 20 days.
Extra money = $100 per month
Total Savings Per Month
Total for the month $486
How to Save More Money Conclusion
Changing these money habits has allowed us to invest more and continue to grow our wealth. We simply stopped the excuses each year to evaluate our expenses. We aren’t looking to be cheap. We are trying to be smart with our money.
Total for the year $5,832
Total for five years $29,160
Total for ten years $58,320
Do those numbers make it worth your time and effort?