In the last few months, I’ve gotten kind of lazy with little expenses. $10 on parking. $5 at CVS. All the stuff I was so careful about for so long. And to be honest, it was really nice.
I felt like I deserved all those luxuries now that I was working a lot, and I sort of do. I mean, they’re well within a reasonable budget for me. But, they just don’t bring me very much benefit. I don’t miss them much when I skip them. I’d much rather skip thirty $10 purchases and use that $300 to do something REALLY fun on a trip.
So, in the last few weeks I’ve been trying to reign it in. A few little changes have made it so my credit card could go basically uncharged for a couple weeks, which is a big change from $10 or $15 a day. Some things that have been working?
- Go back to using coupons, and use free product coupons from Listia.
- Skip soda entirely and go back to drinking tea and water at work.
- Use the groceries I have in the house and skip the grocery store.
- Allow an extra 10 minutes to drive around and look for parking instead of parking in the garage.
- Return things I hadn’t used, didn’t like, or didn’t want.
- Collect some free items and sell them on Craigslist.
- Sell store credits on Craigslist for 80% of value, when I don’t really need anything from that store. (I’m looking at you, Sephora.)
- Get any incidental or late charges refunded (usually only takes a call to customer service).
- Cancel Netflix. (I’ll miss you, Netflix. I’ll miss you hard.)
- Empty the trunk of the car so I’m not paying more for gas than I need to because of the extra weight. (There were about 100 pounds of books and a box of cast iron pans back there. Nightmare.)
- Donate things to clear out my physical and mental space. Be sure to get donation receipts for tax purposes.
- Mend broken items I was planning to replace. (I want a new backpack, but I’m going to make this one last another year.)
- Mail in any lingering rebates.
- Sign up for freebies that I’ll use.
- Look for “try me free” options at the store on things I need to purchase (this has gotten me free packing tape and free shampoo this week).
I’m turning 30 in 4 weeks (yikes!), and there is still a glimmer of an inkling of a possibility that I could have a net worth of zero by that day. I never really planned on that being my dream, but here we are.
Whether I can get there or not, having a goal that is nearby keeps me pushing toward upping my savings in these next few weeks. I don’t think I can really get there, but I know that moving toward it as if I can means that I’ll make a the most possible progress.
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