I’ve been a penny pincher for quite some time. But now that I’m back in school I am a super penny pincher. Like I should wear a cape and some shiny boots. Here’s what I do to save, and the difference it makes. I also use Mint.com to track my spending and set budgets. It tells me when I’ve gone over my spending so I can be careful.
1. Coffee! I love my coffee. Especially now that I’m in school again. I got a coffee maker back in March for about $35 and buy a $11 bag of coffee about once every two months. Organic, twice the size of the regular stuff. About 5 days a week I make coffee for boyfriend and I. Filters run me about $2 every 6 months. I get Soy Creamer once a month or so ($24 a year) and sweeten with honey ($12 a year).
Yearly cost of coffee at home for 2 people: $141
Coffee for 2 people, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year at $1.65 a cup: $1,112.10
I love a morning coffee. Just one. Then maybe I will switch to tea.
2. I also ride my bike home at lunch to eat at home. I allow myself to eat in the cafeteria once a month if I’m on a time crunch. If I eat in the cafeteria 5 days a week (when my classes are) I would spend an average of $6 a meal.
Eating at home: The cost of groceries, divided in 3. I budget $150 a month on groceries. Divided by 3 for a year: $600.
Eating at the cafeteria for a school year (8 months) $1032
3. I try to save on dinner when I can. I buy groceries to make myself a complete meal that’s simple and healthy. We have a lush garden right now that is producing a ton of veggies so we don’t need to buy those. And when I get done with work sometimes (I waitress to supplement income while in school) I will get a discounted meal and a free glass of wine. I spend maybe $20 a month eating and tipping the bartender where I work and dining out with friends once a month $20.
Cost of my dinner spending monthly: $40 Yearly: $480
Dinner dining out 3 x a week: $10 each time $120 a month. Yearly :$1440
The garden! Still going strong after a long summer!
4. I sold my car to save money and I now ride my bike to school and to work. Do I need to calculate the cost of the car? No. How about the savings though?
Cost of Bike + helmet + accessories (Basket, crate, crate holder) : $500
Cost of car payment + gas + insurance: $400. Yearly? $4800.
5. Ok, I’m a girl. I get these cravings some of us refer to as “Retail Therapy.” To save money (and my sanity) I go to Goodwill. If I need something NEW, like necessary items, I get them NEW. I’m not that thrifty.
Thrifting once every few months for me is t-shirts, dresses, jeans, and sweaters, sometimes coats. I spend about $20 every 2 or 3 months. Let’s call that $120 a year. I also make clothes like dresses and alter clothes I have to make them awesome again.
What I spend on thrifting and alterations: $120 a year.
The cost of buying new? $480
I did this post earlier about a dyed sweater I DIY’ed.
6. Decor is never cheap. I was looking around my apartment and realized that over the last 5 years or so I have barely gotten anything new. I got my sofa sleeper at a rummage sale, but it was at an apartment complex sale, and the sofa was in a show unit- never even slept on. New-ish for $40. I made my drapes for my bedroom, I made my duvet covers for my pillows in the living room and painted almost all of the art in the apartment. The chairs at the kitchen table were found in the alley and the table was a hand-me-down. Boyfriend found his desk on the curb during College move out season.
Savings of about $500 a year.
The amount of money I save a year by being frugal is $7595.10. Can you imagine that!!?? What do I do with that extra money, you say?! I usually just use it to pay bills. But someday I will use it to travel more. Here I did this post after telling myself that I wouldn’t do any more math today after homework was finished!
What are some ways you use to save money? Happy saving!