How I Made $34,000 Without Really Trying

27 Jun 2013

There are many important factors in financial success. But for sure there are 2 key ones. Income and expenses. One comes in; the other goes out.

  1. Generate income. Dave Ramsey calls the need for more income getting a bigger shovel. You need more than you live on. You don’t need to live within your means, you need to live below your means if you are to save for emergencies and old age.  Life always costs more than we anticipate.
  2. Spend less. That means not getting everything we want (saying no to yourself and the kids), not eating out as much, and looking for bargains.

Some people clip coupons. Some make things themselves. There are many ways to save, and those little savings can add up to big ones.

Recently I’ve been able to save BIG with a few minor changes, netting me over $34,000!

1. I cut the cable, well the DirecTV satellite service. Instead of $65/month for TV (I had the lowest package), I am now the proud owner of a digital antenna ($20 used from Amazon) and a Roku box ($68 refurbished Roku 2XS from Amazon).

In addition to live TV through the air, I get TV and movies through Amazon prime  (for $79/year) and Netflix streaming for $8/month ($96/year). Savings=$605 per year.

2. I refinanced my house, lowering my interest rate from 5% to 3.75%, saving me almost $200/month or $2400 per year. Over the life of the loan, depending on how fast I pay it off, I will have saved at least $36,000.

3. I shopped for different car and home insurance. I worked with an insurance broker who shopped around with different companies and got me great rates (and better coverage on my house). Savings=$421/year.

Just these 3 relatively simple steps will save me about $3,426 this next year! That’s $34,250 over 10 years! That money changed from an outflow to an inflow! I made over $34,000 without really trying!

That is money that can be saved, given to charity or used toward other priorities. It will certainly more than cover my student loans.

What is your time worth?

I probably spent a maximum of 3 hours shopping for new home and auto insurance. If I save $421 this year, then I my efforts paid $140/hour. Not bad wages!

How can you save money?

Resist the temptation to go with the status quo. Don’t be afraid of change.

For example, most people stick with the same insurance company because it’s comfortable, even if they think they can save money elsewhere. You can’t be afraid to escape your little comfort zone and explore.

The savings can be huge! Then you can pay off debt, give, or save for the things you will need or want later.

Sit down and make a list of potential ways to save money. Here are some ideas:

  • Do you really need a home phone as well as a cell? Don’t keep the landline just because you’ve always had it!
  • Would it be worth joining a warehouse club to save on groceries and other expenses?
  • Cut the grass yourself instead of paying someone else. Unless your legs are broken or you’re very old, can’t you do it yourself?
  • Don’t buy a new car. Whats wrong with the one you have? I bought my Acura new in 1990 and am still driving it 240,000+ miles later!

Think of the goals you could achieve if you didn’t have financial pressures!

I promise it will SO be worth your time!

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1 comments
  1. One technique I like is this: Before you purchase an item, figure out how long it takes you to work for the amount of money. So divide the price of the item by $ you make per hour. Do you really want to work 6 months for that new tv? Think about it. It puts things into perspective.

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