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Saving Hundreds of Dollars

November 12th, 2010

There are two ways I know to increase the amount of money I have lying around:
Pile o' Cash
1) Make more
2) Spend less

I’ve been experimenting with option two.  It could be argued this has lowered my quality of living, but I would disagree.  Regardless, cutting back on recurring expenses has yielded surprising savings for me; my monthly outgoing today is significantly less than it was a year ago.  Here’s what I did:

1) Moved into a cheaper apartment.  My satisfaction at the new apartment is comparable if not higher than my satisfaction at the old.  I did give up some luxuries: a 1-car garage, soundproof walls, a low crime area, and convenient parking.  However, I gained better access to work and the highway, more open and friendly neighbors, and a little more excitement.

Old Apartment: $710
New Apartment: $415
Savings per Month: $295

2) Changed to a less expensive cell phone plan.  I moved from T-Mobile to Cricket.  My new plan has unlimited talk and text nationwide.  The catches are that my coverage is less comprehensive and I have no voice mail or call waiting.  At first I wondered if these would be a big deal, but they haven’t been an issue. 

As far as coverage, it’s really quite good and I even had signal in the back boonies of Oklahoma where I went camping several weekends ago.  Regarding call waiting, if anyone gets a busy signal they can text instead as I do receive texts while talking.  And regarding voicemail, my phone is always on so that’s no bigee either.

Old Cell Phone Monthly Plan: $70
New Cell Phone Monthly Plan: $42
Savings per Month: $28

3) Sold my boat. (see previous post) My 22′ sailboat required maintenance, time, and money.  I love sailing, but this boat was more than I could handle alone.  Liquidating the boat was liberating and netted $2,000. (see ad)

Monthly Storage Savings: $30
Monthly Insurance Savings: $10

These three changes alone are saving me $363 per month! That’s a lot of money: Equivalent to 150 meals at Taco Bell, an Asus Netbook, even a nice shotgun… or on a more charitable note, it could buy 726 New Testaments through Gospel for Asia or 18 new sets of clothes for children through Samaritan’s Purse.

$363 per month works out to over $4,000 per year which Gospel for Asia claims would pay to support 10 full-time indigenous missionaries for a year!

Even the amount I’m saving on my cell phone alone would sponsor 1 orphan’s basic needs of food, clothing, and education (see here for great info on sponsoring a specific child, or here or here for simple donation options)

It’s incredible I could save so much by merely trimming a little fat in my life. And there’s much more fat I could trim too, especially in the areas of food and transportation. But where the rubber meets the road is, “How will I spend this extra cash?” To be honest, so far I haven’t done anything… it’s just collecting in the bank.

  • For more on this, check out Jeff Goins article If Someone Gave You $7, How Would You Spend It?
  • Or for more practical info on saving money, check out 15 Ways to Cut Monthly Expenses

  • 2 Responses to “Saving Hundreds of Dollars”

    1. william Says:

      I love the thoughts on this Nick. I think it’s such a practical thing that so many people take for granted. When I told people about all my cutbacks, they thought I was crazy and would be living like a bum. Sure, I was doing well in my previous “life” but things have gotten so much better as I’ve just found such unbelievable ways to take care of others. What a practical article that gives concrete examples of how to change and what else can be done. Well done bro…

    2. Nick Says:

      Thanks William, though my family may not appreciate your encouragement! There ARE good reasons for paring down though, even secular ones. I’ve recently come across a genre of blogs where guys are living with less than 100 (or in some cases 50) possessions. And they’re not Christians or anything… just pretty focused on what they really want

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