Almost two years ago my boyfriend and I moved in together. We are currently choosing to live on less income so that we both can go back to school for graduate degrees. I decided to compile a list of the financial decisions we have made in the past two years that have saved us the most money. After writing this list I have to say that I’m really proud of us!
1. Buying Our Cars With Cash- I drive a Chevy Cavalier that I bought for $2,000 and B drives a Nissan Sentra that he bought for $5,000 we could have easily spent at least $25,000 for these cars USED and that doesn’t even include interest on a car loan (See Our Experience as a One Car Household) Savings- $25,000
2. Renting a House in Our Original Target Price Range- When we were looking for a house to rent we originally decided we could spend $700 to $900 a month but quickly found that it would be very, very difficult to find a very nice home in that price range but we ended up picking out the house we are living in at $900 a month over houses in the $1200 price range Savings- $300 a month or $3,600 a Year
3. Renting a House With Free Water/Sewer/Trash Bill- We have a water well so we don’t pay for water but my sister and her fiancé used to pay $60 a month at their house (see Having a Water Well) Savings- $60 a Month or $720 a year
4. Working Jobs Close to Home- When I worked full time I commuted an hour each way to work. At one point I paid $100 a month just in tolls and I paid about $200 a month in gas Savings- $250 a month or $3,000 a year
5. Working Jobs Where We Don’t Have To Wear Dress Clothes- Dress clothes are expensive, there is nothing else to say! Savings- $50 a month or $600 a Year
6. Negotiating With the Cable/Internet Company- Our current rate would be $130 a month for a smaller package but instead we negotiated to $85 a month for a DVR/HD Channels/Internet/More Channels (See- How One Phone Call Saved Us $343) Savings $45 a month or $540 a year
7. Buying My Treadmill for $30- I had budgeted to spend $200 on a used treadmill but none came along then I got lucky and got mine for $30 (see How I Got a Treadmill for $30) Saved- $670
8. Buying Our 46 in Flatscreen TV for $150- We wanted a nice TV after we moved into our new house so we were able to price shop and use gift cards (See How We got a 46in TV for $150) Saved- $400
9. Getting Our Furniture Secondhand- Almost all of our furniture is high quality but second hand. We could have spent thousands on new furniture but we bought used and saved and our house still looks great. Saved- $3,000
10. Having a $200 a Month Grocery Budget- We try to eat healthy so we can easily spend a huge amount of money on groceries. I’m going to conservatively say that we save at least $200 a month by sticking to our budget. (See More About Our Grocery Budget) Saved- $200 a Month or $2,400 a year
11. Buying Groceries and Household Items with Coupons- We save thousands of dollars by using coupons so I’m going to conservatively say that we saved a couple of thousand dollars in the past two years. (See More About Our Couponing) Saved- $4,000
TOTAL- $54,000 We Saved Ourselves in 2 Years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was really surprised when I calculated that total! The best part of this is that NONE of these are crazy things. These are regular every day things that with a little bit of extra time and effort saved us a substantial amount of money!