2018 has been a year dedicated to savings. We have gone out of debt in March, and I did not rest after that: I continued to cut off things of our budget, and we even had a (quite successful!) 3 months ‘No Spend Challenge’.
So here are the 5 main things I cut off from my budget in 2018!
That seems stupid, but with 4 people in our house, it’s quite a budget. I’ve been cutting my husband’s hair for a few years now, and that’s about €18 each month, so €216 ($245) a year!
Since January, I also cut my 2 daughters’ hair (twice a year, €15 each haircut) and my own (twice a year as well, about €40 each). That saves us €140 ($159) a year.
The only thing you will need is a decent pair of scissors for girls (and a few helpful tutorials on YouTube) and good hair clippers for boys! It’s a small investment that will be quickly worth it, and as an added bonus you get a new haircut in the comfort of your own home!
Annual savings: €356 ($404)
We used to order from our local Japanese restaurant once a week – with two children date nights are at home 99% of the time, and we figured it was a nice way to enjoy some couple time while feeling as if we were going out. Not only did that habit filled our garbage bin with plastic containers, but it also cost us at least €25 a week. Not really worth it, isn’t it? We replaced this expensive and plastic-laden date night with some special home cooked meals, like spicy food that the children don’t like for example. We allow ourselves one family outing every once in a while, that’s really enjoyed because it’s a treat!
Annual savings: €1.200 ($1,361)
3. Cable subscription
Who needs this? Nobody, that’s who. In the age of Netflix and streaming, cable subscriptions are outdated. We still paid for it in our internet/TV/landline package. We cancelled it: we have Netflix, we borrow DVDs from the library, and we only watch regular TV maybe twice a month (and then we lament about the insane amount of advertisement).
Annual savings: €120 ($136)
4. Fancy debit card
We travelled to the USA in 2015, and let us be talked into subscribing a fancy debit card that was supposed to be safer and to offer more insurance. Only thing is, we have since kept it, and it’s not something we need at all. We asked our bank to switch back to a much cheaper and still perfectly suited Visa card.
Annual Savings: €100 ($113)
5. Buying lunch on workdays
I had this bad habit of buying myself lunch at the grocery store next to my kids’ school instead of taking a bagged lunch from home about twice a week… I now always pack lunch (often leftovers and a piece of fruit) instead. It’s cheaper, healthier, tastier, and more environmentally-friendly.
Annual Savings: €600 ($680)
Those 5 little things amount to a whopping €2392 ($2714) per year. Isn’t that crazy? Some habits seem really inconsequential (when I bought lunch instead of making it, it cost me about €7 each time for example). But when you start to calculate how much it costs you per year, you really realize that small expenses make a big difference.
I would add on tip that has proven really helpful to avoid unnecessary expenses: unsubscribe to all email and text newsletter/ads from brands. All. Not only will that successfully declutter your inboxes, but it will also allow you to avoid temptation. Sales & special offers may seem like a bargain, but the best bargain is always not to buy.