*The following post may contain affiliate links. Please know that all opinions are 100% my own and I would never suggest anything I would not use myself or believe in fully.
The fact is, you can save more money than you think. I’m not going to tell you to stop buying $8-$10 lunches everyday, because this article assumes you’ve already cut down on the obvious stuff. It’s time to get uncomfortable.
Get rid of your subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, cable, etc.
Shocker, it’s expensive to stay entertained. Even if you’re sharing with a friend, or it’s your “one vice”, if you really want to save some extra cash this month, give up the subscriptions and get a free library card. Not only will you learn a lot from the new books you’re reading, but you’ll soon be amazed at how much free time you now have. Maybe enough free time to start a new side hustle, hmm??
Here are some intensely entertaining books that Jacob and I love and want to recommend!
Stop making meat an entree
During the depression and rationing times through the World Wars, people stopped eating meat with every meal. Meat was expensive. I’m not saying you have to start eating porridge everyday, I am merely suggesting taking their lead and using one chicken breast, pork roast, or package of ground beef and mixing it into a large stew or soup that you eat throughout the week. Make the meat go further than you’re used to and get creative. The mentality that everyone gets their own personal chicken breast at dinner will run your food budget into the dirt. You are in your own personal depression right now, start eating like it!
Stop buying beauty products
Women, with the exception of essential items such as toothpaste, razors, face wash, shampoo, and inexpensive makeup, you don’t need quite as many beauty products as you might think. I have lived for the past few years without many products most women own such as hairspray, eye shadow pallets, body wash, shaving cream, dry shampoo, etc., and while there were a couple times it would have been nice to own some of the above, I didn’t feel like I was just scraping by because I simply embraced what God gave me. (Camping for multiple days in a row also helps you realize pretty quick which things you actually need too).
You will be shocked at how few beauty products you actually need when you embrace your natural self, and you will be amazed at how much money you’ll save cutting back. For instance, embrace your natural hair instead of straightening it everyday and you’ll save money on your electric bill and heat spray. A small $5 can of hairspray here, a $5 can of shaving cream there, and before you know it you’re spending $50+ every couple months on all these products.
Another idea to help you save is to not be committed to specific products. I get almost all my beauty supplies from discount stores like Marshall’s and Ross, because they often have high quality and all natural beauty products for half the price.
Chances are, you believe that some of the extra things I’ve listed above are essential, and until you have to travel with nothing but a small backpack, you might not fully realize that they aren’t. Until then, I’d like to list below what I currently use, and maybe you’ll be inspired (note that Jacob and I share almost everything):
Baking Soda (face wash and makeup remover)
Shampoo (doubles as body wash/shaving cream)
Conditioner (I use only 2-3 a week)
- $7 eye makeup palette from Marshalls (similar to Naked Palette)
- tinted lip balm
I realize that everyone’s needs are different, and that you may require specific products that cater to your skin or hair type, but generally speaking, if you embrace your natural beauty, you won’t need to spend money on products aimed to help you alter it. Be yourself and save! (Except for hairy legs. I’m not that all natural yet).
Stop drinking alcohol
You do not need alcohol to sustain yourself. You do not need alcohol to relax. You do not need alcohol to have a good time. You do not need alcohol to waste more of your precious time when you feel sick the next morning. Alcohol is expensive. Just stop buying it. Period. (Unless you feel that you may have an addiction. Please check out this resource for help).
Get rid of your iPhone and change providers
Originally when I wrote this post, I had suggested getting rid of your smart phone all together. However, on a recent cellphone company shopping expedition, I realized that now, as opposed to a few years ago, smart phones aren’t actually that much more expensive that regular phones, and they can actually be cheaper.
I say to get rid of your iPhone specifically because, after doing loads of research, I’ve discovered Republic Wireless to be the most inexpensive and reliable network (no contracts either!) on the market. The only catch is that they aren’t compatible with iPhone 🙁 *sad violin plays*.
Now, the prices that are the best don’t offer a whole lot of data (we’re talking like $25 a month for 1G), but don’t let that data limit turn you off to the fact that you can literally save hundreds of dollars a year just by choosing to not be distracted by Snapchat or Facebook anytime you have to awkwardly stand next to someone on the elevator.
A smart phone is a wonderful tool, and that’s all it really should be. If you use your smart phone the way you originally intended when you first got one (i.e. for GPS, quickly checking emails, instant messaging, etc.) then 1G is really all a person needs.
Again, it’s expensive to stay entertained
So there you have it! Prove me wrong by actually trying to implement some of these ideas, and let me know how much you end up saving.