How to Start Spending Less and Saving More
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Any spenders out there?
You are my people. I love spending money—hello Target!—but I also like the feeling of having money saved. You know, after the fact.
Maybe you’re like me.
Or, perhaps you’re not so big on spending money. Maybe you’re one of those crazy—I mean, inspiring—people, like my husband, Winston, who naturally loves to save.
Either way, it stinks when we’re working hard to curb our spending and up our saving but we’re still not quite hitting our goals. Have you been there before? I think I know why.
In today’s episode we discuss the sneaky ways money might be slipping through your fingers—and what you can do to slow the spending and really start saving.
Spending a Little Bit of Money Here and There Adds Up
- Creating a budget
- Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst with an emergency fund
- Getting out of debt altogether
And this stuff—the big stuff—matters. It totally matters.
But if we’re not careful, we can miss all the little opportunities to evaluate our spending and save big over the course of our lives. Because the truth is, if we want to think big when it comes to saving money, we need to think big picture not just big decisions.
So, in today’s episode, we take a hard look at expenses we consider normal and talk about ways to save.
Real Life With Rachel
But before we do all that, I have a confession to make. Are you ready?
I once spent $131.09 on a fitness app. It was well-intentioned, I promise!
Here’s what happened: This past January, I decided it was time to start working out again. A blogger I follow recommended a fitness app, so I checked it out and saw they were offering a deal on a year-long commitment. I love a good deal, don’t you?
So I signed up. Imagine my surprise when a few weeks later Winston showed me the bill for my already-forgotten exercise program. They’d charged me for a full year up front! Yikes.
I definitely had to move some things around in my EveryDollar budget that month. Dang you, fitness app!
Learn from my mistake, you guys. Read the fine print.
Challenge: Stop Wasteful Spending
I tried just about everything to cancel the fitness app and get some of my money back, but no luck. It haunts me to this day. Especially since I only used it maybe twice.
But it made me think: There’s got to be a subscription out there that I CAN drop to stop some of my wasteful spending.
Sure enough, I realized I was paying $2.99 for iCloud storage I never use. Goodbye, iCloud. Hello, an extra $2.99 a month.
What about you? Want to join me in completing this challenge? Take a look at your apps and streaming services. Do you watch shows on every option you pay for or do you tend to stick to one or two favorites? Or maybe you’ll reconsider your gym membership, magazine subscriptions, or Amazon Prime benefits.
Bottom line: If you use it and can afford it, great! If not, drop the subscription and put your money toward a better purpose.
Give Yourself Permission to Spend With EveryDollar
You might be thinking, How do I know what I can afford? Great question!
I stay on top of my spending by creating a monthly budget. And before you turn your nose up at the dreaded B-word, know that a budget is just a plan for your money. It puts you in control. That means you get to decide, up front and on purpose, how you’ll spend your hard-earned cash.
My favorite way to budget? The EveryDollar app, hands-down. You guys, it’s so easy. You can create your budget in just a few minutes, and then you’ll know exactly how much you have to spend on groceries, restaurants, clothes, entertainment and everything else.
And, as the month moves on, you can keep track of your expenses and make adjustments to your budget right there in the app. An EveryDollar budget gives you permission to spend. Can I get an amen?
How Much Do You Really Know About Your Spending Habits?
Before we can start saving more, we need to take a closer look at our spending habits. When we know where we’re spending money and how much we’re spending, it can help us figure out if we’re spending more than we need to. And that’s money that could be saved!
In today’s episode we have some fun asking folks on the street about the nitty-gritty aspects of expenses. Tune in for their answers to questions like:
- Are you paying for subscriptions you don’t use?
- What’s your car insurance premium?
- How much do you think the average American pays in overdraft fees a year?
- Do you ever go over on your cell phone bill?
How to Reduce Your Expenses
Whether I’m talking with folks after a live event or with my closest friends, it seems like there are a few key areas where overspending happens the most.
With just a little bit of information and action, you can cut needless spending in the following categories:
Want an easy pay increase? Cancel subscriptions you aren’t using. And don’t fall for the discount-to-stick-around trick. Nope. Say goodbye to monthly fees and hello to more money in your pocket. If you haven’t used the app or service in the last three months, cancel the subscription and get some money back in your budget.
So many people just set it and forget it when it comes to their car insurance. And it’s costing them . . . BIG time! Stop paying more than you have to. Get a quote to see if there’s a lower rate available. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our recommended insurance professionals. On average, they help their clients save over $700 a year.
Billy even wrote in and said, “Thanks to our Endorsed Local Provider, Jayna! She saved us $2,400 a year on auto insurance and $350 a year on homeowner’s.”
If you’re looking for a quick way to save, get a quote today!
Did you know the average person pays $225 a year in overdraft fees?(1) You guys! That’s like me handing a couple of hundred-dollar bills to my toddler and letting her loose on the playground. There’s a better and easier way to keep that hard-earned money! Create a zero-based budget in EveryDollar and make your money go further!
Of course, you can also avoid overdraft fees by paying with cash instead of your debit card. Use envelopes or clips to hold cash for categories you tend to overspend in—like groceries, restaurants or clothes—and commit to spending only that money on those items each month. When the cash is gone, it’s gone!
Cell Phone Bill
I hate to have to say this, but we should all be sure to check and double-check our cell phone bills each month. Because hidden fees and random charges happen. If you find one, give your provider a call. Ask for an explanation and, if necessary, a refund.
Another easy way to save is to pay attention to your data usage. Are you going over every month? Maybe you need to upgrade your data allowance, consider a family plan (even with your friends!), or cut back your time online.
And lastly, fellow technology-lovers: Don’t give in to iPhone envy. It’s real, you guys. If you can’t afford the latest and greatest phone, for the love, don’t buy it! Love your iPhone, not theirs.
What do you say? Let’s all work to stop wasting money and focus on creating a life we love!
MAKE SURE YOUR FAMILY IS TAKEN CARE OF AND
Easy Hacks for Saving Money on the Go!
Of course, to really get the best bang for our buck, we have to focus on both spending and saving. So, on today’s show, I also share a few of my favorite tips for saving money when you’re on the go doing things like:
- Grocery shopping
- Making a Target run
- Having fun
Do you have creative ways you save on groceries, target runs and entertainment? I want to hear them! Join our Facebook community and share them with us!
Paying Off Your Home Early Is the Opposite of Spending Money
Okay, sure, you have to send in those checks to your mortgage lender. But, you guys, when you pay off your home early, you open yourself up to actually keeping MORE of that money for yourself!
Let’s look at some numbers together:
- The average mortgage payment in America is $1,030.(2) If you invested that money instead of sending it to the bank for 15 years, you’d have $475,000!
- If you have a 30-year mortgage and make just one extra payment every three months, you could pay your home off 11 years early!
- The average price of a home in America is $268,500.(3) If you chose a 15-year mortgage instead of a 30-year mortgage at the current interest rate of 4.5%, you would save $120,000—on the same house!
I hope those numbers got your gears turning! When it comes to home mortgages, our goal should be to keep as much of our money as possible, right?
Feel free to play around with the math yourself. Maybe you’d like to see your options when it comes to buying a home, or perhaps you want to see what it would take to pay your home off early. Give our a try!
If you’re feeling like you’re in over your head with your mortgage, consider selling your current home and downsizing to a more affordable place. Give yourself a head start by contacting one of our real estate Endorsed Local Providers. On average, these agents help sellers earn nearly $5,000 more!
How One Woman Cut Her Mortgage Length in Half
If the above examples still sound more like a fantasy than a possibility, stay with me.
We’ve got an awesome guest named Cole with us on the show today. She’s a 35-year-old, soon-to-be mom with a paid-for house. Wow.
Cole bought her house in 2005 when she was a senior in college. She did what lots of people do: offered a small down payment, got a 30-year loan, and moved on with her life.
Seven years later, she decided to refinance. You go, girl!