Author Topic: What changes are you making this year to save money?  (Read 1999 times)

actonyourown

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What changes are you making this year to save money?
« on: December 31, 2018, 09:27:34 AM »
As my title states, I'm curious what others are doing to save more. I'm not a resolution person but I like to incorporate applicable ideas from others.

For me, I had purchased a week of vacation at work this past year, this costs me a week's salary, but now that I make more, it hurts watching that money go. So I have opted not to do that this year and will put the majority of that money to my HSA.
Also, I plan to make more meals at home/meal prep.

Ecky

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2019, 07:21:32 AM »
Hopefully closing on a house and getting out of renting.

Making more of my ingredients for food, just started producing my own soy milk and non-dairy butter. Already made changes over the last few months to cut eating out down to near zero. Large income improvements in the next few months will help too.

use2betrix

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2019, 07:48:03 AM »
My work is picking up from 5 days a week to 6. This is only partially my choice, but Iím on a day rate so itís fine. Also getting a raise starting today, so thatís good.

I used to track every dollar when I first found MMM. My salary has since doubled and Iíve become less tight. This year we are back to tracking every dollar and getting firmer with our spending and savings tracking.

mountain mustache

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2019, 07:58:18 AM »
- my biggest one is hopefully finding a job that pays more, and has benefits such as health insurance and PTO. Health insurance is one of my biggest expenditures, and it would be great to reduce that.
- hopefully not having any big medical expenses like last year ( I spent $8k on medical bills) will reduce spending enough on its own.
- other than those two, my goal is to more carefully track my spending, and reduce where I can. I started the year spending about $400 a month on groceries, for one person! Now I'm closer to $250, and I think I can reduce that even more. My income isn't super high, so small changes like that make a big difference in what I'm able to put into investments.

FireEngineer

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2019, 08:02:33 AM »
"You get what you measure"

2018 was the first full year of mint tracking our expenses. So in 2019 we are scaling back our food budgets [face punches for high grocery spend and eating out]. I am working to remember to bring leftovers for lunch at work [5$ adds up quick] and we are going to list out what is in the fridge so we know what is oldest and what we should snack on or take for lunches, to ultimately reduce what we throw away.

We also are adjusting our thermostat a couple degrees to save on energy costs. Once I have more data I will be crunching numbers on adding insulation in the attic. I will be weather sealing windows and doors better and insulating rim joists before a home energy audit from the power company. Savings that are on auto pilot are the best! [There was a good post I need to dig up that listed the top energy hogs].

Finally we are deciding which of our subscription services we are going to drop.

I hope others can gain some inspiration, as I've been inspired by so many on this forum.

aceyou

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2019, 08:26:32 AM »
I'm going to stop drinking alcohol.

I used to have one beer a day after dinner.  Now I don't...maybe 1 beer a week?  I sleep better more deeply at night as a result.  I'm in no way against drinking, but the results go beyond money on this one for me.  Good luck! 

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2019, 02:10:59 PM »
I'll be starting to walk to work, as of tomorrow. It's summer here so should be ok.

I'll be taking lunch to work every single day instead of 80% of the time.

I'll be scheduling holidays (you get 3 weeks off here) around long weekends and statutory holidays like easter in order to maximise by time off.

I'm buying health insurance for the first time. In NZ you're covered for any accident by the government, and illness that requires hospitalisation is HEAVILY subsidised. Anyway, I'm 47 now so the last thing I want is to be on a public waiting list for cancer treatment or a knee operation, or to fork out hundreds or dollars an hour for specialist appointments. And they're coming, just a matter of when for most people. This is probably less a save money than a protect what I have.....

And I'll be getting more serious with the sidehustle this year.

DreamFIRE

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2019, 02:29:59 PM »

I'm going the opposite direction this year.  I put $47000 into my retirement accounts last year and had an 82% saving rate due to a lot of saving and very little discretionary spending.  I've already hit my target FIRE amount, so I'm going to loosen the purse strings a little this year for a little more free spending as well as some home repairs/improvements that I've put off.

Spruit

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2019, 04:21:45 PM »
I'm incorporating cycling in my car commute. Forgoing the car altogether is not a viable option at this point, but I can cycle the last bit of those 45 km, park the car and get on the bike to work. Plan is to start easy (5 km) and up the distance every week by moving the bike a little further out, see when enough is enough.
Change is mostly brought on by my need for exercise and fresh air, money savings are a nice bonus. Especially with the tax on gasoline that's rising more and more this can't hurt.

Brother Esau

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2019, 04:31:11 PM »
Hmmm....not really any changes. Just staying the course. Closer to maxing out all tax advantaged accounts (HSA, 457b, IRA, etc). After that the changes/decisions get interesting and fun.

Abe

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2019, 09:59:06 PM »
Moving to a much cheaper town to live in
Cooking more, eating out less
Biking to work when possible (sometimes work long distances from home): few hundred dollars in gas.
Switching our son from nanny to a preschool

The nanny and our rent are each 30% of our non-tax expenses!

Tuskalusa

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2019, 10:57:46 PM »
Going to start the year eating up our food backlog. Lots of stuff in the freezer and cupboards that shouldnít go to waste.

Iím also looking at changing some habits that lead me to ďsolve things with moneyĒ as my first option. One of the big places I spend is on kid camps and activities. Now that our son is older, Iíve realized that I donít need to organize all his downtime.  He can be a little bored and sometimes life will go on.

And Iím going to stay out of Target!

Dicey

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2019, 11:32:33 PM »
Moving to a much cheaper town to live in
Cooking more, eating out less
Biking to work when possible (sometimes work long distances from home): few hundred dollars in gas.
Switching our son from nanny to a preschool

The nanny and our rent are each 30% of our non-tax expenses!
Hey, @Abe! Where have you decided to go?


Modified to add bat signal. Abe's a busy guy.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 10:03:13 AM by Dicey »

MsPeacock

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2019, 08:52:19 AM »
Cancelled my life insurance. I have enough banked now that I no longer need a policy as my kids can be taken care of with my stash.

Cancelled my cell phone and went to pay as you go.

Got rid of the energy hog dehumidifier and found one that is significantly more energy efficient.

Got rid of the old thermostat and got a Nest with a rebate from the energy company.

Taking a hard look at other spending. I've been way too spendy-pants this year (mostly on race entry fees and travel for triathlons).

Got a sponsorship so I have several free races and some free gear for this year. (Yay!)

Hit my 50th year and increased my contributions to my 403B, which saves me tax money.

Cool Friend

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2019, 09:24:14 AM »
I need to clamp down on bringing lunch to work instead of eating out.  I used to be really good with this, but slipped hard when work got stressful.  Deleting Seamless on my phone, too.  Why is it so easy to fall back into lazy behavior!

Second is I need to cut down on beer, but luckily the corner store where I pick beer up from is no longer selling any, so that'll be a little easier to curb.

danakado

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2019, 01:06:02 PM »
I'm back to tracking expenses. 
No household improvement expenses.
Cut back on eating out. Attempt cash envelope system for this. 
If I buy clothing, it will be from thrift store. 

gaja

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2019, 06:21:55 PM »
I'm hoping this will be the year where we streamline things and get stuff in order:
-Get house siding and windows fixed. The contract is signed and money is saved up, but the date is still a bit uncertain.Contractors are just too much in demand right now. I really hope we'll get it done this spring - don't want another winter without isolation. Money saved: a few hundred bucks in electricity annually, and maybe 20-30k increased house value.
-Fix all the paperwork for the house. The previous owners "forgot" to ask for permission from the city for all the changes they made, and did not get everyone up to code either. We have fixed all the structural stuff, only need to make the drawings and fill out the forms. Money saved: around 30k increased house value.
-Get DH through the last steps of the disability process. If we are lucky it will be decided in a few months, if we are unlucky he will have to jump a few more loops and we are looking at late autumn (maybe 2020, but that is worst case). Money saved: five to six figures insurance payout, and a secured monthly income of 50-60 % of our FIRE target. 
-Make the bank to give us all the new discounts my union has negotiated. Money saved: $50-70/month (1.99% interest on the mortgage is not bad).
-Get rid of the last bit of student loan.

There is also a lot of stuff at work that needs to be sorted (I have a tendency to start too many projects at once). But that isn't closely related to money.

NV Teacher

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2019, 09:17:15 PM »
Maxing out the 403b to lower my taxable income.  Itís going to be painful but Iím committed.

Tabitha

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Re: What changes are you making this year to save money?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2019, 10:22:55 PM »
Like many, itís more a matter of tightening than big changes. I want to change once-a-week eating out with coworkers to once-a-month. I want to eat fown the freezer and pantry, amd I want to keep track of all spending while seeing which categories can be dialed back further.