6 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Financial Picture

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Your financial picture can continue to improve by taking both small and gigantic steps toward achieving financial independence, while continuing to lead happy lives.

We put a good effort into meeting our financial goals this year and are closing the year with a bang! These are some of the things that we did to improve our financial life this year and believe some can help you as well in meeting your financial goals.

1. Cancel unnecessary insurance coverages

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When was the last time that you took a good look at your insurances and what they’re covering you for?

What we did: We took a look at all the coverages we had and were able to save some serious money by canceling unnecessary coverages. We even started an experiment to show we can save money throughout the years by insuring ourselves for certain life events.

2. Begin to optimize your asset allocation for early retirement

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If your goal is to retire early, and please, we don’t mean you retire your brain, just leave the rat race behind and enjoy life on your own terms, it might be a good time to review your asset allocation to ensure that it’s meeting your time horizon.

What we did: We realized that our asset allocation needs to meet the standards of early retirees that are in their 30s and 40s, which is different from the typical ones of people in their 60s and 70s. We began to shift our allocation accordingly, so that we can be prepared for early retirement and have our money last us for many more years than the average retirees lives.

3. Cut your internet cost!

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It might be a great time to check how much you’re paying for your internet service and see what competitors are offering. You’re worth a lot more to your service provider than you might think. Call the retention department of your service provider and see if they can offer you a discount to keep you as a customer. To get to that department, you have to go through the cancellation process almost all the way.

What we did: We were forced to shift providers because of a merger, and in the end, found a great deal for two years: $29 a month for high speed internet. Seek and you shall find!

4. Reduce your dining-out expenses

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Cooking your own meals can save you money, and so can living closer to work. If you’re able to relocate closer to your job, you can free up the time needed to go home and cook instead of eating out.

What we did: Now that we live close to our job in the boonies and far from our favorite restaurants, we have a great advantage: we end up cooking more at home. This year we were able to save around $2,000 in restaurants, coffee shops and lunch bought at work from the previous year by living closer to work and being able to cook more often.

5. Reduce your gasoline spending

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You can save a ton of money by cutting a long work commute. Maybe you can find a job closer to your home or move closer to work to avoid the commute.

What we did: After moving so close to work, we reduced our commute from 19 to 3 miles, which translated to gasoline consumption savings of around $800 from the previous year.

6. Reduce your air conditioning consumption

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The biggest monster eating your dollars during the summer time must be the air conditioner. If you build up a heat tolerance, where you don’t need to wear a sweater while being home, you can save money on this baby! You can also use fans around the house to keep the air circulating.

What we did: By sticking to one air conditioner in the dining room and two window fans throughout the house, we were able to keep our average summer monthly electric bill at $49! A slight discomfort can save you a ton of money. The most interesting thing was that after our bodies adjusted to the heat and humidity, we weren’t bothered by it much (except on those 95 degree days with 90% humidity), and found ourselves being cold at other people’s homes and at work. The extra bonus about this acclamation experience was that when we visited the Dominican Republic this November and stayed with my parents, we were quite comfortable without an AC in the room. DR, we are ready for you, permanently, here we come…..!

What are you doing to improve your financial picture?

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Mr. Enchumbao

Mr. Enchumbao retired at 44. He worked for 13 years at Vanguard, primarily as a Communications Project Leader in the Institutional Division, helping people save for retirement.

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2 Responses

  1. Wellroundedinvestor says:

    several thousands of savings per year will definitely put you ahead.

    I cut my phone bill, I never spend money on trash bag (use strictly grocery store trash bag), share cable, netflix, never pay for brand new card, and share housing were some of my tricks for savings. My co-worker asked me how I can save $100K a few years ago, I said, add if I can save $10K/yr more than him, then in 10 years I get $100K. We’d make the same amount of money, who ever can manage their personal finance the best would be in better financial situation. That’s that!

    • Great tips! We also use the shopping bags as trash bags. Just like the saying goes: It’s not how much you make, it’s how much you can keep. You’re showing them that by cutting on costs you’re keeping more in your pocket and the best part is that you could invest it and get over $38,000 extra at a 7% return. Thanks for stopping by!

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