1. Get rid of your pet. I saw a recent study that showed the average dog costing anywhere from $100 to $200 a month! That’s $1,200 a year on the low end , think about that, that’s like 2% of the average annual income. I know pets can add value to your life, but if you are tight on money or looking to get ahead early in life, get rid of your dog, cat, aquarium, etc.
2. Sell your TV and cancel the cable bill. Basing it off of my own cable bill, which is actually not a cable bill anymore, it’s a Verizon Fios bill, I pay about $80 for the basic set up. That’s $960 a year! I haven’t done this yet, but I am about to, minus the part about selling the TV since I can still watch my Netflix on it. Replace the cable bill with Netflix and Hulu, or search around for what you want to watch on Youtube or the actual channel’s website themselves. I remember I used to watch the show 24 on Fox.com since I didn’t have a DVR at the time.
3. Stop eating meat. It’s overpriced and it really isn’t that healthy for you anyway. Instead eat beans and raw nuts for your protein. Think of all the money you will save by grilling vegetables and eating salads. I have no clue how much you would save, but I would bet it’s about 25% of your grocery bill and 50% of your going out to eat money, since salads are about 50% less than a steak.
4. Drive a cheap car with great gas milage. First off, you should NEVER have a car payment; if you do, I would recommend you sell that car and get out of that situation. Your life is too short to be making payments for the vehicle that gets you from point ‘A’ to ‘B.’ When I was young I drove a 1992 Toyota pick-up that squeaked 40 to 50 yards prior to stopping. I remember on many occasions squeaking that thing right into my favorite steak house valet, parked right next to all the Bentleys. A car shouldn’t be a matter of pride, especially if you are just borrowing money to drive it, then the pride is artificial. Own your car and drive one with great gas mileage, you can literally double your gas mileage in some cases.
5. Freeload. Start heading to your mom’s house around 4:30pm and your grandmothers before you head to work. Not only will you get a great free meal, but the time you spend with your loved ones will be priceless.
6. You will hate me for this one, but get rid of your smartphone. I know, how could I even include it, that’s like asking people to get rid of a body part, but hey… I told you this would be the unconventional write-up on how to really save some money. Okay so back to saving $40 a month! Seriously, smart phones are 3X as much as a basic cell phone plan. You could justify it by canceling the wifi bill at home and just use the cell phone for internet, but if you really want to save money, this is an idea that will help you save $480 a year.
7. I’m totally stumped at this point, but I have to come up with 4 more ideas…Cancel your gym membership; I did, and my family is saving over $1,460 a year. Instead we walk, ride bikes, and go to the park every day. Not only has this become important family time, but it keeps our bodies moving and our wallets fat.
8. Get full use out of your clothing and shoes. Though I am not a very big fan of former Mayor Bloomberg, I read once that he only owned 2 pairs of shoes. In fact, one of them he had owned for over 10 years, which he would get resoled every few years, the other pair was his exercise shoes. Avoiding high end clothing brands is also a smart way to save money. For my own shopping, my wife buys most of my clothes at Costco and Kohls. I remember last year a group of young business people laughing at me because I told them I still shop at Ross. This doesn’t bother me because I honestly don’t care and I know my priorities. The only reason I remember it is because I felt bad for them, here they were in debt to their eyeballs, driving cars with $900 payments that they bragged about, and they had their heads so far up their asses that they laughed at the actual millionaire standing in front of them who was debt free, spending all day with my kids, and yes, still shopping at Ross.
9. Stop buying gifts for every occasion. Most people, like my wife, take this the wrong way, or at least did in the past. It’s not that I was being cheap or didn’t love people, but when we were building our business and saving money, I didn’t like the idea of buying adults gifts on their birthdays, or sending extended family money for the holidays. This will eventually add up. I know a person today who buys every kid a gift they know for their birthdays, adult friends, and sends cash for every occasion. This individual is single, makes below average income, and is honestly being stupid with their money. What they should be doing is saving and investing in their own quality of life. Unless of course buying those gifts is adding to their quality of life in their own way, but I doubt that.
10. MOVE! Housing is the biggest expense in our lives. Here in LA County people rent 1 bedroom apartments for around $2,000, if they moved 30 minutes east it would cost $1,500, 1 hour east and now they are looking at $750-$1,000. The same price drop occurs when owning a home, however, if you can, consider moving to another state or country for the best capital savings.
All of these ideas are pretty extreme for most.
Most of them can be short term decisions while you acquire assets and focus on building wealth. However, they will also add to the quality of your life, living a life debt free with very little obligation is the best way to live out your 28,000 days!