In a previous post, I talked about the importance of a savings account and how a savings account really came in handy when I landed in the ER a few days before my wedding with a kidney infection. This is a nice introduction for today’s topic: easy money saving tips.
I am sharing 3 small things that Mr. Navigating Adulthood and I consistently do every month that help us put money towards a rainy day fund. I PROMISE that these won’t be outrageous money saving tips like, “We bought 4 chickens so we don’t have to buy eggs anymore.” Nope, these are tips that you might very easily be able to integrate into your own life.
Money saving tip #1: Saves $210 a month
We make an effort to bring lunch 4 times a week. Why not 5 days? A few years ago, we committed to bringing lunch 5 days a week. However, we quickly realized that there were some days we would wake up late or we would honestly get tired of eating the same lunch for three days in a row.
How You Can Use This Money Saving Tip: Packing your own lunch doesn’t have to be hard- you can start with bringing a PB & J with an apple and a cheese stick. Try bringing lunch and you’ll see the savings quickly add up.
- When we buy lunch at work
- Let’s look at some numbers: an average lunch in Cambridge near MIT runs about $10 for Mr. NavigatingAdulthood. An average lunch for me is about $6 [yay for having a cafeteria!= $16 a day if we both bring lunch.
- If we estimate 17 work days per month, eating out for lunch for 2 people at 4x a week= $272. [<—-our average MONTHLY grocery bill is $270!]
- When we bring lunch
- A recipe I often use is pasta puttanesca from BudgetBytes. I add 2 cans of tuna and a bag of frozen bell peppers for an additional $3.25. Total recipe costs around $10.50 for 8 servings. = $1.31 per serving. [$2.62 for 2 servings] If you add 2 apples for $1.00, lunch for both of us = $3.62 a day if we both bring lunch.
- If we estimate 17 work days per month, bringing lunch for 2 people at 4x a week= $61.54
Monthly Savings= $210.46
Money saving tip #2: Saves $93 a month
We don’t have cable. Did you know the average cable bill is $103 a month? Source: Forbes I feel like everyone talks about how cutting out cable can save you a lot of money, but it’s absolutely true! We pay $10 a month for Netflix. When we want to watch movies that aren’t on Netflix, we get them for free through our local library. [putting those tax dollars to work!]
How You Can Use This Money Saving Tip: Take the plunge and cut your cable bill! Or at the very least, stop paying for movies on demand and try renting them for “free” through your local library. Remember that since you pay taxes, you’re kind of already paying for this library service.
Monthly Savings= $93
Money saving tip #3: Saves $70 a month
Even though our work schedules are different, we carpool. I drive to work every day and Mr. Navigating Adulthood has to take the train to commute into Cambridge. Because we live a decent distance from the nearest train station, he has to drive to train station. A monthly parking pass for the train station is $70.
- I live about 30 minutes from the office and need to wake up at 7:00 for enough time to get ready and then drive there.
- Mr. Navigating Adulthood has to wake up at 6:00AM so he can get to the train station by 6:30 AM, park, and then catch the 6:45AM train to get to work around 8:00AM.
So, to save money, I give up an hour of sleep and wake up at 6:00AM with Mr. NavigatingAdulthood. This gives us enough time for me to drop him off at the train station to catch his train. This also means that I get into the office at 7:20AM. But on the bright side, it allows me to catch up on emails every morning before everyone gets in!
How You Can Use This Money Saving Tip: A lot of my coworkers who live in Boston carpool to get to work. They have a system where a group of 3-4 people will take turns driving to work on a weekly rotation. From what I’ve heard, this is a huge cost savings on gas and tolls. Try seeing if there’s a coworker who lives near you who might be willing to carpool. It might be a little inconvenient, but the savings can really add up.
Monthly Savings= $70
Grand total saved per month: $373
What do you think? Are a few of these tips doable for you? How do you save money?