It seems like everyone is talking about how to save money these days. I’ve heard things like stop eating out, brown-bag lunch, make your own morning coffee, use cash only, make your own cleaning solutions… All good suggestions. BUT. Who really does any of these things? Seriously? Is there anybody who does that?
I’m a pretty frugal person, but try as I may I cannot, absolutely cannot, stick to a budget. It doesn’t matter what I do, pack my lunch, never eat out, make my own coffee, somehow I always end up over budget. So (confession time!) I don’t have a budget. In these economic times admitting to not having a budget is akin to saying you smoke a pack a day and do shots while 6 months pregnant. But it’s true: my husband and I do not have a set budget. Sure, we know approximately what we’re going to spend on things every month, but we don’t have strict limits. Believe it or not, this works better for us. Somehow since we stopped being so strict we’ve saved more money.
One of the biggest things we’ve done the past year that has really saved us a ton of money is cancelling cable. That’s right. It wasn’t brown bagging everyday, depriving me of starbucks or mixing my own cleaning supplies.* It was cancelling cable. We don’t have cable or satellite or a dish or a digital antenna. The only bill we pay to a cable (or cable-esqe) company is for our internet. We still watch TV: for unknown reasons we still have network channels, 13 PBS channels, a couple of spanish language channels**, and TBS.
*To be fair, I’ve never done any of those things.
**Best. Programming. Ever. I don’t speak spanish but the superb acting translates into any language.
At first, the no cable experiment was a necessity. Low paying job out of law school and a ton of student loan debt = 0 extra cash. But now, we just do it to save money. Hubby has a xbox 360 that we use to stream netflix and ESPN. And we got a roku for christmas (which is awesome because it does away with the necessity of connecting a laptop to the TV) that we use to watch hulu and netflix on. All in all, counting the hulu plus and netflix subscriptions our cable-ish bill comes to about 60 bucks a month. Real cable was more than double that. Not cool cable. Not cool.
Enough rambling. Bottom line if you want to make a change that will save you money and that’s actually do-able, drop cable.