Unconscious Spending

By rethinking how we meet our basic needs, we can cut costs by $20,000 per year.

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t those once in awhile splurges that drain our wallets most. If we take a clear look at how we spend money, the majority goes to what we consider essential such as eating out, driving everywhere, and being plugged in all the time. By reevaluating how we meet these basic needs, we can drastically reduce our spending.

Cook meals at home. The average American dines out 4-5 times per week and consumes mostly pre-packaged foods ($5-20 per meal). I shop at a fairly high-end market and spend $50 on groceries ($2.50 per meal) weekly. By cooking at home, we’re talking an average of $10,000 in savings per year and double or triple the amount if you spend more on dining out.

Unplug. Remember when we paid $20 for a landline? With an array of new electronic devices and services, our monthly bills have skyrocketed. Today many spend hundreds on phone and internet packages every month. By cutting back on electronic subscriptions and being more conscientious about our usage, we can significantly reduce our costs.

No unnecessary driving. Gas prices are on the rise and with insurance, car payments, repairs and maintenance, our dependence on motor vehicles is a huge drain. Even if you have a daily commute, there’s a lot of unnecessary driving that can be cut out. By walking, biking or taking public transportation just once a week, you can save $100 a month. By taking public transportation to work, you can save over $10,000 annually.

Financial freedom is key to creating a life centered around less work and focused on more fulfilling pursuits. By adjusting our daily habits and lessening our financial need, we can invest in those things that really matter.

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2 comments

  1. This is a great post. My husband and I started cooking at home and eating leftovers for lunch and saved many thousands which now make up an emergency fund and have helped us travel and move around the world. I would love to figure out a way to be more conscious about my Internet use. Many folks don’t have smartphones here and I’ve thought about maybe switching to a regular phone. It’s hard to go back tho! I think your point about conscious spending is good and a way to monitor that is by going through your spending each month. It can be painful to relive those moments again, but it helps you know where your money is going. Hugs to you!

    1. That is awesome Rebecca! I struggle with balancing online time too and kind of love/hate my iPhone. It is hard to go back. I want to take more breaks and not check social media or email as frequently. I’m sticking with a budget right now (limiting expenses to $1000 per month) and it helps me feel more in control. It’s funny how that works…creating limitations = more freedom.

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