When my wife and I decided to buy our first house, we also made the decision to make some changes to save more money. We have continued these changes and were able to make $45,000 profit on our first home in only 3 years. Veterans have the ability to save more money than most due to benefits and additional discounts.
Here’s how you can take advantage of benefits that you’ve already earned plus other savvy ways to save $1000/month!
First, find your WHY to saving. Is it so that you can create a nest egg, a safety net, buy a new car, send your kids to college, or invest more money? Once you have found your why, you will have the proper motivation to make a few changes.
1. Use Your $42,000 Housing Benefit
Whether you’re looking for your first home or interested in refinancing, there are some major VA housing benefits available. 9 out of 10 Veterans aren’t even aware of these programs. Current homeowners can even use a forgotten stimulus to save up to $355/month, reduce interest rates, and eliminate PMI.
2. Change Your Eating Habits
One of the easiest ways to start saving money is to change your eating habits. My wife and I started by not going out for lunch during the work week. Additionally, we took advantage of Happy Hour on Fridays for date nights. This helped shave HUNDREDS each month.
A well planned grocery trip, taking advantage of deal sites, and eating dinner a littler earlier when going out can help significantly.
3. Consolidate Debt (Credit cards, student loans, etc)
If you’re like most people, you’re carrying around some debt. Most likely, your debt is from multiple sources as well. Consolidating your debt into one account helps simplify your debt obligations, lower payments, and get your finances back on track. In some cases, you can use debt consolidation to get some cash back as well.
If you have student loan or credit card debt, consolidation can be a great way to increase monthly cash flow.
4. Update Your Entertainment
Not only is this a way to save on your home entertainment, but it’s also an upgrade. The average cable and satellite bill in the United States is $99/month. Once you add high speed internet, you’re looking at $150/month as well. Paying these prices is crazy!
Streaming options today allow you to build your own bundle of channels that you actually want. Depending on how you want to cut, you can use services that bundle live tv like Sling and Hulu, or you can rely on OnDemand services like Netflix, CRTV, or HBONow. Even traditional services like AT&T and Dish have started to include their own streaming only options to compete with the cord cutting revolution.
Depending on how you set up your home entertainment, you can save $45-$85/month by cutting the cord. Check out these channels to build your lineup:
- CRTV: Free trials for conservative news >> check it out
- Hulu: OnDemand + live TV options. Tiers allow you to accept minimal commercials or no commercials.Stream shows & watch live TV
- Netflix: Consistently creating award winning original content and the pioneer of streaming services.
- ESPN+: Disney’s answer to reviving the sports brand. So far, the reviews have been great!
- SlingTV: SlingTV is one of the largest disrupters of live, streaming TV services. Free 7-day Trial
5. Cut Your Investment Fees
Savings and investments are essential to growing your nest egg. Paying high trading fees (or any trading fees at all) is the old way of doing things. If you’re an active trader or saver, using a low or no fee service can save you hundreds of dollars each year. This also includes low management/maintenance fees as well. Here are some services you should consider:
- Robinhood: No trading fees on stocks, ETFs, and Cryptocurrencies.
- Swell: Impact investing with zero trading fees and low annual maintenance.
6. Shop for All of Your Insurance Needs
Insurance companies bank on the fact that most of us will stick around for years. Let’s face it, shopping around for insurance seems like it might be a pain. However, technology has made getting quotes instantly and shopping around for the best prices easy!
Shopping for homeowners, auto, umbrella, or any other insurance needs can help you save a significant amount of money each year. Your cheapest year will almost always be your first.
Here are some of our favorite places to shop easily and quickly online:
- USAA (home, auto, renters, life, etc)
- esurance (home, auto, renters, life, etc) >> Fast Free Quote!
- eHealth Insurance >> Compare over 10,000 plans from 180+ carriers
- Navy Mutual
- Haven Life (general insurance, life insurance, etc)
7. Modernize Your Personal Financial Discipline
If you don’t want to wear a fanny pack to the grocery store filled with coupons or envelopes of cash, there are more modern options to help you stick to a budget. Savers have started to tap into technology to help them save by consolidating their accounts into one easy to read and manage dashboard. Users can easily set savings goals, visualize their current spending habits, and find opportunities to save more.
Financial planning has become even easier and less than a cup of coffee each month thanks to technology.
8. Protect Your Home and Save on Insurance
Did you know that most insurance carriers provide monthly discounts for adding a home security system? In most cases, the discounts offered will offset the cost of monthly protection plans completely or they will save a few extra bucks more!
All of these savings add up big! With a small amount of time spent shopping for better rates, consolidating debt, or changing a few habits, you can start saving $1000 a month. That’s a great way to start building the future you have dreamt of for yourself and family.