That was just the beginning of my turnaround story. since blending our finances into shape, i traked my spending and looked for obvious money wasters. I discovered, for example, that i was spending $65 a month on videogames olne and decided to sell my gaming systems and opt for hikes over screen time.
1. Look for money wasted
When i was whipping my own finances into shape, i tracked my spending and looked for obvious money wasters. i discovered, for example, that i was spending $65 a month on videogames alone and decided to smell my gaming system and opt for hikes over screen time.
After merging finances, Chrisynda and i pored over our bank statements to understand where our money was going. A recurring bank charge stood out immediately, so we switched to another bank with free accounts. We also cut our food spending in half after learning we were dropping $350 a month on restaurants and takeout. And we opten for slimmed down cable package, shaving $45 off our bill.
2. Pinpoint where you’re overpaying
I´m a big believer in the power of negotiation. I´d been paying $50 a month for a gym membership when i noticed a new gym opening in my area. I offered to pay $200 for a one year membership. They were hungry for new customers and took my offer, saving me $400 annually, i´d do the same years later with our electric bill, which could hit $400 in certain months, locking in a year round rate of 200.
We looked to our employers for missed saving opportunities, too. We started using employer sponsored health savings accounts to set aside pretax cash, shaving about $1800 off our yearly medical spending. We also discovered that Chrisynda´s employer offered a 5% discount with a major insurance carrier for employees who bundled home and auto coverage. We signed up and reaped $1200 in annual savings.
3. Sacrifice now to make a big difference later
Sometimes you need to make sacrifices in the name of financial stability. In 2010, when Chrisynda and i started planning for for a family, we eliminated a $200 car payment and lowered our insurance premium by selling my relatively new truck. We used the profits to pay off the loan before buying a used sedan putting the rest in our emergency fund.
Financial security is all about trade offs and looking back, they´ve all been worth it. we´re debt-free, have a six month emergency fund and regularly invest 10%. My once sad credit score is now around 800.
What i´ve learned is that these things don´t just happen. Some attention and reasonable sacrifice is required, but once these habits become routinw, keeping up with them in much easier than dealing with the stress of living paycheck to paycheck.
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