“You better get your a$$ off your shoulders and make that money.” – Ice Cube in the Movie Friday
This is the beginning of the journey. This is where it all starts – its the budget. We need to find a way to lower expenses and fast before I take that plunge. I have a few months but we need to start saving as soon as possible to be able to stand on our own two feet. If your like us and you need to make some financial changes fast, here are a few steps I have made in 2 days to completely transform our expenses.
Start with the Spreadsheet: I developed a spreadsheet of every expense we have. Everything from how much Matchmom and Matchdad spend a month on lunches to daycare expenses. Everything was logged and evaluated and all I can say is DAMN we waste a lot of money. So many luxuries that we could have done without all this time. That gave me a clear look into our actual life. Please download my simple excel spreadsheet if you are looking for a way to track your monthly expenses. All the formulas are already done, just enter and see. Have a glass of wine beforehand, you are going to need it.
Now that you have seen the horror, it is time to get to work.
Make the Call: In one day, I called several companies and lowered our monthly expenses in no time. Did you know that many bills are negotiable? Ok, maybe not the total you owe but the amount you have to pay moving forward. I contacted my trash company and lowered my bill by $15/quarter. I called AT&T and lowered my bill by $60/month by just renegotiating my contract. DirecTV down $40 – again by just calling an negotiating a better deal. It is really that easy. Just explain your situation and ask “what can you do for me”. You will be surprised how much you can cut out of your budget.
Change Your Style: The best way to save money is to make a change. We have begun the process of moving our Verizon landline to Vonage which will save us $70+ a month! That is some serious coinage when you are trying to live on a budget. The next change to happen…DirecTV. Yes, I just negotiated the bill down but we plan to turn off DirecTV and move to NetFlix and Amazon Video in the next few months. We agreed that the cost for these two items is minimal compared to the $130+ a month we pay for DirecTV. Making this move will save us close to $120 a month!
This is only the beginning but I am already motivated by what I am seeing. We CAN make this work.