Friday, April 4, 2008

Wonder where your money goes? Cut back on senseless expenses.

Payday is still a week away and you wonder where all your money has gone? Same here. So I started keeping track of where I was spending it. Before I became a full-time telecommuter, I was shocked to find that I was spending $1-2 on vending machine items (snacks/sodas) per day ($5-10 per week/$20-40 per month) and was spending anywhere from $5-10 per day eating breakfast and/or lunch in the cafeteria! ($25-50 per week/$100-200 per month) So combined, I found that I was spending somewhere between $120-240 every month just on convenience foods that I didn't need! I didn't spend that much on my groceries in a month!

Once I realized how much I was spending just by raiding the vending machines and eating in the cafeteria, I began to take my lunch and snacks instead. I would take left-overs, sandwiches, or pick up frozen microwave dinners when they were on sale for 10 for $10 at the grocery store. My wallet grew fatter as my weight and cholesterol levels got lower. Eating all the overpriced high-fat foods was replaced by eating healthier and consuming smaller portions. Not only did I feel better, I became healther and so did my bank account. I still would go out to lunch on occasion, but the savings have really made a difference all around.

Now that I don't have to commute to work, I'm not filling up the tank every week, so my fuel costs have gone from about $150/mo to $50 or less. Because I'm no longer a commuter, I was able to change the status on my car insurance to a pleasure vehicle, which has lowered my insurance premiums.

In fact, because I drive so little during the week I'm now considering selling my car to save on the monthly car payment and picking up a less expensive used car to get around in. In my case, it would actually be cheaper to just lease a vehicle and as soon as I can legally come up with a way to deduct the expense, I may do that instead.

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