Over the next several weeks, I will be doing a series of posts I’m calling the Saving Money Series. Instead of regurgitating the same old advice of personal finance bloggers, I started by talking to friends and coworkers and asking them one simple question: what is your favorite way to save money? Each answer I receive will be a different post. Today’s post comes from NB. His answer to how he likes to save money is cutting back.
NB lives a pretty uncomplicated life. He goes to work, comes home and relaxes for a little while and goes to bed to repeat the process the next day. His hobbies are video games, driving around, and fine dining. Unfortunately, none of those are particularly cheap hobbies! With his current job, there’s no way he could afford to indulge in them to the extent he wishes. So his method of saving money is by cutting back.
With his particularly low-paying job, he cuts back in two different ways.
Saving Money by Cutting Back on Hobbies
Instead of throwing money at his hobbies, he spends consciously. Some gamers spend thousands of dollars per year on new games. NB only buys 2-3 games per year. That’s like an entertainment budget of $15 per month! That’s a lot better than my entertainment budget, that’s for sure. These games have hundreds of hours of gameplay, so there is plenty to keep him entertained.
For driving, it’s one of the first things he’s learned to cut back on when in a financial pinch. Mostly, he tries to find different routes for his commute. The other week, he pulled a little trick on me by making me choose the route home from a job site in a county I’d never even been to before. What he didn’t tell me at first was that he grew up in the area and knows EVERY road. There wasn’t a chance of us getting lost or, frankly, of me being allowed to pick a turn that sent us in the wrong direction.
For fine dining, he goes out once per month. He’ll spend about $100 on that single night, but the rest of the month he eats at home on cheap and simple meals.
Saving Money By Cutting Back on Everyday Expenses
The other way NB saves money is by cutting back on his everyday expenses. He is a great example of conscious spending. If something is unimportant to him, he doesn’t spend money on it, even if it’s “popular.” He only spends on what is important or necessary for him.
I already mentioned that he eats nearly all of his meals at home. Even better is that he makes the large majority of those meals from scratch from simple ingredients so he doesn’t spend a ton of money on groceries. He doesn’t have a very large interest in watching tv, so he skips cable. In fact, he only has a tv to plug the Xbox into.
How do you save money? Are you in the “cut back” category?