Freeing Up Some Cash

Lately, I have really been scrutinizing my spending every month. I like to think that I’m doing the best I can at saving more money, but I have to be honest. After looking through a few months of transactions in my checking account, I have realized I can do much better. I’m trying to be a smart spender, I really am! So much so, that I actually made a list of things I spend money on that might be unnecessary. It wasn’t easy, but it had to be done.

The main problem I discovered with my spending habits was that I had a lot of monthly memberships and subscriptions… maybe more than I care to admit. So aside from necessary bills that come with “adulting” here’s what I was paying for:

  • Sirius Radio – $15/month
  • iTunes Music – $9.99/month
  • Netflix – $7.99/month
  • Gym Membership – $19.99/month
  • iCloud Storage – $0.99/month
  • Amazon Prime – $10.99/month
  • Ipsy Makeup Subscription – $10.00/month

In total, that adds up to $74.95 coming out of my account each month. That means I’m spending $900 a year on these things! Thinking about it this way seemed absolutely ridiculous to me. Needless to say, I needed to stop this money from disappearing from my checking account every month, because some of it was just a big waste. So I decided I needed to cut some of these costs out of my life.

While I do enjoy the perks of subscribing to all these services and products, there were some that I decided were really not worth the money. If you read my blog about online shopping, you know I love to get packages in the mail, like the Ipsy Makeup Bags I’ve been subscribed to for the past year. $10 was getting me a few little samples of fun, new cosmetics to try out, and a cute makeup bag. But how many nail polishes, eye shadows, and makeup bags can a girl use at once? Not 12! So, the Ipsy bag was the first subscription I cut out. That wasn’t so bad…

Next comes the gym. My gym has two different plans to choose from – a basic membership or the premium membership. I chose the premium membership because it came with free access to tanning beds. Tanning beds that I have used once, in my 3 years at this gym. (I’m 100% Irish, I can’t go tanning, and it’s bad for your skin!) That made the choice to downgrade my membership to basic much easier. So instead of giving the gym an extra $10 every month, now I’ll just pay $10 per month for the equipment I actually use. OK, this cutting down costs thing is getting easy now. I’m getting back $20 every month already!

Now we are onto music and movies. This is where it got tricky for me. I have a new car that has the capability for Sirius Radio, which I absolutely love. I’ve been hearing songs I forgot about for years and I’m obsessed with the 90’s on 9 station. I think that since I drive a lot, spending $15 to enjoy every car ride is worth it to me.

iTunes Music is a product that costs $9.99 per month and lets users download just about any song on iTunes to keep it on their phones or other devices. I like it because I can play a song whenever I want to hear it, and don’t have to buy every individual song for $1.29 each. However, I don’t know that it’s worth the money if I’m not using it all the time. Like I mentioned, I love my Sirius Radio in the car, and if I listen to music at home it’s usually on my record player. So I’m cutting another $10 out of my entertainment expenses. Now I’m up to $30 saved every month. But why stop now?

Amazon Prime is worth the cost to me, because I use it frequently for myself and other family members. We would be paying much more every month in shipping if I didn’t have this membership. So, it’s something I’ll keep the subscription for, unless I start using it less in the future. The $0.99 I spend on extra iCloud storage only adds up to $12 a year and is much better than the aggravating alert my phone used to give me letting me know that I couldn’t back my phone up anymore. I have a lot of pictures that I don’t want to lose, so I don’t mind paying a dollar every month to keep them safe.

Last but not least, we have my Netflix subscription for $7.99 per month. Everyone has their shows that they will admit they have binge watched on Netflix, right? Mine are Breaking Bad and Gossip Girl. But since I watched those shows, I don’t think I have logged into Netflix since! I finished Gossip Girl before summer even started. So I’ve been paying the monthly charge for no reason all summer long. I decided to suspend my subscription until there is another show I decide I want to watch. That way, I will save almost $10 more a month, and watch less TV!

After a few days of looking over my budget, I made a lot of changes on these monthly expenses. In the end I saved $37.99 every month, adding up to over $450.00 for the year! That is a lot of money to save, and I don’t think I’ll miss what I cut out.  I try to remind myself that making sacrifices doesn’t have to last forever. I am doing this right now, but  maybe one day my budget will change and I can work a few of the things I cut out back into it. But for now, this is the smart financial decision for me. I think I made the right choice!

One Response to “Freeing Up Some Cash

  • Good job! Those little fees really add up and it pays to keep track of where your money is going. Plus it is helpful to watch out for “trial memberships” that can quickly turn into recurring charges if you aren’t careful!

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