When I started writing Singles: Take Control of Your Own Financial Journey I did not anticipate I would make too many changes in my personal finances. After all I was writing a book based on my experiences. Some were successful and some were not but many were valuable lessons I was hoping others could learn from.
But as I began writing some of the chapters on cutting expenses and earning more money I realized I had holes in my own financial situation. Most were just because I had become lazy. As I did the math I saw they were really starting to add up!
I needed to make some changes for my own financial well being. And here they are- in no particular order:
7 Financial Changes I Made While Writing a Finance Book
A Little Less Streaming
When I started writing the book I had four streaming services. When I finished I had three. I decided if I was going to pay that much to watch things I should just get cable again because we were getting close to that dollar amount. So one of the four needed to go. That saved me $9.99 per month.
I Have Gone Generic
I had gotten lazy at the grocery store. I had my brand names I liked and I didn’t bother to look for generic. The generic sugar free applesauce is on the bottom shelf and always pushed to the back so I got the more expensive because I did not feel like leaning over (YES this is that lazy). After a month of double checking for generic I saved about $15.
I was always terrified to clip my cat’s nails. My veterinarian, who I adore, clips Bella’s nails on the regular. She always says how laid back Bella is- that she just lays there and lets them be clipped. And even with that I would drag my cat to get her nails clipped at a cost of over $100 a year.
So I took a risk and bought cat nail clippers for about $5. I brought them home and she laid there quietly while I clipped her nails. So now each month I clip her nails and in the first year I will save $108 (and my sanity).
Pulled the Envelopes Back Out
Another place I had become lazy was my cash envelopes. Each month when I did my budget I always meant to go get cash for my groceries, gas, spending money and other things that I could easily use cash to pay for. That way I couldn’t overspend in those budget categories- once I was out of cash the budget for that item would be gone.
But I put it off so late into the month I would use my debit card and often ended up over budget. So I buckled back down and started getting cash again. There is no way to know how much this will save me but it already has.
The Blond Can Go a Little Longer
I have a blonde stripe in my hair that requires some maintenance. Getting highlights and covering up the rest of the grey is not inexpensive. Throw in a trim and maintaining my hair gets expensive. I was going six weeks between visits and now I go 8. So far no one has complained about my repulsive hair so I think we are good to go.
Paid Savings and Retirement First
This is another bad habit I had developed. When I was working my money the way it should be the funds ear marked for my savings and retirement accounts was moved immediately after payday. As I got lazy that money would get moved at the end of the month- which meant it was often less than I had originally budgeting because life happens. These are now automatically transferred each month which will help me both save and earn a ton over the next 25 years or so until retirement.
Moved My Savings to an Account that Pays What I Deserve
I keep my savings at a different bank from my checking account. I do that on purpose so that I do not really pay attention to it- it’s for emergencies and not for my every day life. When I started doing research I realized I had no idea how much I earned in interest on that account and was shocked to find it paid .05%. To give you an idea of what that mean if I had $5,000 in that account I would earn about $1.25 in interest. So I moved it to an account that pays 2%. That same $5,000 will earn about $50 in the same time period.
So what is the math?
Nails Clipped: Annual Savings $108
Cancelled Streaming Service: Annual Savings $119.88
Buying Generic: Annual Savings (Approximately) $180
Using Cash Envelopes: No Way To Know But Probably Atleast $100 a Month
Adjusting Hair Appointment: Annual Savings $300
Paid Savings First: No Way To Know But 25 Years of Interest Will Be Earned
Moved Savings Account: Extra $50 For Every $5,000 In Savings
Ready To Make Some Changes?
Has this inspired you to maybe make some little changes in your finances? Or are you ready for a complete overhaul? How about if I could offer you a deal on the book that could help you do it all? Through January 1, 2020 my book Singles: Take Control of Your Own Financial Journey is on sale on Amazon for only $4.50 if you select the Kindle version. It will also give you a $1 credit to use for a future Kindle purchase. I PROMISE you that you can save at least $4.50 with the tips in the book and cover the cost of buying it.
The book has a five star rating and if you are worried you won’t learn anything because you are not single don’t worry- lots of the reviews are from married people who loved it!
Grab the book and check it out. It’s designed to go at your own pace and skip the chapter that do not apply to you. You will not regret it!
Laura M. Oliver is the author of Singles: Take Control of Your Own Financial Journey. It is available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.