Any entrepreneur will tell you that we work 100 hours a week for ourselves so we don’t have to work 40 hours for someone else. I can’t lie – it hasn’t been easy.
Purse Strings is my passion. I see its importance every day! I can’t unsee it. It’s in the college student who asks what “deductions” mean on her tax forms. It’s in the graduate students who tells me “she doesn’t know about anything I just talked about.” And, the topic was auto insurance premiums and deductions. I see it in the cashier at the grocery store who is well past retirement age, and I wonder – does she want to be here? Or does she have to be here because of financial constraints?
I hope you’ve seen my social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s an effort to promote Purse Strings, be financially conscious and provide financial tips. To practice what I preach, I took these tips to heart and made some changes of my own.
Here are my conscious strides to minimize spending and maximize savings.
- Sold my Beetle: I had two cars. I loved my VW Beetle convertible I drove in the summer. It had Turbo and was FUN! But, with my daughter in college I didn’t need two cars.
Here are my savings: Sold the Beetle, changed my auto policies from two cars to one, took my college bound daughter off my auto policy, in-turn minimized auto maintenance and upkeep, along with State licenses plate stickers and an iPass. I easily saved over $20K.
- Sold my House: Yep – the biggest purchase of my life and I sold it. Why? With kids in college I didn’t need a big house any more. My taxes were going up and I didn’t have helping hands to shovel or mow – so I put it on the market. I downsized to a townhouse where outside maintenance is not my responsibility. I chose to rent over buy.
Here are my savings: Sold the house, paid the remainder of the children’s tuition and stashed away the rest. By renting, I am not responsible for maintenance or upkeep; shoveling or lawn care, and changed my homeowners insurance to a renter’s policy. My new digs are a bit smaller which minimizes utilities. Minimized my monthly costs $300-400 a month!
- Sold my Road bike: I’ve moved on from participating in triathlons so I had my road bike tuned up and put it on Craigslist. I donated the family tandem to a young family and gave my “going to the market bike” to a consignment shop. No worries, I still have my Mountain bike!
I earned $400+ dollars in equipment that was just taking up space in my garage.
- Sold some furniture: Moving from a family home to a townhouse allowed me to pair down on furniture. I used apps like Offer Up, the local consignment store and my neighborhood newsletter to sell the extras that I no longer need, or want. I sold a Couch, ottoman, tray, glass table, small dining table, lawn mower and shovels, and a few nick-knacks.
I earned about $600 dollars.
- Donated, Donated, Donated: I became Goodwill’s major contributor. Every day I had a box or bag full of cds, dvds, rugs, ornaments, clothes, glasses, mugs and other miscellaneous items.
My savings? A great tax deduction.
- Stopped Automatic Purchases: No more monthly Stich-Fixes, Pandora without commercials, Audible books or monthly Sport Apps. I looked at all the items that were automatically rolling over from month to month. They may seem like small monthly amounts but they add up. All were stopped, except for one – my health conscious Weight Watcher fee.
My savings? $300+ a month.
- Didn’t Renew Big Box Memberships: With the kids at school my food bill has gone down – way down. So, no need to retain a memberships to the big box store since I am only shopping for one.
Here’s my saving: $200+ annual membership fees.
- Cut my housecleaning in half: Instead of a cleaning service every other week, I changed it to once a month. Again, just me (and my dog) so it’s easier to keep things cleaner. A full cleaning of the house once a month is all I need.
Nice savings: $1200 a year!
I feel great about these changes, about purging the excess, and about the additional income and savings! Less is more is my new motto. And, I will continue to look for more ways to live more efficiently.
I challenge you to take a look around your house and in your checkbook to look for easy-to-do actions that can rack up big savings for you and your future!
A few things I am not parting with? My mani/pedis, monthly massage, and of course a great glass of red wine!
Cheers to you!
Be Financially Fearless!
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
– Leonardo da Vinci
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