As we talked about in Part 1 of this series, not all of these different ideas of ways to save $100 per year will work for everyone in every situation. I just share these as things which have worked for our family and allowed us to live through some very lean years without going into debt.
My hope in sharing these is not to make you feel you must also follow in our footsteps or adopt all of these practices, but I hope to inspire you to consider ways you might also cut expenses in order to stretch your hard-earned dollars further so you can pay off debt, live within your means, save money, and most importantly, give to others.
For us, that is our ultimate reason for saving money–so we can have more to share with others. We see money as something God has entrusted to us and we want to be wise stewards of what He has given us so we can not only take care of the needs of our own family, but so we can also effectively help and reach out to those in need.
And it's been so exciting for us to see our hard work and frugality pay off in the last few years as we've not only been able to have more wiggle room in our budget and the ability to save more for our future, but we're also able to share much more with others. Truly, "it is more blessed to give than to receive."
If you've been feeling like there's no way you are able to give and bless others in need in your current financial situation, perhaps some of these 100 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year will inspire you to creatively cut your living expenses so you can share with others as well!
With that said, here are some more things we did during our law school years which saved us at least $100 or more per year:
11) Cut out cell phones or ditch your land lines. For many people, a cell phone is considered a "necessity". I was there, too. I'd had a cell phone ever since I was 15 and had become accustomed to the convenience and sort of security it was. But when my husband and I sat down and mapped out our budget before we got married, I realized that cutting out my cell phone plan would save us a nice chunk of change each month.
And so we dropped it and I survived just fine. In fact, even in an unfamiliar town with unreliable vehicles for those first few years of our marriage, I never found myself stranded on the side of the road. Believe it or not, I only remember one time I ended up having to use a pay phone!
Now, for your situation, having a cell phone might truly be a necessity due to your job or other circumstances, however, I'd encourage you to consider how much of a necessity it is and whether you might be able to live without it or at least go with a pay-per-use plan instead of a monthly contract.
If you can't ditch the cell phone, consider ditching the land line, if you haven't already. Either way, it's almost assuredly gong to save you at least $100 per year.
12) Only have one vehicle. Once again, like cell phones, two (or more) vehicles is very much considered a "necessity" these days. However, I think it's all about perspective: if down-sizing to one vehicle meant you were able to save more money, stay out of debt, live on one income, etc. would you be willing to do it?
Early on in our marriage, our second vehicle died permanently and we couldn't afford to replace it, so we just made do with one vehicle for the next three years.
Honestly, we didn't really miss having two vehicles. I learned to love staying home and making my home a haven for my family. I learned to be creative and make the most of what we did have. Since we didn't have transportation during the day while Jesse was at work, I often hosted play dates or get-togethers at our house or we'd take long walks around our neighborhood, to the park, or to the library.
By only having one vehicle, we saved quite a bit of money–not only on gas, upkeep of a vehicle, and insurance costs, but we also saved money because we did a lot less running around. And, let me tell you, staying home most of the time is one very easy way to spend less money!
Have you ditched your cell phone(s) or landlines or cut back to only having one vehicle? If so, I'd love to hear about your experiences in this regard and how it has worked for your family.
photo by Refracted Moments