Ever since my wife and I have moved to Boston and increased our cost of living by moving to a more expensive place, I’ve been thinking more and more about ways to save money. The truth is that while we are still saving a little bit of money each month, I would love to save more money.
I guess you could say that I got hooked the last two years when we really started to make big strides in increasing our net worth. It hurts a little to pay more for rent and parking, but it just motivates me more to find new ways to save money.
Yet, despite my deep motivation, I have also learned that if you really want to make a dent on your cash flow, you have to enjoy it.
Saving money isn’t ONLY about putting your head down and working hard. It is about figuring out what works for you and what you enjoy. By saving money through things that you enjoy, you will stick with it longer and actually make a large dent on your personal finances over the course of your life.
If you want to save more money, maybe the answer is to find new ways to do so that you actually enjoy. I decided to take my own advice and remind myself the ways that I enjoy saving money.
Enjoyable Ways to Save Money
There are a number of ways that we save money that I truly enjoy. The following is just a small sampling.
Biking to Work
One of the first posts that I wrote on this blog was about how to save money by biking to work. The reason it came up first is because I enjoy it a lot. When we were living in New Jersey, my wife and I moved after one year in part because I wanted to live closer to work so that I could have a reasonable commute to work. For the next two years, I biked to work in the summer and loved every minute of it.
Living in Boston, I will save $4 per day every time I bike to work. It may not sound like a lot, but it sure beats paying money to cram into a packed subway car. It also helps me stay healthy and fit. I should be just a week or two away from being able to ride it to work on a consistent basis.
I would be lying if I said that I enjoyed cooking. The reality is that Mrs. 20s often takes care of this part of our life. It’s not that we buy into the traditional gender roles – it just stresses me out. Anyone who knows me understands that I like to focus on efficiency – this applies to all areas of life .
If it were up to me, I would choose to eat things that are somewhat healthy, easy to prepare, and easy to eat. I would leave out considerations like: variation, taste, etc. Trying to come up with new things to eat EVERY week is way too hard. It takes WAY TOO MUCH work.
However, that’s just me. Mrs. 20s likes it, for the most part. A great way to save money is to avoid eating out and there’s no better way to sustain that lifestyle than to enjoy eating in. If this is new to you, try to make dining fun.
Regardless of where you are at financially, almost everyone can afford to save a little more money. And if you want to have a lasting change, why not try to find something that you enjoy at the same time.
Eating in is an easy one. You gain a skill, or refine it very well and often it allows for several more meals, multiplying the savings. When you see shows like Restaurant Impossible or Bar Rescue, it makes you never want to go out again anyways.
My way of saving money that I enjoy is actually doing my taxes. It’s fun, doing it with online software and saves me lots of money instead of going the traditional route.