How I Save $14,000 A Year More Than My Peers

According to this Forbes article, the average spend at Starbucks (SBUX) is $6 per visit!!! Now, if you’re doing that 5 times a week, you’re spending $1,500 a year on coffee.

Save a boatload and make your own at home. It tastes just as good and you get to feel that sense of accomplishment of being your own barista and saving yourself some serious coin.

Hair Cut – DIY

This is where it might sound a little strange to you.

I don’t pay for haircuts… and neither does my wife. We have both become DIY stylists and cut each others hair. Here’s the secret, we both watched some videos and became YouTube certified hair stylists. Granted, it was a little scary at first, but my hair looks great and my wife, well, she can still go outside with a hat on 😉 Not really, her hair looks perfect – I do good work!

The average haircut cost for men is $28 and $43 for women. I used to get my haircut roughly 7 times a year. That’s $196 for me and $301 for her. That’s $497 a year of found money and an excellent relationship building exercise. Give it a try, and cut out that extra $500 expense.

Gym Membership

I don’t spend money to workout. It’s not because I don’t workout, because I do… well, sometimes.

My workouts consist of running and bodyweight exercises (push ups, sit ups, burpees…), which are all free. According to this article, the majority of people with gym memberships spend $20 – $50 a month for a gym membership.

In my area, I see a lot of anytime gyms that advertise $25 a month. That’s $300 a year that could be used for savings or investing! That’s a lot of money to spend on a service that many people pay for and don’t even use.

Home Cleaning Service

I live in a house that I purchased when I was financially stupid. It’s significantly larger than what my family needs, however, we do something our friends view as unthinkable in our large home… we clean the house ourselves.

We spend 10 – 15 minutes every night picking up, cleaning and vacuuming our house. It’s hard to start, but it really is an easy routine to get into.

The average cost of a cleaning service is $150 per visit. Say you have cleaners come to your house once a month, that’s $1,800 a year!!!

Lawn Service

My lawn is as big as my neighbors and quite a bit larger that many of my friends. Instead of spending $60 twice a month (10 months out of a year) on a lawn service like they do, I maintain and mow my lawn myself.

That’s $1,200 a year extra I save that they spend (it’s also good exercise). It takes me 15 – 20 minutes every two weeks… its worth it.

Total Savings a year:

  • Haircut – $500 (for two)
  • Car Payment – $6,100
  • Lunch – $1,500
  • Mobile plan – $580
  • Cable – $900
  • Coffee – $1,500
  • Gym Membership – $300
  • House Cleaning – $1,800
  • Lawn Service – $1,200
  • Total: 6100 + 1500 + 1500 + 500 + 580 + 900 + 300 + 1800 + 1200 = $14,380

So there you go. Tallying up all those savings is over $14,380 a year!!! What would you do with $14,000 a year of extra money? Invest it and put that money to work, or pay off some debts? If you are thinking of buying some new phone or TV, you might have a spending problem and probably need to read this one more time. Remember – “It doesn’t take a genius to spend it.”

Think before you spend, buy only what you need, and put that money to work by investing. You can do it!

While I fervently believe dividend investing and building a well diversified dividend portfolio 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.

This article has been republished with permission from The Dividend Pig.