What Would You Give Up To Save Some Money?

I think that is one of the most important questions you could ask yourself when it comes time to go over your budget. If you are having trouble making ends meet, what are you willing to give up? Is it one big thing? Or is it 4 small things? Nothing?

This is really a very important thing to consider. As Americans (sorry to international readers, but I can only comment on what I see here!), we are used to getting what we want, when we want it. New TV for nothing down and no payments for a year? You can get that almost anywhere. New $400,000 house for a monthly payment of only $800? Sure, try on this 5 year interest only loan. You want it, we will figure out a way for you to get it. But if you think beyond that minimum payment, can you truly afford it? I mean….really afford it? And can you live without it? Do you actually need it, or just want it?

I have written before about what we gave up in order to move to the beach. It was not a decision that was taken lightly..some of these were difficult things to get over. And after we moved here and I started working from home, I took it one step further: we got rid of one of our cars. Another huge sacrifice. Granted, I have gotten over it now and am used to walking/biking/busing anywhere I need to go. But at first, being without a car was very strange…I have always had a car ever since I was 16 years old. And there I was at 34 without one. My friends gave me crap about it, but they also were supportive and started considering their own needs. Doing some quick math, I am guessing by making these sacrifices (in order to pay the rent!) we started saving over $1,000 a month or so. A huge savings, but at a huge initial cost to our lifestyle that took a while to get used to.

Don’t ever say that you cannot save money, because you can. Everyone can. Everyone. It doesn’t really matter if you are broke as broke can be or as rich as Bill Gates…you can save $1.00. $2.00. $3.00. It pains me to see families on TV living paycheck to paycheck, but behind them on the wall is a 42″ plasma TV. Families saying they are having a hard time paying the bills, but their leased Hummer is out in the driveway. It’s all about sacrifice…being able to pay the bills, feed your family, go on vacation…these are the important things. Give up that 2nd Coke at work, save $1.00. $1.00 X 30 days = $30. $30 X 12 months = $360. $360 X 3 years = $1,080…a small vacation for your family. All for the price of giving up a Coke a day. Or a Snickers bar. Or whatever.

So next time you feel like you are in a money crunch or are having trouble making ends meet, think about where every last penny is going. Want inspiration? Check out this series over at The Frugal Duchess. She is trying to save $2.00 a day…can you do it too?

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Comments (11)

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  1. Couldn’t agree more! I put away a big chunk into savings this past month and feel great about it.

  2. Lazy Man says:

    I think people should also strive to make the most of their money. In that last example, saving the on the second Coke might lead someone to splurge elsewhere. This is common in dieting.

    However, if you just bring your soda with you to work, you can save nearly 80 cents on that dollar – perhaps even more. Plus you are satisfied, because you didn’t give up anything.

    So perhaps you save $800 over three years while drinking your 2nd Coke smarter. That’s still a good chunk of change.

    And just to be nit-picky, I don’t know anyone who works 30 days a month ;-).

  3. david says:

    Now you do. If I am not working on my freelance projects, I am working on my sites. There, 30 days. 🙂

  4. […] the Festival of Frugality#91 over at Stop The Ride, my post What would you give up to save some money? was included. One of my favorites at the Festival was “What do you need to be happy?” […]

  5. Thanks so much for including me in this thoughtful piece. I appreciate the link and the mention!

  6. David K says:

    You’re probably saving even more from not having a car because you didn’t mention car insurance, potential traffic summons, and repairs.

  7. david says:

    Sure thing Frugal Duchess! And David K, you are right, should have mentioned that. I estimate we are saving about $500 – $600 every month, taking into account a car payment, gas, insurance, parking and upkeep.

  8. […] What Would You Give Up To Save Some Money? @ My Two Dollars. Being frugal is all about sacrifices. However sometimes I still wonder, do I […]

  9. Mrs. Micah says:

    Mr. Micah and I are planning to dilute our milk 50/50 with powdered milk. That’ll save a few bucks a week. We save in other ways too, but that was our most recent decision. My cousins do it and it really doesn’t make a difference in flavor!

  10. david says:

    That is certainly frugal, Mrs. Micah!