Lately, Jason and I have been re-evaluating what we’re spending our money on. We’ve gone through and canceled a lot of services that we’re recognizing are just sucking money from our paychecks. Jason found Mint (a free personal finance software) which allows us to digitally track all of our spending (yay for less paper!). It tracks everything: our 401Ks, Roth IRAs, investments, mortgage, checking, credit cards . . . everything. It’s amazing that it’s free. It will also help you analyze and assess where you are spending your money. It’s a great budgeting tool!
Most recently, we canceled our TV service for a variety of reasons, the first being that we don’t want the TV to suck time away from our lives – we want to be intentional with how we spend our time! When we don’t watch TV, we find that our nights are so much longer and enjoyable; we spend time talking, reading and pursuing our hobbies. The second reason is that it saves us $75 a month to not have TV service. That money adds up! There are also a variety of free and legal ways to watch TV. We have a HD antennae which allows us to pick up free local HD channels. Hulu.com offers many shows up for free – you just connect your TV to your compy and you’re all set (not to mention many networks offer their shows up on their websites: NBC, Comedy Central, etc etc). This forces us to be thoughtful about what shows we watch and how much time we spend watching them.
We canceled our home phone and took our internet package down to the cheapest option. . . we’re on the computer all day at work. . . Do we really need the best internet at home?
We’ve canceled our pest control service for a variety of reasons. One of which is that traditional pesticide is bad for everyone, animals, kiddos, us. We also don’t really have bug problems. And if we do, old fashioned squishing will do the trick. 🙂 So why spend that money on something bad for the environment, bad for us and bad for our wallets? That one was a no brainer.
We’ve also cut back on our eating out. We may eat out for lunch once a week, and dinner once a week (if even that) . . . everything else is prepared at home. This saves tons of money, not only because we’re spending less on food, but we’re driving less to get our food!
There are also a series of things that we’ve done to been ‘green’ that have ended up benefiting our wallets as well: carpooling, using cloth napkins instead of paper, reducing our use of anything disposable (plates, utensils, paper towels), composting, growing an herb garden, installing low flow water fixtures (lower utilities), only running full loads of laundry and dishes (which ends up being about 2 loads of laundry a week and one/two loads of dishes a week), switching to Camelbak reusable water bottlers instead of disposables, using craigslist to find things we made want/need. . . etc.
What are your favorite ways to save money? What are your favorite ‘green’ ways to save money?