A couple months ago, I watched a documentary called The Minimalists.
I wasn't expecting it to inspire and motivate me as much as it did. Immediately after watching the film, I decided that I wanted to get out of consumerism and become more responsible for my purchasing decisions.
I got serious about saving money.
The first step was to look at where my money was going. Then I set a goal. I had a goal to get to $5,000, and now that I'm almost there, my goal is to get to $10,000. Setting up goals makes this process a lot more fun.
It ends up being somewhat of a game or a challenge, which I love.
I'm going to include what I did to cut spending and save money, how much it will save my yearly, and what you can do instead to replace the item.
Read further to find out how I'm stashing $5,000 into a savings account and moving toward $10,000 in savings.
I stopped getting my hair cut and colored. I went every 2 months and would get it colored 3x a year.
What to do instead: This might be a bit extreme and I know hairstylists are going to hate me for saying this, but I started cutting my own hair. Actually, my boyfriend started cutting my own hair and he's been doing a great job. Haha!
I would go clothes shopping 1x-4x a month.
What to do instead: Stop buying clothes and wear what you have! I seriously have probably 100 shirts and dresses to wear. Get out of the consumerism scheme! If you must buy, go to thrift stores. There are also events in most cities where you can sell or buy items from other residents in your city.
I was buying mostly high-end makeup from Sephora. I've decided to go most days without makeup. I used to be afraid of going out in public without makeup on.
What to do instead: Buy from cruelty-free drugstore brands such as NYX, ELF, Milani, Wet n Wild, Pixi, and tons more. Drugstore brands are really stepping up their game and getting just as good quality as high-end makeup.
4. Cable, Netflix, Hulu
I was paying for both Netflix and Hulu at one point.
What to do instead: Rent movies and TV series at the library. The library has pretty much anything you'd want to get. You can also request or reserve movies and TV series at your library, too.
Related: 50+ Ways To Make Extra Money
I'm getting rid of my car, which means eliminating gas, insurance, and maintenance costs.
What to do instead: If you can't get rid of your car, negotiate with your insurance agent to lower your premium. I did this a year ago and ended up saving $20 a month from it. They're trying to get the most money they can get, and I found out that the extra $20 was not necessary at all.
6. Thermostat Usage
We rarely ever have our thermostat on since we live in Austin, TX. We keep windows open and live in an apartment that gets really good shade in the summer, eliminating AC costs.
What to do instead: Get a programmable thermostat.
We ended our gym membership.
What to do instead: Workout in the park, rent workout DVDs from your library or download free health and fitness apps on your phone.
8. Restaurant Outings
I would go out 4+ times a week to get food.
What to do instead: Sign up for $5 Meal Plan and get monthly meal plans, grocery lists and recipes sent to you. You'll save so much money and eat healthier by eliminating restaurant outing costs.
T-Mobile recently had a deal where you could sign up 2 people under your contract, with no extra fees at all. Which meant that 4 of us are dividing a $190 bill into 4.
What to do instead: Pay attention to special deals, especially Black Friday deals. Phone companies usually have the best deals going on during Thanksgiving time. T-Mobile also offers the best plans, especially if you travel often.
We stopped going to Starbucks every day and when my sister asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I said Keurig!
What to do instead: Purchase a Keurig AND reusable cups for the Keurig. Individual cups are not only costly but terrible for the environment. Seriously, look it up and find out how harmful they are to the environment.
11. Generic brand
I buy all generic, never name brand.
What to do instead: Generic is usually just as good as name brand. Also, hit up Asian grocery stores to get rice and other cheap food.
12. Getting rid of stuff
Selling my clothes on Poshmark, and thrift stores in my city.
What to do instead: Stop buying new clothes and start using what you have or selling what you don't use and buying new clothes with the money you've made from selling.
I cut movie, restaurant, and event spending.
What to do instead: Find free events on Meetup.com. I also get on Swagbucks when I'm bored and want to make extra money. It's really easy to use and it passes time between breaks or when I'm on a train or bus.
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I hope you all enjoyed reading. You are fully capable of cutting your spending and saving money, so start now! 🙂
What have you done to cut down on spending?
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