How to Live the RV Dream?
Step 1 in Living the Dream is getting your finances in order.
There are many ways to save money. The basic idea is, the less you spend the more you have to save. So sit down and decide what is more important, the 6.00 latte you buy four days a week on your way to work or the 1248.00 dollars you could have at the end of the year if you saved that money instead.
I have put together a list of 52 money saving tips to get you started on your journey to financial freedom. Here you will find tips to follow and ways to cut spending and increase savings. It is not a difficult process and many of these tips require minimal changes to your everyday life.
SAVING ON YOUR BILLS
1. Cancel or reduce your cable bill or package. Decide how important paying the cable every month when you only have 50.00 in your savings account. Just saying.
2. Reduce your cell phone minutes or data package. Do you need to check your email and Facebook on your phone? Or could you just do that at home and save money on your cell phone. We reduced our data package and dropped our cell phone bill from 250.00/month to 80.00/month.
3. Cancel your home phone. We canceled our home phone and saved 50.00/month.
4. Drive a used car and take good care of it. We sold the car we had a payment on and now we drive our two older trucks. We keep them both maintained and expect to put over 500,000 miles on each odometer. Saved 250.00/month.
5. Stop the gym membership. Buy a workout video and use it at home. I stopped my gym membership and saved 50.00/month
6. Sell the extra car/boat/house/horse. We sold a house that was too far away from us to continue to maintain as a rental. Saved the expense of repairs.
7. Sell the house and move into an RV or Van.
8. Pay an additional amount on your mortgage each year. If you want to stay in your current home, pay an additional amount on your mortgage each year to save money over the life of your loan.
9. Limit what you spend on clothes. Go through your closet and give away what you don’t wear. Simplify your wardrobe. Does anyone need 25 pairs of shoes???
10. Turning off lights when leaving a room. A simple way to save tons on your electric bill.
11. Don’t use air conditioning. Install ceiling fans and whole house fans. You may find that over time your need for air conditioning goes away as you become acclimated to your environment.
12. Use a clothesline or drying rack instead of a dryer. Easy for anyone to do.
13. Turn down your thermostat for your heater. Put on more clothes instead of turning up the heat.
14. Install a wood/pellet/gas heating unit. To reduce your dependence on electric.
15. Weatherproof your windows and doors.
16. Add extra insulation to your attic and under your floors.
17. Unplugging appliances when not in use.
18. Stop using expensive Keurig cups for coffee.
SAVING THROUGH BETTER MONEY MANAGEMENT
19. Track your spending. You don’t know how much you are spending until you track it. Also, helps you cut down on spending when you realize where all your money is going.
.20. Track your income. Especially important if you have multiple streams of income. Which you should.
21. Track your monthly bills. You need to know where your money is going and how your bills increase and decrease over the course of the year.
22. Save all your loose change. The jar in the cover photo contained $90.00 collected over a few months.
23. Pay off credit cards. And cancel.
24. Don’t bounce checks. Bouncing checks cost money.
25. Don’t use overdraft protection if it is not free.
26. Only pay with cash.
27. Make payments early or on time. Some companies offer a lower rate if you pay early. Our electric and gas company offer this as an option.
28. Set money saving goals. If you don’t know your savings goal, how will you reach it?
29. Use automatic transfers so you don’t handle your money. It would get directly deposited into your bank account. Banks love this too.
30. ONLY spend what you have available to spend. This means don’t use credit.
31. Pay off All Debt.
32. Start a savings account.
33. Put money in your savings account every week.
SAVING IN THE HOME
34. Instead of eating out, cook. This was the hardest change I had to make. But, now that I cook at home I found I not only saved money I also lost weight. So, I killed to birds with one stone so to speak.
35. Bake your own bread, cookies, and cakes. This is a cost saving and healthy alternative to buying processed baked goods.
36. Skip the coffee shops and create your own coffee drinks and creamers. Breaking the coffee drive-through habit was necessary and I find I enjoy my homemade brews more.
37. Pack lunches. Also, another way to cut costs and calories.
38. Keep snacks in your car and purse. A really good way to keep from eating out is to not be hungry when you are away from home.
39. Eat less. If you need to lose weight chances are you eat too much. Eating too much raises your food bill. So, by cutting back on how much you eat you also reduce the amount of food you need to prepare for each meal.
40. Clean out your house and have a yard sale. I made about 1,000.00 and I got rid of a ton of junk.
41. Embrace simplicity and minimalism. The less you need the less you will spend buying stuff.
42. Always buy used. Cars, clothes, and books are great examples of saving money by purchased used products.
43. Shop at consignment stores and other resale shops.
44. Trade what you have for what you need. Bartering is as “old-school” as it gets and a way to cut spending.
OTHER MONEY SAVING TIPS
45. Quit smoking/chewing/dipping. These are expensive habits and are a drain on your health, too.
46. Quit drinking. Expensive and hard on your liver.
47. Quit getting your nails done. Painting them yourself looks just as good.
48. Quit coloring your hair. One tip I can’t do….
49. Take a side job for extra money.
50. Create multiple streams of income.
51. Read Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez. This book examines our relationship with work and money. Really good read.
52. Read The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. Great tips and tricks to save as much money as possible on everything. Another great read.
Making changes in how you spend your money is just like changing any other habit. Changing any habit is hard at first. Start small but start. And build on each successful change with another one. Replacing poor spending habits with new ones is difficult but the reduction in stress that you will find when you have more money saved will be worth it.
I hope How to Live the RV Dream helps you find your RV freedom.