As many of you know, my wife and I welcomed our new boy into our family back in September of last year. When I knew we were going to have the second child, I realized quickly that monthly living expenses were once again going to increase. Because of this, my wife and I sat down and started looking at ways to cut our expenses. Below are just a few of the things we did in our household that so far are paying off in large savings each month:
Bye Bye TV
This was probably the biggest thing I fought my wife on. I really did not know how we would manage without television. Since I run my own business from home, when I finish a work day, I want to be able to relax and be entertained by something. In the past, this was always by sitting down and watching some sort of program on TV. Now, in the places we lived in the past, basic cable was included in the monthly fees, so I only had to pay $17-$20 per month to upgrade to HD and a DVR box. Well, when we moved to our new place, there was not inclusion, so we were going to have to fork out all the money. Till we were to get the services we want, it was an additional $75-$80 per month.
Instead, we have found ourselves watching more programs on Hulu which has a free account & a premium for only $8/month. Right now we are using just the free version and finding plenty of great things to watch. When it comes to movies, there are a lot to choose from on Hulu, or we simply stop by a RedBox and pick up one for only a dollar. Most networks now have several of their series online, so we can also catch our favorite programs there. Monthly Savings: $75.
Moving Closer To Our Normal Points of Interest
When we began looking for a place to move to, the one thing I mentioned to my wife is that I wanted to find something closer to our church. Since both of us are heavily involved there, we were driving to church 5+ times a week. Our previous house was just over a 20 minute drive each way and would cost us around $6 round trip. Now we live less than 5 minutes away. I’ve noticed that where our gas would not last us a week in the car, we can now make it last much longer. Since we are less than 3 miles away, we are also saving a bunch each week. Instead of spending close to $30 per week driving to church, that number is now under $5. Monthly Savings: $100
Cut a Few Degrees
This is probably the biggest money saver we have done so far. We used to keep the heat in our house at around 70 degrees. But, a few months back we turned our heat down to 66 degrees. While it was a little uncomfortable the first few weeks, we have made adjustments. During the day when the sun is out, we make sure to open all the blinds in the house. Then as the sun goes down we close them back up. If we are sitting down watching a movie, adding a simple blanket does the trick. By doing this we were able to take our Monthly electric bill from over $400 down under $200. Monthly Savings: $200
By making these few minor adjustments in our lives we are able to save almost $375 off of our monthly savings. When you take that annually that comes out to $4,500 in savings each year. This savings is crucial as we have added in the expenses of a second child. Things like clothing, diapers, wipes, etc have helped to consume most of those savings, but it is OK, the little man is worth every penny spent.
What have you done to save on monthly expenses?