Author Topic: What changes have you made for 2018?  (Read 2529 times)

nara

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What changes have you made for 2018?
« on: January 22, 2018, 09:32:47 AM »
We have decided to really crack down on expenses for 2018. Here are some actions we have taken and would love to hear yours so far:

1. We've greatly limited buying fresh produce on our grocery trips (the majority was just going to waste) and have opted for canned and frozen until we can eat from our garden again. The majority of what we are buying now is organic from Costco. We are also only shopping once every two weeks.

2. Reduced the data on our cell phone plan. We live in the country and are only limited to one (expensive) carrier. But we probably don't have much need for lots of data.

3. Husband and I have been carpooling to work everyday rather than driving separately.

4. I've started dying my own hair at home using Madison Reed instead of going to the salon monthly.

5. I've started a clothing capsule, limiting my wardrobe to a few pieces that can be worn interchangeably and year-round. I've also sold/donated most of the excess clothing in my closet to reduce mess and endless laundry.

6. I've cancelled all gym memberships (I had two). I'm still debating if this is a good decision or not because I got a lot of value out of the gym, but we do have a treadmill and weights at home which should be getting more use.

7. I've cancelled Hulu and other needless subscriptions. We use a family member's Netflix account and kept Amazon Prime. I've learned how to use the library's Overdrive service to borrow books on Kindle without even needing to go to the library.

8. We've been racking up cc points for travel hacking and will be taking our first trip using points to Greece this summer. We are also planning another international trip in the winter and have plenty of domestic points as well to go anywhere we want.

9. No more restaurants. We went to a fundraising event and made enough tax deductible donations to win a few gift cards that should last us for the year if we choose to go out.

I have plans for more ways to cut, but this is what we've accomplished so far. We're definitely looking for more creative ideas as well for ways to reduce expenses that we may not have even considered. Would love to hear what you're doing so far in 2018 to cut your costs! Please share.






Tuskalusa

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2018, 09:39:18 AM »
Hi There. Looking forward to seeing everyone’s changes, so I can learn new ideas. Here’s what we’re doing in 2018.

1. Cancelled Netflix.

2. Cancelled Math totoring for my son. The school provides a free homework club, and we’re going to take advantage of that. Also, he’s still at a math level where I can work with him.

3. Starting to buy groceries at cheaper stores. Reducing grocery trips to every 2 weeks. I like your idea of moving to frozen veggies. Going to give that a try.

4. Cancelled my gym membership and replaced it with a family membership to the Y. Cheaper than my old gym and we can all work out.

Still more to address, but this is our start for the year.


alleykat

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2018, 11:04:46 AM »
1.  Same here.  Limited fresh produce.  Always goes to waste. Frozen and canned for me. 

2.  Extending out hair cut appts as I can. For the savings but mainly I cant stand going.

3.  Limit junk food. Cookies, ice cream, etc.  I buy a ton so I will get through what I have. To say none at all would be a lie.

4.  Netflix - considering cancelling. Maybe later this year.

5.  Start to use more towels in the kitchen instead of paper towels.  Reserve paper towels for messes that makes sense. I was doing great one point but the convenience creeps back in. 








apkanne

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2018, 11:18:25 AM »
1. Not drinking alcohol during the week

2. No longer bringing sodas to work (so just tea/water during the day now)

Resolutions I'm failing at

1. Meal Planning, did it the first week fell back into my stupid old routine

2. Getting back to my workouts

Phoenix_Fire

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2018, 11:31:35 AM »
Switched homeowner's insurance - $1,000/yr saved.
Switched from T-Mobile to Project Fi - $25-30/month saved.
Cancelled life insurance - $170/ month saved.
Called cable company and got loyalty discount on internet - $15/month saved.
Maxing HSA and 401k for first time this year.
Tracking all spending as it happens (logging it within 1-3 days), something I've never done before.
Opened a Vanguard brokerage account - putting $500 per month into VTSAX instead of savings.
Rolled over old 401k to current Fidelity 401k. Should have gone to Vanguard IRA, but too late to change that. Still lower fees. .02-.2 much lower than the .4-.75 at previous place.

As part of the tracking I created a spreadsheet with all my fixed monthly expenses, income, deductions, savings, and fluctuating expenses and created a budget for the first time. If all goes well I'll end up saving around 55% of take home.

Debating on cancelling Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Edit: also cancelled a Roth IRA that had 5.71% front load fee.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 11:33:20 AM by Phoenix_Fire »

LessIsLess

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2018, 11:46:51 AM »
I plan to spend more this year.  It's my way of expressing economic optimism, and to help increase the velocity of money.

wordnerd

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 01:48:31 PM »
1. Cutting my own hair. Started in Nov, but will keep doing it in 2018.
2. Stop buying coffee out. So far, I've stuck to this in 2018. I'd consider buying it as part of a social engagement, but not just because.
3. Lessen number of paper towels used. I've set up a kitchen towel system that will hopefully cut down on this.
4. Stop buying clothes. I'm part of the no clothes buying "throw down the gauntlet" for 2018. I think it should be doable.

nara

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2018, 06:24:49 PM »
1.  Same here.  Limited fresh produce.  Always goes to waste. Frozen and canned for me. 

2.  Extending out hair cut appts as I can. For the savings but mainly I cant stand going.

3.  Limit junk food. Cookies, ice cream, etc.  I buy a ton so I will get through what I have. To say none at all would be a lie.

4.  Netflix - considering cancelling. Maybe later this year.

5.  Start to use more towels in the kitchen instead of paper towels.  Reserve paper towels for messes that makes sense. I was doing great one point but the convenience creeps back in.

Good call on the paper towels! We have been doing this too as well for a few months. We keep the paper towels in the garage where we can't access them easily.

TartanTallulah

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2018, 08:55:49 PM »
Aiming to halve our vacation spending while still having our full complement of vacations. We weren't extravagant before - cheap package trips abroad, no skiing for four years - but I saw this as our only remaining low hanging fruit as regards saving money.

Dressing it up positively, we plan to spend time in parts of our own country that are relatively unfamiliar to us, staying in basic self-catering accommodation and doing inexpensive activities. We will have one vacation abroad in the sun next winter, that's essential for my sanity, but not three trips abroad plus two staycations like we had in 2017.



fmzip

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 01:14:28 PM »
Even though we hit the 7 figure mark yesterday, started a budget and a spreadsheet to track expenses as of January 1st.

First time in 51 years with a budget! The desire to hit $2M and retire in 12 years with a paid off home is first and foremost.


Not looking for face-punches; this is our choice, our life, our plan

Rosy

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2018, 02:07:08 PM »
1. No gemstones/jewelry purchases in 2018.
2. Save - save - save and side hustle a bit to reach my two goals in 2018,
$5K travel fund by July 2018 and xtra monthly savings to assure that I reach $50K savings/investment by Dec 2019.
Revised budget to help reach goals.

Planned for Feb 2018: Review budget, expenses and retirement plans - make adjustments as needed both to cut costs and to reach retirement goals. It is time to review auto insurance etc.

Slow&Steady

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2018, 10:06:58 AM »
Changes so far:

1 - Accepted a new job (+$26k/year)
2 - Change budgeting to budget 1-2 months in advance vs lump sum in savings.  This was done specific to reassure myself that taking an unpaid maternity leave sometime in March would not cause financial stress.  I am the primary bread winner.
3 - Cancelled gym membership (+$30/month)
4 - Reduced cell phone bill (+$10/month)

Future 2018 changes (hopefully)
1 - Bring home a health baby in late March
2 - DH's business maintains or increases what it has done for the last few months
3 - Stick to the grocery budget
4 - Payoff Student Loans (all other loans are under 4.5% interest)
5 - Max DH's Roth IRA
6 - Start contributing to 529 plans (again)

2019 Planned Changes
1 - Max 401k
2 - Open IRA for me
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 10:08:43 AM by Slow&Steady »

soccerluvof4

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2018, 10:51:34 AM »
We cut cable and kept just internet. Have netflix and we get Hulu for free (not really)through phone service and got an antenna so saved well over 2004

We switched phone providers and got all new phones , they bought out our contracts and got the free hulu and are saving about 150$ a month on 6 phones

I just changed our auto insurance coverage on my 2 kids in college so saving there.

We cut our food budget per month for 2018 200$ from 2017

We reduce our overall budget for 2018 by 10k

We cut back on our 2 kids still at home "select sports" and doing more family things



" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

indentured4now

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2018, 08:10:30 PM »
A combination obscure and typical $ savers that are all going to our mortgage payoff...
- Found $80 a month just by upping the deductible on homeowners insurance since our loan balance is now below the threshold requiring certain limits (ours had 2 deductibles for wind/hail and the online calculator they had showed it actually paid just to reduce the latter one since hailstorms are common in our area so we didn't add a huge risk level here).
- Found $20 a month by reducing our cable package to internet only (simplest "find" of all, but we just hadn't cut the cord entirely; bought Clearstream 2V antenna that works awesome 30+ miles from the city).  Dumping the TV cable box at Comcast was the highlight of my month.
- Found $100 a month in equity taking some money off the table in the market and paying down mortgage (yes, of course there's opportunity cost from time value, but our increased cash margin each month is going to investments instead of a bank or out the window).
- Found $50 a month by paying off 2 stupid cell phone purchases on "payments". 
- Found $50 a month ($600) by paying our church tithe for 2018 at the end of Dec 2017.
- Found $10 a month (>$100 a year) dropping the last actual paper magazine subscriptions (who knew they still existed).

3 years after really diving into MMM, finding $310 a month in cash flow basically by looking in the sofa cushions is pretty sweet.

HarbingerofBunnies

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 08:30:08 AM »
Not a ton of changes. The big change is realizing with the new 2018 tax rules, it makes more sense to cut our 401(k) contributions down so we can invest our HSA contributions and use the money that was going to the 401(k) to pay for medical expenses, as we no longer need our AGI reduced defensively because of the doubled child tax care credit.

We actually signed up with Netflix this week, lol. both for Altered Carbon and for extra documentaries for homeschooling.

Making a few changes to my garden, laying flock, and rabbitry that will help our homestead be a bit more efficient and produce more of what we actually eat.

*Presenting at CM*TO 2018*

Buntastic Gardens here in the journals. Same name on Facebook (more pictures, less money details there). Also write some at buntasticgardens.wordpress.com and monthly at NWEdible.com

Candace

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2018, 09:56:40 AM »
We have decided to really crack down on expenses for 2018. Here are some actions we have taken and would love to hear yours so far:

..snip..

4. I've started dying my own hair at home using Madison Reed instead of going to the salon monthly.
..snip..

How is the Madison Reed working out? I'm thinking of doing this myself and would love to hear how it's working for you.

frugalfoothills

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2018, 01:39:34 PM »
What a great thread! So inspiring to read about what everyone is doing.

I made a lot of changes at the end of 2017 but 2018 is looking even better.

1. Dropped a $60/month gym membership that I was using maaaaaybe 4 times a month. Having the option of being able to go to the gym versus getting your ass up and ACTUALLY going to the gym are not the same thing, and unless I'm ACTUALLY going, I shouldn't be wasting money on it just having the option.

2. Cut (some of!) the cord. I live with another person who's an Advanced SpendyPants and this issue was quite the point of contention, so for now I conceded to dropping back to 10 channels, but keeping the DVR. Took the cable bill down by $75/month

3. Grocery budget looking gooooood. Spending about $300/month on myself with VERY limited restaurant/bar spending. Way less food waste. Big deal as I was previously spending a ton, wasting a ton, and eating out a ton to boot.

4. Paid almost $5,000 of credit card debt off. Started the year at just over $10k, and am currently sitting at $3100. It'll be GONE in APRIL! Next Friday will also mark the first time I've had enough cash on hand to pay it off in full since.... 2013? (It's at 0% so I don't have to use that cash to pay it off right this second... April is fine) That feels amazing.

5. Started a blog. I love to write and have stuck to poetry in the past, but why not write as much as possible? Also, I can never shut the fuck up about what I'm doing with my life IRL, so maybe having an online outlet will reduce the urge to word vomit quite so often. (Shameless self-plug, check out my blog!)

6. Took control of a dicey roommate situation (Advanced SpendyPants mentioned above) and am in control of a previously out-of-control missing rent situation. Extra $400 a month coming my way, and it is being put to work. First on the credit card situation, and afterward on my car loan. I'll be consumer debt-free this time next year!

7. Started taking stained glass lessons from my mom. Something really close to my heart and important to me... I can't believe I've waited this long to do it, and it also has the potential for some side-hustle action down the road.

Keep fighting the good fight, Mustachians. Hopefully I can post back in 2019 and my changes will be focused on maximizing savings and investments, rather than paying off stupid debt!
Want to watch a 20-something fumble their way toward financial freedom? www.bullsbearsandbeers.wordpress.com

TheWifeHalf

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2018, 01:57:50 PM »
A  couple of years ago we really cut down on things so there's not much left to do. This year, we've been 'practicing' retirement because the plan is to stop practicing Jan 2019 and just live it.
This year we've decided to get really ready for the real thing. TheHusbandHalf's employer gives a retirement packet when notified of an employee planning to leave and when I have questions, he goes to work and gets answers if possible in that shift.
Today's question:
You're retiring when you're 62 1/2, they say we get all these things. What happens if you die at 64 (I'm 62) and I don't get Medicare until 65?  I would like to see it in writing (or print) please,

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2018, 02:11:50 PM »
We've continued to look for new places to save in our budget, but have made a few bigger changes that will hopefully allow us more flexibility in the future:
-Put in solar on our house.
-Reduced many line items in our budgets, including travel, groceries, childcare, eating out, personal (hair cuts, etc), gifts. We've been slowly working at this, and a lot of frugal effort is coming together
-I'm working on my side hustle, which is really just selling things we no longer need. My goal for 2018 is 1000, but I'm already at $433
-I have a couple of "unfunded goals". Things we'd like to do with unexpected money. I've never tracked this before, but picture a refund check from your insurance, a gift, etc. So far, we've been able to put $2250 towards our unfunded goals. This is huge, and feels really exciting to track.

nara

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Re: What changes have you made for 2018?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2018, 12:57:56 PM »
We have decided to really crack down on expenses for 2018. Here are some actions we have taken and would love to hear yours so far:

..snip..

4. I've started dying my own hair at home using Madison Reed instead of going to the salon monthly.
..snip..

How is the Madison Reed working out? I'm thinking of doing this myself and would love to hear how it's working for you.

It's actually been pretty great! The formula it seems is very mild, so it does nothing to alter the overall color of my hair. It covers my greys, but pretty minimally so they appear to be highlights. It does begin to fade though every 2 weeks and the greys become much more apparent, so I have been dying every 3 weeks compared to every 4 at the salon. Overall, I am happy with it. I haven't been to the salon in 3 months. They mail me free codes for free though with my box. I'd be happy to give you a free code to try. I don't know if there is a way to PM on here.