It’s true, we gave ourselves a $400/month raise in 15 minutes. The easiest and fastest route to a raise is to trim your expenses. Granted, half of that money was just because we got married. Go figure. Somehow, we have to pay LESS taxes now that we’re legally coupled. We’ll take it. The other $200/month was by simply trimming unecessary expenses from our bottom line. I’m willing to bet you could trim a few items from your bottom line, too!
We started out by delving into our monthly expense spreadsheet looking for inevitable fat to trim. We already run a fairly airtight ship, but after a few minutes, VOILA, we found some oink oink! We were able to quickly identify unnecessities from necessities. Things we sent to the slaughter included: ABC Mouse, our big mobile data plan, and our monthly Meetup fee.
We debated over giving up ABC Mouse, but, ultimately decided Mini wasn’t using it enough to justify the $8/month fee. On top of her dwindling usage, she’s also outgrowing the site. It serves pre-school through 1st grade. Mini is halfway through first grade.
The mobile phone data plan was reduced by a big chunk. That was possibly one of the easiest decisions we ever made. We glanced at our monthly allowance versus our monthly usage. Decision made. A smaller data plan will meet all of our world wide needs.
Oh, then there was the monthly cost of running my real estate Meetup group. As much as I hated putting a halt to this expense, I couldn’t justify it. Last year I started a local real estate Meetup for women in my area. I quickly realized that our group was outgrowing coffee shop sessions and we needed a more substantial meeting area. I tried for months, to no avail, to find a free space to meet. In the process, I also realized that these groups are mostly for hustlers. I’m not a real estate hustler. I’m not flipping houses or buying properties with other people’s money. I’m a vanilla investor. I work at my high-paying day job, save money, and use it to buy and hold rentals. That said, I’m just not a baller. Decision made. We nixed the monthly organizer fee for Meetup.com.
And there you have it. With a few clever clicks of the mouse (we didn’t need to talk to a single person!) we were able to save our household $400/month ($200 less the marriage). Still a great accomplishment!
*and the crowd goes wild*
Let Me Explain
I know the above superfluous items seem, well, superfluous. But, I can tell you that we only engage in spending if we feel it has educational or financial worth. ABC Mouse was something of educational value that we felt was worth the money, a few years ago. It was. A few years ago. It no longer serves a significant purpose for Mini Monster. Gone.
The mobile data plan was easy. We must have used significant data a month or two and were automatically given a larger plan before the end of the cycle to reduce our next bill. We obviously didn’t address it the following month. Gone.
Meetup.com was also a fairly quick decision. I can’t justify a monthly fee that is not significantly increasing my knowledge base or bank account. Gone.
As I mentioned at the begining of this enthralling post, within the last six months we were able to give ourselves a $400/month raise.
$200/month = Getting married! We understand not everyone can do this 🙂
$100/month = Cutting Cable
$100/month = Data plan, ABC Mouse, and Meetup.com
How To Give Yourself A Raise
The purpose of this exercise is to periodically re-calibrate the amount of money flying the coop each month. Often, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to find frugal fails and give yourself a raise.
- Look at your monthly expenses.
- Ask yourself whether or not each expense is a necessity.
- If something is not a necessity, ask yourself if it is worth the expense. Are you gaining anything from the expense?
- If not, stop the bleeding.
IMPORTANT: After giving yourself a raise, re-direct that found money into debt repayment or investments. Make extra cash earn its keep!
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
What can you trim from your monthly expenses to give yourself an instant raise? What do you plan on doing with the windfall?
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