With our FIRE number in mind we now have to get down to optimizing our savings to reach this goal.
Here are my three of the easiest ways you can start increasing your monthly savings rate!
With our digital lives it feels like there is a subscription for anything, tv shows or movies we live, monthly mystery boxes full everything from coffee to hot sauces, favorite music subscription service, or
even your cable tv and cell phone packages.
Almost always 100% of these items are WANTS not NEEDS, and it is often the easiest place to decrease your monthly expenses.
Some examples would be:
- Do you need multiple tv/movie streaming services?
Netflix, Crave, Hulu, Amazon Prime. We decided to cut back to two (Netflix and Amazon prime) one and occasionally suspend and switch to a different one.
- Can you reduce your cell phone plan?
As almost anywhere we go now in life there is wifi, Do you need 12GB of data or will a 2-8GB plan cover your needs? This is especially true in 20
20 as many of us are working from home or staying at home due to COVID-19.
- Do you need the cable tv? or the additional channels?
We found when we sat back and looked at what we watched we only watched 2-4 actual shows on cable. We initially cut back our cable from the premium plan with all the channels to the bare minimum channels with the shows we watch on them. After a few months we also found out tha
t the shows we watch are "free" using the tv channels app on our Apple TV (assume Android options exist). We fully cut our cable tv bill at a monthly savings of over $90/month, and best of all we still get to watch the exact same shows.
Food & Household Items
Something we all need to live FOOD! This also is an area that I believe many people can make small changes and save 5-25% without really changing their day to day eating habits. Small changes such as buying generic when there is no difference in quality, such as generic bleach for cleaning, canned goods such as beans or flour for baking.
General household items such as a can opener often can be purchased for $3.00-$5.00 from a thrift/consignment store rather then brand new from mainstream stores for 4-8x the price.
Clothing is another item which we all need to live, however in the past few years I have realized how much money can be spent by 1) Buying quality 2) Buying second hand (When possible).
Things such as having 1-2 nice general purpose coats rather than a whole closet, or picking items that have more mix and match capabilities rather than a one off item which has limited uses. Not only does this prevent you have having the urban sprawl of closets but it ensures all things you have are able to be used.
Buying second hand for seasonal items (coats, rain gear, sports items) often can save 30-80% off the original price for basically the same item, and this still includes getting name brand items.
Hope this list is able to spark some ideas and helps you increase your savings rate to get to your FIRE goals!