I have a confession to make. I save $14,000 dollars more each year than my peers.

Here’s how.

Your good friend, Blake, is thrifty and proud. It’s not my fault. It was the way I was raised.

Since I was a baby I would hear my Dad addressing my Mom with his favorite saying, “It doesn’t take a genius to spend it”. Constantly.

Now, it wasn’t said in a mean way, I don’t think, but it was consistent. With his mantra, I was thoroughly indoctrinated into his cheapskate ways. Now, I hear his voice in my head before making any purchase, big or small.

Save $14,000 Each Year

One of the main reasons I share my story here is because I think a lot of people spend money without thinking. I suspect my father’s “life view on money” can help others.

While I fervently believe dividend investing is the most viable strategy for long-term success in the stock market, I realize you have to have money saved before you can put that money to work via investing.

So, in an effort to save that money – here are 9 things I don’t spend money on that allows me to save and invest more in the stock market.

Car Payment

I have never purchased a car with anything but cash. I won’t deny, I come from a privileged home and my parents helped me with my first car purchase to the tune of $3,500. I put down the rest – $5000. But, stay with me here. I have been driving for over 20 years, purchased three cars and have never had a car payment.

According to Cars.com, the average monthly car payment for a new vehicle is $509 a month. That’s over $6,100 a year! If this is your situation, I strongly recommend you do some math and see if getting rid of the car payment makes cents for you. Buying a less expensive car that’s safe, reliable and that you can afford with cash, might just save your over 6,000 bucks a year.

Cell Phone Plan

So, this one is kind of a stretch, as I obviously have a mobile phone and plan. But, I don’t have the plan that the majority of my friends have. And I definitely don’t have the same expensive phone.

According to an unscientific poll I took of my friends and colleagues, their average mobile phone bill is $68.32 (8 people polled) a month. Now, that’s not a huge amount of money, but it’s double what I spend for my cell phone plan. I only spend $20 a month with a discount carrier.

As far as the phone, I purchased an older model smart phone for $200. That’s nowhere close to the $500+ latest and greatest phones my friends have (or the $20 monthly lease they pay the carrier for a fancy phone). Through my discount carrier service I save $48.32 a month or $579.84 a year. You might want pull out the calculator do some math and consider this too.

Pack Your Lunch

I pack a lunch, everyday. Sometimes, it’s leftovers from the night before. Other times, it’s a sandwich, raw vegetables and hummus. Either way, it comes with me to work and consumed without me having to spend a single buck at a restaurant for food.

For example, if you’re spending $6 bucks a day or $30 a week eating your lunch at McDonalds (MCD) – those hamburgers and fries are costing you a ton. Like $1,500 a year ton. Bring your food from home, save that lunch money and put it to work.

Cut Your Cable

Since you are reading this, I bet you probably don’t have cable. But if you do, get rid of it. Three years ago, I cut my cable and stopped renting my cable modem. I ended up saving myself a little over $900 a year. That’s a lot of money I freed up to invest. Alternative forms of entertainment are significantly less expensive and more enjoyable.

Related: Google: Spending Problem or Smart Investment? 

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