I found ~$5k in savings making totally non-life altering changes

I’ve been wanting to write this for a while. A while back I hated my job. I was working 80 hour weeks and getting paid doo-doo for the effort. In response I wrote up an “escape plan”. It included a bunch of ways for me to replace my income, but it also included a ton of ways to save money without changing the quality of my life.

I spent hours and hours making this thing, so that I’d have a plan to follow. Good news, I got out of that hell hole, more good news, the money-saving piece is relevant to almost everyone so I figured I’d share all the ways I found that can help you save a crap ton of money without really having to change your life.

So without further adieu.

  • Change your car insurance: Car insurance companies make most of their money on old clients. Once you get past a certain age, they creep your rates up ever so slowly. They are willing to discount your insurance when you switch.

So we shopped around, found the lowest quote and saved a crap ton on the discount they were giving us. This was an easy one-time change that affects my life 0.

Before: $196/month After: $116/month Annual Savings: $960

  • Threaten your internet provider: Every internet provider offers promotional rates for your first year, then hike your bill after your first year. I’ve never had a problem giving someone a call and telling them that I want to move to another service because they are offering a promotion. Every time they offer me their promotional rate. This is a once a year phone call that saves you a decent chunk of change.

Before:$69.00(lol) After: $45.00 Annual Savings: $288

This won’t work if there is only one provider servicing your area. Sorry Comcast Slaves.

  • Switch your phone plan to Mint Mobile, or Red Pocket. These are services that piggyback off of major mobile phone network providers at stupid discounts. 2 lines on Mint is something like $15 a month. It’s stupid how cheap these lines can be. Their service is quite good as well.

Before: $180/month After: $30/month Total Annual savings: $1800

  • Use a few Credit Cards like a debit card:. If you’re in the middle of crawling out of CC debt this is particularly bad advice. But if you are basically debt free, and can responsibly use your Credit card like a debit card; paying it off as you go, you can save a bunch of money. Basically, every expense besides my mortgage goes through a credit card so I can reap those sweet sweet rewards.

Between 3 cards I get rewards that include:

5% on gas

3% on Dining Out

2% on Grocery stores and CostCo

1.5% on everything else.

Essentially these are discounts on everything.

Before: $0 After: +$30/month Annual Savings: $720

These savings are based on expenses between my fiance and me.

  • Oil Change Coupons: I refuse to be a coupon lady. Partly because of my Y chromosome, but also because the time it takes to effectively coupon is not worth it to me. I’d rather do anything else. But Oil Change Coupons are very easy. You have to get your oil changed at least once a quarter, and googling a coupon for it works 100% of the time. You should never pay full price for an oil change.

I’m sure some of you are also saying But Foofy, you could save more by changing your own oil. To that I say Sure, but I don’t want to change anything in my life and the hourly savings is like $5. Printing a coupon is easier

Before: $70/Quarter After: $50/Quarter Annual Savings: $80

Not a lot, but seriously this one is so easy.

  • Buy a smart thermostat: I wasted a ton of money by heating an entire house for the sake of my pets. They are going to sleep in a sunbeam no matter the temperature so there’s lots of savings to be had here. You could just remember to turn down the heat/air everytime you leave the house, but that would require me to change way too much about my habbits. Instead, a smart thermostat. Hard to give you the “before” on this one but here we go:

Before: ?? Monthly Savings: $13.5/Month Annual Savings: $135

  • Utilize an HSA. For those that don’t know an HSA is a “Health Spending Account”. The way it works is you put money into it directly from your bank account, and all of that money is tax free. It’s basically a free 25% money back on health expenses depending on your tax bracket. I grow moles like it’s my job, and in order to avoid dying of skin cancer I have to get them removed constantly, this tacks up my health bill may be a little higher than most but still, here’s the savings I had, yours will likely be more or less:

I can hear it now, “But my employer doesn’t offer an HSA”, you can actually contribute to an HSA without your employer

Before: $2000 After: $1500 Annual Savings: $500

Here’s an HSA savings calculator if you want to figure out what you can/should contribute.

  • Cancel your UnusedGym Membership: If you don’t have one, well then you can’t do this one. If you have one and you consistently use it, well then don’t cancel it. That said, gyms expect only 18% of people to consistently use thier facilities So there’s a good chance that many of you (like myself) Can cancel their membership without affecting their life. The 3x a year you convince yourself you’re going to get in shape you can just go run outside instead.

Before: $20 After: $0 Annual Savings: $240

Alright, that’s all the easy stuff you can do without changing your life. The grand total for us came out to $4,723. Just shy of the $5k I promised. To be fair I did put a “~” in front of it.

Not everyone one of these is going to be applicable to every person but I hope you were able to find a few nuggets in here that could save you some money.

Edit: Someone noted my wonky math that CC rewards didn’t add up. I forgot to double the amount with my fiance which doesn’t perfectly work but is not far off. Keep in mind that $1500 in expenses each going through only our 1.5% CC would yield $22.5 each. Not including all the optimizing we can do. She has 3% on online shopping too so $60/month between the two of us in rewards is not that far out of the realm of possibility.

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