A year ago, I wrote a blog called ‘How I Saved $232 a Month While Looking for a Job‘. It was well received, and I was especially delighted to hear from others who could relate to my situation of saving money through big life changes (whether or not they were job related)!
The six expenses I cut or reduced were:
- Spotify Premium
- LinkedIn Premium
- Mobile phone data
- My gym membership
- Office 365
- My mortgage payments
Of these I have four updates to share, so today I’d like to share with you how I’m doing one year on.
Spotify Premium | One thing I wish I knew years ago was that you can share a Spotify account! My fiancé and I have been sharing one Spotify Premium account for the past year – essentially cutting the $15 monthly cost in half. It may not seem like a lot, but given we enjoy the music streaming service and will be using it indefinitely, it adds up. Only one person can listen on their device at a time, but sharing works for us and we never have any issues.
Mobile Phone Data | I paid off my phone, and reduced my data even further! Last year, I reduced my data usage from 7GB a month to 2.5 GB a month. Somehow I keep accumulating carryover data on top of the data I’d already accumulated (about 20GB and counting) – possibly from having worked part-time for two years and spending most of my time on WiFi at home. With my phone service provider now giving out a free hour of data per day, I’m even less likely to run out. So now, I’m on a 1.5GB data plan. Life is simple.
LinkedIn Premium/Skillshare | Last year I stopped renewing my LinkedIn Premium membership to try out Skillshare. I didn’t use it nearly as much as I’d expected and prefer watching Youtube lifestyle channels. From healthy eating, to getting better sleep, to increasing productivity & detoxing their digital space, it’s refreshing watching real people on their journey to becoming the best version of themselves rather than scripted classes, so I’m not currently subscribed to any paid self-learning platform for now. That’s not to say the Skillshare classes weren’t useful and well designed – I just might sign back up when I have the time & energy to devote myself to actually completing courses.
My Gym Membership | Last year, I saved $98 a month while putting my Les Mills gym membership on hold. $98! To think that I was paying $49 fortnightly payments seems excessive now. Since last year’s mini financial detox, I’ve sold my Les Mills gym membership (at the cost of a $100 transfer fee) and moved to CityFitness. The premium Black membership is $13.99 a week, or for me, $27.98 fortnightly payments. A huge improvement if you ask me, to still have access to group fitness classes!
I recently simplified my membership – and finances – even further and opted for the Basic membership for the coming year. It costs $6.99 a week, or $13.98 fortnightly payments. I’ve really taken a liking to cardio at the gym and Youtube workouts at home (I love Cassey Ho’s squat challenges!) so this works out perfectly for me.
I’m happy to say that, while I’m back to earning a steady paycheck and bringing in even more income than before, I continue to reduce my expenses wherever I can. It’s so easy to fall into ‘lifestyle inflation’ – spending more because you’re earning more. Initially, it may simply be the excitement of being able to afford more, until it becomes a new standard of living that loses its novelty. Being intentional has definitely helped me to stay down to earth and conscious about my money – as it turns out, you don’t need a lot to live a rich and fulfilling life!