ASOS jacket; J Brand jeggings; Wilfred scarf; Babaton beanie; L.L.Bean bag; Converse shoes
2014 was a year of major financial changes. First, Jon took a paycut to work at Telus, followed by me quitting my job and being unemployed for four months. There were grand expenses like Europe and grad school, and there were a lot of cost cutting measures, which I’d like to share more with you guys.
We paid for Europe in cash with the money we saved for about a year. That money could have been used to carry us through my unemployment phase, but that’s neither here nor there. My first year of grad school is also paid for with my RRSP (thanks to the Lifelong Learning Plan) and moving forward, we’re hoping to pay for the rest of my program in cash. I don’t know how, but that’s the hope because I really don’t want to take out another student loan.
Because Jon is making less and my salary is cut in half, we had to find ways to reduce our spending. As such, I started taking transit, and since Jon is able to walk/bike to work, we decided to get rid of one of our cars. This saves us money on car insurance, registration, maintenance, and gas. Alternatively, Jon will take car2go if I have the car and he needs to go somewhere.
Jon’s discount with Telus saves us a lot of money on our phone and internet bill. We got rid of our storage unit, which was costing us $109/month. We cancelled our gym and yoga memberships. Our monthly bank fee is now $4 instead of $14 thanks to my student discount. I’m also not making any student loan repayments since I’m back in school full-time. Yes, I still have student loans from my undergrad degree because my parents didn’t pay for my education and I lived away from home. I also could have put more towards my student loans if we didn’t have a lavish wedding that we paid for ourselves, but no regrets there.
Anyways, we reduced our monthly spending by almost $1000. Crazy, right? We’re spending less on gas, phone, and internet. We’re also tithing less because we’re making less, but still tithing 10%. There are no student loan repayments. However, rent, electricity, groceries, various subscriptions, and annual expenses remain the same. While it’s tough to do any saving with what little money we make, we do try and set aside some money for things like retirement, trips, and gifts, e.g. Vietnamese New Year, weddings, birthdays. But for the most part, we’re breaking even with our current cash flow and monthly/annual expenses.
It’s been a huge lifestyle change, but I’m proud of us for reducing our expenses in order to live within our means as much as possible. We may not make a lot of money yet we still feel incredibly rich and happy with what we have.