Guest post from Jason of Home Life Organized
I hope our story both encourages and gives you ideas of your own for budgeting and scaling back on expenses.
Between selling our second car, cutting the cord on cable, switching to a pay-as-you-go family phone plan, refinancing our house, and wiping out our credit card debt, my wife and I have learned how to effectively manage our budget and still be able to enjoy life without feeling like we’re giving anything up.
So why did we decide to make all of these changes? It was mostly a matter of circumstance for us.
My wife was pregnant and just laid off from her job. Although she tried to find other work, she wasn’t able to find anything through her pregnancy.
Once the baby came, we decided that she would stay at home with him. This meant that our take-home income was cut in half; we went from a dual-income couple, to a single-income family with a baby.
I already kept a monthly budget to track all of our regular bills, so I began with looking at what we were spending and where we could cut.
Here is how we ended up saving over $900 per month:
We Switched to One Car
We both leased cars and since my wife is home with the baby, she needed a car during the day. We are about 25 minutes from the train station that I take into work — so it’s definitely a sacrifice, but it was also a big savings for us. By switching to one car we saved on the car payment, car insurance, gas, and maintenance.
- Savings $400/ month.
We Cut the Cord on Cable
The cable bill was out of control at almost $200/month and we needed to do something about it. We decided to cut the cord on cable and use a combination of Roku, Aereo, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and our personal DVD collection for our TV watching. So far so good and we are still able to watch every show we used to.
- Savings $100/month.
We Switched Cell Phone Plans
Before we were married we each had our own service through different carriers. We ended up switching to a family plan through MetroPCS which included unlimited talk, text, and data so we haven’t missed a thing.
- Savings $70/month
We Refinanced Our House
We already had a great interest rate on our house, but we were paying PMI (private mortgage insurance). Through home improvements we had enough equity and just recently completed the refinance, got rid of PMI, and lowered our mortgage payment.
- Savings $120/month
We Paid Off Credit Card Debt
We just finished paying off our final credit card. We used the snowball method of paying off the lowest balance cards first and adding that extra amount to the next card.
- Savings $300/month
If you had to save $900 per month, could you do it? If so, how?
Jason Bazinet blogs at Home Life Organized. He’s happily married to Keri and father to his amazing son, Reid. He works full-time in marketing, and loves finding good deals, cooking healthful but convenient meals, and spending time with his family.photo source