This one seems like a no brainier but I have been reviewing my monthly expenses and I really need to find a way to reduce my monthly spending. I already live a frugal life style compared to most Americans but I still feel that my monthly spending is still higher then it needs to be.
I'm faced with a few challenges however as I can't just go and get rid of my car like other financial bloggers have managed to accomplish. Here in Michigan, the public transportation system is a disaster and I wouldn't have a way to get to work on a rainy day unless I rode my bike and got to work dripping wet. This doesn't sound very practical to me. I also live an organic lifestyle which adds a premium to my monthly grocery bill. Which makes this worse is I'm currently trying to put on muscle mass so I have been consuming more food then usual to help promote these gains.
Despite all these non frugal complications in my life, I'm still trying to find new ways to reduce my monthly expenses. For starters, I currently track my monthly expenses using the mint application but after reading so many reviews about the personal capital budgeting app I'm thinking of making a switch. This sounds silly but the single most effective way to controlling your monthly budget is knowing what and where the bulk of your income is going. I never really did a good job of tracking my expenses back in the day and let me tell you I have noticed a big difference since I have started to track my month to month expenses.
As I've mentioned in a few of my previous articles, I decided to purchase a used car which saves me $158 per month. This savings combined with my reduction in monthly car insurance premiums saves me another $15 per month. Total savings just in car expenses = $173.
Another very easy yet silly savings I was able to do for myself was shopping for new cable and internet. I personally would liked to just use internet but I do have roommates that enjoy cable and it wouldn't be fair if I cut it completely. However, I have managed to find a new cable and internet company which is AT&T that will reduce my monthly expense from $173 per month to a smooth $100. I find this a funny contradiction now also since T is a large portion of my portfolio and I'm basically keeping the money the within the company. Plus, me being a customer will add one more subscriber to the list to help pay myself increased dividends next year. Cable and internet savings = $73 per month.
This one is a tricky one but I will have to make sacrifices for the long term success of my portfolio. It's amazing to pay attention when grocery shopping to all the filler/junk food that I throw in the cart that really adds no nutritional value to my daily caloric intake needs. Although I really do enjoy my organic snacks like ice cream, chips and licorice, by cutting back on my junk food purchasing I approximate that I will be saving and additional $50-75 per month. This is a very big premium just for non essential food.
The last big thing I recently thought to do was brewing my own Kombucha. For those who don't know, Kombucha is a fermented tea that is brewed using a culture called a scoby. This tea is fermented for 14-21 days which allows for the culture to do it's job of eating the sugar that's in the tea and in exchange creating delicious probiotics. I have been making this for about a month now and I'm still experimenting with the correct brewing time and ingredient mix to get it to taste like the stores. I tend to drink 4-5 of these per week and they cost $3.69 per bottle. estimate that I will save close to $70 per month just by making my own drinks in house. I'm very excited about this one panning out and I hope to ramp up production next month to meet my own consumption demands.
These are all very simple and small things I can do on a month to month basis that will help drive my monthly expenses even lower. With all these savings added up I estimate that I will save on average $391 per month!!! This is a massive amount of money just by changing a few simple things in my life. I should start to see these cost savings reflected on my July Independence Fund update. I'm really looking forward to seeing such a huge reduction in my monthly expenses which will allow me to simply throw the rest of this money into my Independence Fund to fuel more dividend growth power.
I'm very curious to know what everyone else's monthly expenses are and if anyone has found any other ways to reduce monthly expenses that aren't to extreme. leave a comment down below and thanks for reading.