In 2018, D and I decided it would be most advantageous for me to stay home with Little Guy while he continued to work full time. It took a lot of thought and preparation to do this. I made a list of how we reduce expenses so that I can stay home full time. I hope you enjoy it!
Cut the Cable
We cut the cable cord before it was cool to only have Netflix. Our cable bill was well over $100 a month. To have only internet and video streaming services means you’ll save about $80 on your TV time every month. We factored in Netflix at $10.99 a month and Amazon Prime (streaming included) at $120 a year. Savings: $80 monthly
Ditch That Expense Wireless Provider
Now everyone likes to have super coverage from just about anywhere they go. But do you have to pay a premium for that? Nope! We previously had two lines with Verizon and paid $120 a month for limited data. With switching to a carrier that doesn’t spend big bucks advertising, we save $70 a month! Google Fi is an excellent carrier that allows you to go really anywhere in the US or internationally and have great coverage! For us and our two lines, it runs about $50 total each month. It is a big line item on most budgets but it is a great way to reduce expenses. Use our Google FI code to save $20 off your first bill here! Savings: $70 monthly
Stop Eating Out
My husband and I used to eat out for lunch 2-3 times a week each ($50 approximately) and then out eat out for dinner twice a week ($80 approximately). Monthly that put us at an expense of $520! Yikes! We now only eat out once a month for lunch ($20 for two people) and twice a month for dinner ($80). That took our eating out expenses from $520 down to $100. Savings: $420 monthly
Shop for Everything Secondhand
We shop for almost everything secondhand. Clothes, baby items, furniture, backpacking gear – seriously everything minus underpants! Annually, we were spending $2500 on average. From October 2017 through October 2018, we only spent $1500. Part of that is because we truly shopped less and the other part is that we shopped secondhand and avoided buying too much new. We also had our son in this time frame! Savings: $1000 annually
Cut Your Own/Spouse’s Hair and DIY Salon Services
Best purchase of the year? Wahl clippers for my husband. We spent $50 on a quality set of clippers and I cut his hair every three to four weeks. Each hair cut costs $25 with a tip at SuperCuts. Annually we would spend approximately $430 on haircuts just for my husband. That $50 purchase has paid off! I no longer get my nails done and I trim my own hair with the scissors that came in the Wahl kit. Nail polish costs maybe $10 a year as opposed to $40 each time (3 times a year on special occasions). Haircuts costs $40 each that I got twice a year. Savings: $570 annually
The crowning glory on our money saving abilities is meal planning. Yeah, the money we saved on salon services is pretty impressive but this is what I am most proud of. By careful meal planning and truly utilizing everything in your pantry, you should be able to save some big bucks in this department. I think I could write a whole book on how to meal plan. We went from spending $400 monthly on groceries to $100 or less. And more recently, we have aimed for a $50 monthly budget for groceries. It sounds crazy, but it can be done! Savings: $300 monthly
Savings Grand Total: $12,010 Annually
When we asked ourselves if I could quit my day job and go down to one income as a family of three, we had to seriously consider if we could keep saving money like we were. The answer is yes! While we no longer can save 50%, we still save around 15% of my husbands income. It takes a lot of diligent budgeting and purposeful spending to keep a budget low.
These are some great tips for cutting monthly budget costs. We also usually try to continually shop around for lower network providers. I’ve also thought about cutting my husband’s hair…but that one seems a bit scary for me still!
YouTube will be your friend for cutting hair!