What would you do with twenty thousand dollars per year? I have a few plans for the extra cash in my bank account. I got rid of three things in my life and not only do I have extra money, I feel healthy, and happier too. Will you want to give up these things? It probably depends on the type of person you are. Some people seem to feel that their self worth is dependent on what they own. I’m not one of those people, so it wasn’t a big deal to me.
Half the Battle:
Half of the money comes from saying goodbye to your vehicle. I drove an SUV that guzzled gas. I didn’t have car payments but if you do, you’ll save even more than I did. Just think about it. Add up what you spend on gas each week for one year, add up your car payments, maintenance, and emergency money you spend on breakdowns. Gas money for me is about $130 dollars per week and if I travel out of town the bill goes up. Conservatively, I’m saving $520 dollars per month at the gas pump. That’s about $6,240 dollars per year. Add in tires for another $600 dollars, oil changes for $300 dollars, and breakdowns for $1,500 dollars. I’ve saved $8,440 dollars by making one change. If you have car payments, even cheap ones that cost around $200 dollars per month, you’re saving another $2,400 dollars per year. If you could save that much money, would you have to work all of those hours? Would you be happier if you weren’t so exhausted or saw your family more? It’s just a car; let it go. You’ll be happier.
Another Huge Bill:
What’s another cost that you should say goodbye to? Groceries and eating out. No, I’m not suggesting you starve. I have two children at home right now and myself to feed. Not everyone can do what we do but there are other ways to cut back. We have land and can grow a garden, fruit trees, blackberry and raspberry bushes, and even raise our own fish, chickens, and have a cow for milk. I still have to buy flour, rice, sugar, and things I can’t grow but my bill has gone way down. I used to spend about $120 dollars per week at the grocery store. I now spend about $20 dollars. Sometimes even less if I use coupons or catch great sales. I save $400 dollars per month, or $4,800 dollars per year. I also used to eat out a couple of times per week. Averaging $10 dollars per person, that’s $60 dollars per week, $240 dollars per month, and $2,880 dollars per year. I still go out to eat every now and then. I’m not saying to completely stop. These changes save my family $7,680 dollars each year. I am much healthier. Most of the food we eat is organic. Seriously, it doesn’t even have the same taste as something I buy in the store. If you’ve never tasted the difference between a mass produced tomato and one you’ve grown yourself, you are truly missing out.
If you can’t have a garden or animals, try growing lettuce, herbs, and even tomatoes in window boxes or on a patio. You can shop at discount stores or use coupons. Just get creative and try to cut down your grocery bill. This along with eating out are really big expenses. Combined with car expenses, these two changes have saved $16,120 dollars per year. That’s a big chunk of change.
Last But Not Least:
If you haven’t thrown your hands up and said, “No way, this lady is crazy,” then you might just have what it takes to say goodbye to the television. You’re probably wondering how giving up TV is going to save another $4,000 dollars per year aren’t you? Well the obvious immediate savings is cable or DISH, Netflix, or Hulu. Lets just average the cable bill out at $75 dollars per month. That’s $900 dollars per year. That gets us right around $17,020 dollars, right? Now there are some hidden savings when it comes to kicking the television to the curb. If you aren’t watching a trillion advertisements all day long, chances are good you aren’t going to ‘need’ all of the junk you see. If you aren’t being a couch potato, chances are good you might exercise, do something lucrative with your spare time, and maybe even get rid of some prescriptions all together. Between shopping less and the doctors office, I guarantee you’ll save far more than $3,000 dollars per year. Add that to the $17,020 dollars you’ve saved already and guess what? You’re $20,000 dollars richer in one year.
At first, you will probably miss your vehicle, junk food, and television. I did. After a month or two of being healthier, eating good food, and entertaining yourself by reading, exercising, and going outside; I promise you won’t miss any of these things. I don’t. You’ll truly be healthier, happier, and much wealthier. (Not to mention, you are totally helping out the environment).