Repeat after me: My life is a journey to be enjoyed not endured.
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If you been around the personal finance blog block for a while you know that budgeting and cutting cable are the number one things suggested if you are working to achieve financial freedom or pay off debt. Well, I have a confession to make. I haven’t cut cable and I have no intention to do so. And for good reason. My husband and I like watching TV. That’s it. My husband and both work deadline oriented jobs. Sometimes nothing compares to just coming home and relaxing on the couch as we watch one of our favorite shows together. It’s our guilty little pleasure. Sure, it may be a costly one, but it’s one that lets us unwind.
Of course, depending on who you ask some will tell us that our decision to keep cable is irresponsible. Or we’ll get constant reminders that TV isn’t a necessity and we can do so many other things with that money. And know what I say to that? I don’t care.
Let’s stop shaming people for keeping the non-necessities that bring joy in their lives. My debt payoff journey may be a difficult one, but I refuse to make life miserable in the process. So, yes my love of wine, sheet masks and pole dancing may be costly ones but it’s worth it. And it makes life just a little bit more enjoyable.
I know it’s hard to acknowledge when we follow so many debt free gurus, but we really need to stop counting other people’s money and telling people the only way to accomplish anything is through deprivation. We may never know the whole story of those who claim to be transparent about their money or have it all figured out. Sure you can offer advice and suggestions if it’s coming from a good place, but don’t assume and declare yourself better because you found success doing something else or eliminate a big ticket item from your budget.
So if you don’t want to cut the cord because its something you really enjoy, don’t feel bad about it and don’t give power to those who shame you for it. Instead, find alternative ways to slash your budget while holding onto the things you enjoy. (Or if you are on the fence about cutting cable, you can check out these reasons why it’s beneficial from Michelle at Making Sense of Cents.)
Just in case you are stuck on some alternative cost cutting measures, I came up with a few for you…
Car insurance is not cheap, especially if you live in NJ. We fell out of this habit, but we used to do comparison shopping for insurance every so often to make sure we were getting the best rates. We were paying nearly $300 per month to insure both our cars with comprehensive coverage. After doing a little coverage research, we’ll soon be switching to a policy that costs just over $200 a month. Of course, the amount of money you save will vary but it can’t hurt looking into.
Total potential savings: $100
I know sometimes after a long week at work, nothing compares to unwinding during happy hour with your significant other or coworkers. Or maybe you choose to drink a bottle of wine at home to save money. Either way, all that alcohol is costing you and could be a way for you to slash your budget and help you keep cable. Of course, the amount spent on alcohol varies but according to this article, if you spend $15.00 per week on a bottle of wine it equals about $1500 a year. Check out this page to find out exactly how much you spend on alcohol
Total potential savings: $60 per month
Pick just one subscription
Millennials are the kings and queens of subscriptions. Whether it’s a subscription to Ipsy and Birchbox or Amazon Prime, we’ve pretty much mastered the art of receiving monthly happiness in our mailbox or screen. I’m personally guilty of subscribing to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. I was receiving Ipsy, but eliminated that a while back. Now, you may disagree but if you have the premium cable package with all the best movie channels you probably don’t need a subscription to Netflix and Hulu. Amazon Prime is debatable since you can use that for more than just television and movies. However, if you choose to cut all three of them in favor of cable you can definitely save a decent amount of money.
Total Potential Savings: up to $35.97
It’s no secret but whether you eat steak, chicken or fish, feeding it to a family can get very pricey. For health and budget reasons, we try to limit or meat intake and have reaped many benefits. Not only does it give me a reason to put variety into our diet, but it gives us a reason to experiment and try more recipes from Pinterest and cook books like this one with over 600 five star reviews. I’ve been loving buffalo cauliflower. Also check out, The Inspired Budget blog. They aren’t all meat free, but she has great tips and recipes for stretching your grocery budget.
Total Potential Savings: $20
Stick to water
I’m a bit ashamed to say this but we used to drink ALOT of juice. In effort to be healther, we’ve since cut back our juice consumption way way back. Instead, we rely on water jugs infused with fruits such as lemon, strawberry and apples. I can’t say exactly how much we’ve spent on juice in a month but I have noticed the difference in my grocery budget.
Total Potential Savings: $30
Limit hair cuts and trips to the salon.
We know being groomed and looking presentable is of importance; especially if you consider yourself a professional. However, those trips to get your hair professionally done definitely adds up. Each trip to the barber can run my husband $20 plus tip while my trips to the salon can be $50 or more. Considering men usually take more than one trip to the barber a month, the expense can totally add up. Learn to do some hair styling yourself, invest in quality home hair products and you just cut $70 from your budget.
Total Potential Savings: $90
Do all of these items and potentially save a total of $335.97!
And if you’ve already cut everything you can think of, check out these flexible gigs to help you make an extra $200 a month
Become a fitness instructor
This has to be my absolute favorite way to bring in extra money. As a work-from-home mom, it can get rather lonely sometimes. Helping others reach their fitness goals won’t get you on the fast track to being rich, but might be exactly what you need to keep the cable going. Depending on the experience level and location you can make about $25 to $40 per class teaching at a gym. If you choose to run the fitness class for yourself you can even make up to $100 a class.
I’ve only recently signed up to do Uber Eats and Door Dash so I can’t offer my experience or any feedback on this. However, from what I hear, depending on how often you pick up work you can make a decent amount of side income. Dannie from the blog Pennies to Wealth made $800 in just over a week of delivering food for Door Dash, Uber Eats and Post Mates.
Sell your finds on Ebay
Another method I haven’t used, but hear a lot about is selling on Ebay. If you are strategic and take it seriously, a decent amount can be made flipping items online. Other than flipping on item found on Deals on Steals on Good Morning America a while, I haven’t sold anything on Ebay. Instead, I stick to selling my used items on Facebook Yardsale groups. However, Latoya from Life on a Budget has been dabbling with Ebay and sharing here lessons along the way. Take this gig seriously, and it would be a breeze coming up with an extra $200 a month.
Get Creative and sell on Teespring or Zazzle
I’ve only recently started selling on Zazzle so I haven’t made any real profit yet. However, it’s amazing how much money you can make from designing items such as magnets, keychains, mugs, pillows and more. Check out this pillow I made for Zazzle here and let me know what you think. I’ve also sold a few t-shirts on Teespring. Here’s a great breakdown on how to sell shirts on Teespring from My Money Chronicles.
Are you on team cut the chord or keep it plugged in? What methods do you use to save money in your budget? Is there anything you aren’t willing to give up?
TERRIfic Quip: There is always a way.