So you can’t seem to go to any website these days without getting slapped in the face with a ton of contradicting ads. Such wonderful things as Top ten reasons not to have a credit card, followed by top ten credit cards to have, or Top ten Worst Credit cards, or why you should only use cash. This goes on endlessly. OK, maybe not endlessly but I did count over 20 such contradicting ads on one site alone.
I’m going to give you a break here; I’m going to provide you with some Funancial money saving tips! (Funancial, which is a fun word isn’t it? dang right, it is adding fun to finances, just another reason to like me, you’re welcome.) No click bait, no offers to save you money by sending me money, (I mean you can send me money if you want, I will take it to keep from offending you.) I am just going to give you some of the things we did to save money on our journey. As an added bonus these money saving tips not only saved us money, they probably helped save our lives. Literally. Not even kidding you on this one.
1. Fast food, a good way to damage your health and finances in one easy step.
You see we haven’t exactly lived the healthiest lifestyle here. If you are anything like us, you have a busy life, between work, kids, friends, and family it seemed there was rarely time to do much else.
So we ate out, a lot. I mean if we ate at home 75 times last year it would totally surprise me. Now it wasn’t good food; we did not go sit down at a restaurant most of the time. We ate fast food; ate so much damn fast food that it didn’t matter which fast food place we went to, it all tasted the same. It wasn’t good food; it wasn’t healthy food, sometimes it could barely be called food.
I mean if you are eating french fries you think it should be just potatoes right?, but nooooooo; Mcdonald’s fries have 19 ingredients, 19. Don’t believe me? Just pop up another window and google that I will wait here. See? Total truth on that one.
Not only was this bad for our physical health, but it was also horrible for our financial health. We threw thousands and thousands of dollars down the drain, simply because we thought it was easier to eat out than cook. One of the most substantial savings that we found when our son left was cutting the fast food and eating out from the budget.
Stopping this not only saved us money but probably added years to our lives. That was six months ago, to date we have probably eaten fast food ten times, each time I ask myself how we use to do this every night? It doesn’t taste good, and it certainly didn’t make us feel good.
2. Up in smoke. Quitting smoking as a way of winning at life.
Did I mention that we didn’t live the healthiest lifestyle? Well, when we were rebellious little Gen Xer’s, we started smoking because it was edgy and it was cool right? Then for the next 28 years for me and around 25 for Heather, we kept being edgy and cool. Well, actually we gave up edgy and cool and just ended up being addicted to cigarettes.
We really loved to smoke too, at one point I was smoking almost three packs a day. Take that lungs! It got so bad that I couldn’t run a hundred feet to save my life.
So as part of our new life, we decided to quit. No nicotine gum, no prescription meds, we tried one session with a hypnotist which didn’t go so well, but we stopped cold turkey. Can you imagine how fun our Empty nest was then? Two lifelong smokers quitting at the same time? Fun times ensued of course, but we stuck with it and with each other.
It has now been over six months since we quit. Has it been hard? Of course! We still think about smoking every day. But we don’t, part of that is our mutually assured destruction pact, if I break down and start smoking again, I have to buy Heather a pack, and she will end up smoking again too. If she starts again, she has to buy me a pack, and I will start again. Neither of us wants to be the cause of the other smoking again, so this helps keep us smoke-free.
To date, we have saved about $2,500. $5,000 a year to keep ourselves from dying sooner and horribly? Money well saved.
3. Dr. Pepper. Quitting soda can keep you away from the real doctor.
The third is entirely me.
I loved Dr. Pepper. Really loved the stuff. So much that I drank literal gallons of it a week. With the super low prices of fountain drinks at convenience stores, it was easy to do. I was drinking two to four 64 ounces of Dr. Pepper a day.
Not only was the sugar content super high, (none of that wimpy diet soda for me.), the carbonation in the drinks and the added chemicals are incredibly bad for you. See not super healthy at all.
It seems like we were always chasing the things that are bad for us, in my case catching them and hugging those horrible little habits hard. I did cut back the soda to one a day and about three months into not smoking I completely stopped all soda.
Not only did this help our financial journey, saving around a thousand dollars a year in the cost of soda, but it also contributed to increasing my overall health.
Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? No links to click, no flashy promises of easy money to change your life. Just another step in our story of changing our bad habits, our financial health and our stagnant way of living. Adding positive life changes to economic changes can reinforce the beneficial aspects of your decisions.
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