OMFG!! I just looked at my spending for the past year and I need to cancel everything!!!! I can’t believe that in a year, I managed to spend the equivalent of an all-inclusive 4 night weekend in the Caribbean on tea and bagels. Cancel the subscription boxes, tv subscriptions and the culture of having all this stuff just to not miss out on what everyone else is talking about. There was a time when I only subscribed to Netflix outside of my cable network because I wanted to watch those Marvel and original programming along with everyone else. And then here came Hulu, I couldn’t miss The Handmaid’s Tale, that would be crazy. Of course, along with my Prime subscription came videos and the option to add channels too. Wait there’s one more, oh BET+, but my friend is the best so I can’t put that on my budget but STILL, this is a lot of money – and this is just tv, let’s add beauty boxes that become collections of stuff never to be used, food apps and car service (because I live in NYC and don’t drive but still – it’s too damn high).
So I have a Mint account that sent me an e-mail of my spending habits of the past year. Chile, I will not play myself and show you what foolishness I’ve been doing, but let me say it stops today. I’m challenging myself to be conscious of my spending habits and adding to the things I’m not doing no mo! I’ll also be asking myself pertinent questions before I proceed to the checkout counter or virtual checkout:
What is my spending budget for the month?
Is this item a want or a need?
Is this something that can wait to buy next month?
How will buying such a thing change my life?
I have goals and spending money on what I want just so I can say I have it, will have to stop. As I begin my fourth decade of life, yes, I know the big 4-0, I believe I should have a just in case fund along with savings, not one or the other but both. The total amount of monies that I’ve been spending will never allow me to retire on time and live my life traveling and doing whatever I want while able. If I haven’t learned anything from some retirees I know, you can not seriously exit the workforce if you still have outstanding credit card bills or an enormous amount of debt on your shoulders. You should be able to live life as if you are still getting your bi-weekly paycheck minus the travel and stress of working.
Here are some spending habits that I will or have already cut in this year:
- No more store coffee shops: Do you know how quickly $20 on a Starbucks card goes when your chai tea and a bagel comes to $9.84? Do you know how many times a week you can add $10-$20 to your Starbucks card to avoid going into another store that doesn’t know you prefer almond milk instead of regular in your tea? Canceled. Not only is the app gone, but I also went to my e-mail and unregistered from the service. This is how you know it’s real around here.
- Online stores: During a New Year cleaning, I took the time to clean up one of the email boxes I have. Can you imagine how many newsletters of offers and great promotions one person can receive in a month of time? How many times do you think I simply deleted it and moved on with my life? Ha! I also need to work on focusing on one task at a time – since my inbox is still in at an outrageous number of e-mails, while I look for a tracking number to something I know I purchased. <– probably don’t even need it.
- Subscriptions: Canceled. The last fab fit fun box I received, was not the best box I received but it does have self-care items. And I do love self-care. I know I missed the e-mail to customize my box but seriously, in today’s world, where is their app? And more importantly, I have a profile, why are you sending me beauty items that do not agree with me? Dry shampoo – I’ll never use, like never. Earlier this year I also removed myself from a few other subscription boxes due to the same reason – if you don’t know me by now, you will never ever ever… As cute as it was to watch the little one read her Highlights magazine, after the first few minutes the joy faded and the magazine started to create a pile of unread money. No sir. No, ma’am. Cancel it!
- Cancel them all: okay so this may be a slight bit difficult because, at the same time that I don’t watch a show, someone else in the house may. I found out when I canceled STARZ last season after Power went off and then here goes Chris talking about what happened to STARZ? So if you have more than one viewer of these subscription channels, how about making a list of shows everyone watches and making a conscious decision on which channels are just not necessary. Eventually, most shows will appear on Hulu or Netflix. I’ll just be a season or two behind.
So with all these cancellations, what am I going to do with the extra funds? Well, as I mentioned before, I need to get my finances in order with the expectation that another decade will fly by and before I know it I’ll be 50 fighting with the student loan representative about lowering the bill because I want more cash in my pocket for the month.
Here’s a couple of apps to help organize and pay off your bills:
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- Digit This simple app allows you to “save money, without thinking about it” I’ve had this app for over a year and it wasn’t until 2019 when I actually put it in action. I was able to save cash without even worrying about it for my trip to Puerto Rico. It really came in handy too since I overspent on my daughter’s 10th birthday and didn’t stick to a realistic budget. I’ve updated it with a suggested budget for 2020 for paying down on my student loan. If I can cut it in half this year and pay the other half next year – can you imagine my life $30,000 debt free? If it sounds like a program for you – sign up using my link and we’ll both receive $5 more in our accounts.
- Rakuten is formally known as Ebates. Although this app encourages spending, at least you receive some pennies back. That’s the point right? lol But seriously, we can’t just shut off spending money, we do have to go food shopping or buy more school uniforms because your child no longer fits the clothes we just bought in September. Ugh… so if you use a credit or debit card all the time, you can link it to your account and if the store you visit participates in the program, you can get a percentage of your purchase back in your wallet. Sounds great right? If you’re not signed up yet – click on my link spend $25 and get $10.
- Have a closet full of clothes you only wore once and want to get rid of it because when will you wear it again? Try joining Poshmark. This online store is yours to sell clothes, shoes, accessories. I honestly don’t know too much about it, because I just looked into it but sounds like something I could use to get some cash into my account for stuff I don’t need anymore.