Expenses to cut for healthier finances

Updated 12/29/18!

We gave up cable years ago (saving about $100 per month) but there are still often other expenses that are nickel-and-diming our budget.

Sling ~ only $25/mo but no one was watching it.  I’ll consider it again once they fully launch their cloud-based DVR service.

Trampoline Class for kiddos ~ As homeschoolers, I try to make sure the kids have plenty of activities and friends.  But $135/month for this class that is held on a bad day at a bad time, with no make-ups, was just getting to be too much.  We were missing it more than half of the time and the gym refused to allow the kids to test to move on, after they missed testing due to having callbacks at theater.  We have a trampoline in the backyard and they’ve learned how to bounce safely, which is good, but they haven’t really learned anything beyond the first few months of classes.

Storage Unit ~ $88/mo for a climate-controlled unit seemed like a great idea, until my snow globes lost their seals and all my special holiday candles melted.  78 degrees year round…my butt.  We moved out.  This involved having to cram our under-the-stairs closet full of decorations, and our master closet full of suitcases, but it’s been worth it.  It’s motivated us to declutter quite a bit.  Now that our oldest has moved out and hubby has gotten an office, it’s even easier.

Amazon Music ~ $7.99/month with Prime.  There is enough free music with our regular Prime membership (that is one thing I’m not ready to cancel!) or in Apple’s music app.  If I absolutely have to, I might spend $1.29 on a song but I don’t do it often.

Amazon Fitness ~ This $9.99/month fitness video subscription went largely unused at our house.  Again, lots of free videos out there.

Gym Membership ~ We did a month and a half and I did enjoy going and lifting there, but again…$99/month at the family level is a LOT if we’re not ALL using it frequently.  We do have free weights at home.  It also is really too warm for me there during the summer.  I may pick it up again once things cool down but for now, I’ll stick to trying to be more active around the house and with all the DIY we’re doing, that’s not difficult.

UPDATE 2018: CUT to $40/mo for two Black memberships at Planet Fitness and we take our two youngest kiddos as guests for free.

Netflix ~ Considered canceling but decided to keep.  Since our oldest moved out, we downgraded to a cheaper option, since we had to have the 3+ devices option while she was here.  It saves about $6/month. We do watch Netflix a LOT.  A lot of the things we want are NOT free on Amazon Video right now.

Hulu ~ I’d been alternating months for Netflix and Hulu but got confused and we ended up paying for BOTH the past couple months. No bueno! Netflix lets you cancel and then renew any time without losing any of your profile info, and Hulu lets you pause for up to three months.

Starz ~ I got a $5 per month for three months deal, and I put a calendar reminder to cancel before it bills at full price. I had to get caught up with Outlander! 😀

Hallmark Movies ~ I subbed for one month at $5.99 with a week free, to watch sappy movies around the holidays. I’m canceling before it bills again.

Audible Membership ~ I was an idiot and didn’t realize that one could only accumulate six credits at a time, so for YEARS I paid $15/month for one credit a month, and only actually ordered about a dozen books.  Seriously, I was paying for over FIVE  YEARS assuming I could pick out my books later…nope.  I got my 6 accumulated credits’ worth of books and canceled.  They offered me 30% off audiobooks for a month, and I didn’t use it.

MS Office ~ Would love to cancel but we kind of need it.  I made sure we had an educational rate since we homeschool.  $10/month vs. $20/months.

Adobe Creative Cloud ~ I need this for my work. I was paying $22/mo after tax for a full educational membership; downgraded to the photographer’s package only for $9.99, so I can save over $10/month.

Gall.er.ee ~ A service for photographers…for $10 per month you can download unlimited graphics and templates. I never used them. Canceled.

World of Warcraft ~ $16.xx per month times two, so hubby and I could play together. Except I never have time to play and he was finding himself playing alone too often when he would have preferred to be productive.  Close to $35/mo saved, and when I DO want to play, I can buy a single month with my fun money, and not renew the subscription.

Other online memberships ~ it’s amazing how many things I sign up for and forget to cancel (even with calendar reminders) so it’s a good idea to scan for them. Currently I’m paying $5.99/month for Prime Pantry and $4/mo for Amazon Free Time, and cannot find how to cancel within my account. LOOK for these things and take care of them!

For our budget, these changes add up to close to $400 (and we didn’t have cable to cancel!) or about the equivalent of our  car payment!  Take a look at your PayPal automatic payments, as well as your bank account, to locate these little budget leaks and you may find you can plug up some of those holes!

Successful savings shown by stack of coins

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