How Tracking Our Spending Resulted in Changing Our Spending Habits
As we discussed in our previous blog, we began tracking every dollar we spent throughout the month of January. Tracking our everyday spending changed our daily spending habits. We started watching how much things cost, specifically at the grocery store. As a result, we started buying items that were on sale and meal prepped around the sales. Additionally, I found that Mr. FIREat40 became more agreeable to bringing leftovers for lunch ;)
Next up, we assessed the items we thought we were overpaying on - starting with our phone bills. Prior to this effort, we had 2 separate phone plans under the same company. After a few hours on the phone and in various cell phone stores, we combined our phone plans and cut down on the service plan we purchased. This should end up saving us about $80 per month!
Then we did research on cheaper parking options for our car. We found a parking garage 1 block away that was $75 per month cheaper than our previous parking garage. We changed parking locations on the first of February. We also attempted to lower our car insurance payment, but were unable to find a company that would give a lower rate. So at least we know that we have the lowest rate possible.
We also stopped buying coffee and started drinking the free coffee in our offices. We aren't huge coffee drinkers but even if we save $20 per month on it - that's $240 saving per year. You get rich slowly, right?
These were some items that we were really just wasting money on, because we had not taken the time to figure out cheaper options that offer the same (and sometimes even better) service. It's amazing how tracking your spending can motivate you to change your spending habits.