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Recent days finds me without a regular income. It’s temporary and doable. Robert and I decided 11 years ago to follow Dave Ramsey’s advice and we are still debt free today. We have some breathing room during this season of one income. Robert is an incredibly hard-working provider. However, I think we got a little lazy and complacent this year. Our finances got sloppy and overindulgent. The Crapulous in our house was just one symptom.
I know this is the Season for “Miraculous Over Spending” and especially today on Cyber Monday but I thought I would share some simple ways we are cutting back on spending.
- Don’t Spend Any Money– Fo realz. Declare a No Whining Day. Pick one day every week where you and your entire immediate family don’t run through drive-through or Starbucks, or buy an app, or get something real quick at Amazon Prime, or a lottery ticket, or donuts, or just one book, or just one game, or just a tee shirt, or Kickstarter, or bullied into a fundraising candy bar, or a pack of gum. Use what you have in the pantry, freezer, and fridge, in your closet, in your car, in your garage and basement, and attic, say no, and “suffer through” for one day. Do this for four weeks and then stretch yourself for a whole week to curb non-essential spending. We are freakishly blessed. Live like it.
- Budget and Track Every Dollar- I am unashamedly a big fan of the Total Money Makeover. However, we have gotten pretty complacent in our budgeting and tracking. With our first kid in college, another kid in private school, and just a standard of living we enjoy around travel and the consumption of food we had just become a little too snobbish for a budget. Tracking every dollar is an excellent exercise in self-discipline. Not only to lower your spending habits but to lower stress and anxiety. It’s strangely freeing to log those numbers. One category we still need work on is our restaurant and grocery spending. But we are getting there.
- Take Hold Of Your Subscriptions– This is possibly the biggest area we found we were not tracking and not being good stewards of our money. I am more than a little disgusted with how many $2 and $3 things I have signed up for and I am not using at all. Like in the hundreds of dollars disgusted. You might consider using an app like Trim to sort through your accounts and emails to find all those subscriptions you have signed up for but in the clutter of life they have become lost and unimportant but are still silently stealing from your wallet with your approval. Go to your Netflix, Amazon, Itunes accounts and cancel and delete.
We have enough things in this world. Good things but also things that lead to our detriment. Don’t wait until January resolutions to start taking your finances back under control. Share below simple things that you are doing to get back into living simply and abundantly to be financially responsible with your treasure.
Photo by Randy Assell
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;”