frugal hacks

I'm so excited to share the 17 frugal hacks that will bring an extra $111,350.19 back into our savings account. Choose the ones you want to do!

There are a lot of realities to running your own business that can’t really be understood until you do it. It can all get so muckity-muckerrific that you can get lost in why you got started in the first place.

So sometimes it’s good to sit down and give yourself a solid reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Tweet this!

What I do know is that I didn’t start writing about money so that I could…

…sift through a minefield of spammy emails from advertisers looking for me to provide free writing

…mind-numbingly delete, one-by-one, 50+ weekly spam comments

…spend 20+ hours learning some new-fangled technology, only to have the system change months later and feel like I’m starting from square one

Rather, I got into writing about money to craft a beautiful life — one not held back by finances — for my family, and for others. This was sparked by a burning desire to squeeze the most out of our paychecks, while squeezing the most out of our lives, and to show others how to do the same.

Sometimes it’s so important to forget all the fluff, and the B.S., and everything else that comes with running an online business, and just focus on what made me want to jump through all those hoops to begin with.

So getting back to the basics, I wanted to give you all a rundown of 17 frugal living hacks I’ve lived and shared on my blog that have made an incredible change to our lives since starting my business (to the tune of $111,350.19!).

Choose a Few to Work on to Effect Substantial Change in Your Own Savings Account + Life:

  1. Ditch your bloated cell phone plan and enter the low-cost smartphone plan market (so you still get everything you want anyway, with an extra $40-$80 to play with per month!). Our (Annual) Savings: $410.76
  2. Take a stab at Travel Hacking for almost-free airfare (you still have to pay the security fees + an annual fee on the credit card you open). Our Savings (one trip): $1,200
  3. Nab that next juicy bank offer deal that comes your way (but only if it’s worth it). Our Annual Earnings: $200
  4. Play the Drugstore Game (without getting the Sunday Paper). Our Savings (since 2008): $3,500
  5. Fight your property taxes. Our Savings (over three years): $612
  6. Start getting your oil changes for free by mystery shopping them. Our Annual Savings: $200
  7. Shop around for Homeowner’s Insurance. When we did, we found a policy that was $739 cheaper! Our Annual Savings: $739
  8. Chop your grocery bill down without coupon clipping, ad scouring, or store hopping. Over three trips, we shaved $76.43 off of our bill. Our Savings: $76.43
  9. Refinance a 30-year mortgage down to 15 years. We did this, going from 5.5% to 3.5%, for a total interest savings of $103,000! Our Savings (over life of loan): $103,000
  10. Sign up to this free investment aggregator site to get the lowdown on how many fees you’re paying across all of your portfolio. You might be surprised, and compelled to move to lower-costing funds. Our current annual fees are $116.48, but I never would have known that without using this free service. Our Annual Savings: $0 (I did not move my money, just am paying attention to the fees now)
  11. Move your money to an interest-bearing checking account, and a high-yield savings account. Our Annual Savings: N/A
  12. Work on decreasing your water bill. Ours is generally around $30/month, and the average Houstonian’s is usually around $55/month. Our (Estimated) Annual Savings: $80
  13. Take the time to liquidate your electronic graveyard. We did, and reaped $107 in cash, $25.99 in tax deductions, $4 in Office Depot store credits, and 150 Recyclebank points. This was in 2012, so I’m sure we’re due for another liquidation. Our (Cash) Savings: $107
  14. Attack the cost of doing laundry in your household. My favorite way we do this is by making our own laundry detergent. Not only does it save us good money (we can wash 81+ loads for about $8.00), but it keeps some chemicals out of our home. Our (Estimated) Annual Savings: $25
  15. Get a little creative when you’re on a high-deductible health insurance plan so that you still get the care that you need, but without coming close to meeting the deductible for the year. Our Annual Savings: Hard to quantify, so I’ll skip
  16. Consider grocery shopping every other week instead of every week. Not only is this a money-saver, but it’s a time-saver as well. I estimate this alone has saved us about $100-$160/month from what we were spending when we shopped each week. Our Annual Savings: $1200

    This is the kind of stuff I get super-excited about. When I can take the same pile of cash as everyone else, and get more from it after researching new frugal living hacks and then show you how to do the same, I feel my purpose. Then seeing the tangible results by actually shifting money from checking into savings (a place we consider to be a black hole — stuff goes in but it doesn’t come out) completes everything in a very satisfactory way.

Let me know what you’re going to try next from the list above!

2 replies
  1. Temmy
    Temmy says:

    Great list of saving tips, already helped me to cut spending on cell phone bills for 30$ on family plan. I will follow all your steps if I manage to save 400$ more from u tax deductions I will be on half way to my goal. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. Abigail @ipickuppennies
    Abigail @ipickuppennies says:

    We saw some big savings when we switched home insurance and auto insurance this past summer. It was welcome! We refinanced about a year ago. Still a 30-year mortgage, but the lower rate shaves about $500 off what we pay each year (our mortgage is ridiculously low). That’s an extra $500 going toward principal, not accruing interest, yada yada.

    Reply

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