One of the things that keep many of us from pursuing our passion is MONEY. No matter how much you may have a burning desire to go to Paris for 6 months to write a series of novels that have been dancing around in your head for 6 years, unless you have unlimited access to cash, you have to consider finances before boarding that plane.
Fortunately, my burning passion to focus on my writing and podcast only involved me moving two hours away from my hometown of Windsor, NC, to Chapel Hill, NC. Despite the short distance, the whammy was that I knew I could not pursue my passion and continue practicing law the way I had done for the past twenty years. So, I had to have some tough conversations with myself about my spending habits and re-prioritize.
Here are five ways I reduced my monthly expenses and freed myself up to focus on pursuing my passion.
Move into a smaller space with amenities.
When you live in eastern North Carolina for a long time, you get a little shell shocked by real estate costs in other areas. Once I was able to get over that shell shock, I focused, prioritized, and found ways to save.
Going from 3000 square feet to 1200 square feet means I no longer cringe when my utility bill comes. I save over $100 a month on utilities in my small space.
Amenities were also an essential part of my apartment search. I wanted to be able to keep myself and my daughter entertained without spending a lot of money. Like many others in the area, my apartment offers a pool, grilling areas, outdoor lounge areas, a gym, a conference area, and private office spaces. Plenty to do for FREE!
Selling all of my stuff online
Okay, well, I did not quite sell ALLLLL of my stuff.
Let me just say that I mistakenly believed that I would be able to fit a lot more of my things in my 1200 square foot apartment than I was actually able to fit. And, it seemed that the more I tried to clean out my home, stuff would just appear. There was definitely a significant gap between perception and reality for me.
Three words: Facebook Marketplace and Mercari’. I could not have done it without them. As I freed myself from all of the stuff I had accumulated over the years, others could take these things and incorporate them into their homes beautifully.
I did not keep a running tab of the money I made selling things on Facebook Marketplace and Mercari.’ Still, I know that I was able to cover the cost of my U-haul, gas, moving expenses, and buy a few sushi rolls and lemon drop martinis with the money I made. WIN WIN!
No More Cable
This was tough for me! Cable was the gold standard of my generation. When cable was created, my friends and I would compare and talk about all of the channels we watched. Growing up with cable television made it difficult for me to consider anything else. So, it took me a minute to embrace the fact that STREAMING IS THE NEW CABLE.
Once I embraced this notion, I saved approximately 125.00 every month while still enjoying all of the channels I enjoyed when I paid for cable’s ridiculous expense.
So, for those who are afraid to take that leap, think about what you could do with an extra $125.00 in your bank account every month.
Cell Phone Service
I will admit, I decided to switch cell phone service more out of necessity. I was a loyal U.S. Cellular customer for twenty years and would never dream of leaving them if I were still in eastern North Carolina. The problem. When you venture outside of eastern North Carolina, the U.S. Cellular service is a little questionable.
In my search for a new provider, I came across Spectrum. When the sales consultant told me unlimited data, etc. for $45.00 a month, I gave him the side-eye and had visions of walking around my apartment looking for a signal so that I could make a call. But, the more I talked to the consultant, the more I felt it would not hurt for me to give Spectrum a try. So far Spectrum has been great, and I am saving approximately $70.00 a month. CHA-CHING!
I did not realize I liked clothes as much as I do until I moved. My closets in Windsor always made me feel like I did not have enough clothes. My closets in my apartment make me feel like I might have a slight hoarding issue.
What do you do with bags of clothes and shoes that you can’t seem to sell on Facebook or Mercari’? You bag them up and send them to ThredUp of course. And, if you are a Banana Republic fan like me, you get your ThredUp bags from Banana Republic. This allows you to earn discounts on new clothes. SHOW ME THE MONEY!
There you go. I have shared a few of my saving secrets. Now it is your turn. How do you save money? Share! I need all of the pointers I can get.