One of your most useful tools is cash flow, and in most cases this happens to be your paycheck.
It doesn’t really matter what your money goal is, cash flow is probably a key factor in achieving that goal.
Maybe you are paying off debt. Perhaps you are saving for a trip, or maybe you are saving up for an investment opportunity (that’s me).
So your success will depend largely on your ability to both MAXIMIZE the amount of that cash flow, and to MINIMIZE the costs associated with living your life. Today, I will focus on the minimizing costs related to pets, clothing, and eating out.
Let’s get right down to it.
Take a look at every expense you have that is not necessary to sustain life, and by extension, to sustain your job (since your paycheck is kind of important). I’m talking everything is up for grabs.
You down with OPP (other people’s pets)?
Does PuppyDoggy really need seven trips to the vet each year? I know the cat doesn’t. By the way, animals are expensive as hell (especially dogs), do you really need one? I mean, compare it to the goal you have set for yourself, and then think about the grand scheme of your life. I’m kind of joking about pawning pets, but in all seriousness, my boxer has cost me literally thousands of dollars via destroying things, needing medication, or destroying things. Do you realize how many Disney princesses she has sent to meet their maker? You can’t handle the truth.
I know minimalism is just the latest evolution of people who were too afraid to actually build the tiny house, but in all honesty, there’s some good advice in there. We’ve budgeted somewhere between $20-$90 per month over the past three years, and that’s while we’ve been debt free. I know that clothes are important for looking clean and professional at work. For the men, watch what you eat at lunch, change your clothes IMMEDIATELY when you get home, and do not do anything in your work clothes that isn’t “working”.
For the ladies, I can’t speak into your world, except I can say that my wife spends far less on clothes than I do. She’s a huge thrift store shopper, and it seems like most women buy (and get rid of) new clothes week-in and week-out. She’s always raving about some great piece of clothing she got for a million percent off. Men tend to wear their clothes until the holes and stains are unbearable, so it’s sort of hard to find used clothes appropriate for work.
Oh yeah, minimalism. Get rid of (and stop buying) most of your clothes because you don’t wear (or love) most of them anyway.
Going Out to Eat
Oh yes. One of your favorites, right? Stop. Just stop.
Ok, if you can’t completely stop, at least try this: Give yourself one day a week for eating out, but don’t go out. On a Friday night, just before leaving work, call in an order at your favorite place (if you’re dating, or married, still only order ONE entree). Pick it up on the way home, enjoy a tip-free meal from your favorite restaurant and some quality time with a loved one (Netflix and Chill). Do you see what I just did there?:
In one magical evening, you thoughtfully brought home a meal that your significant other loves (you too, because you are compatible like that), you both shared the meal without taking a beating on calories (because most American restaurants’ entrees easily hit the 1200-1400 calorie mark), bringing your total cost for eating out from $35-40 down to $15-17.
So, What About Your Paycheck?
What are you going to do to MINIMIZE your expenses, get the most out of your paycheck, and reach your savings, debt-payoff, or investment goal sooner? I’d like to hear about little tricks you are using to get more out of your paycheck.
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