14 Women Share The One Expense They’re Trying To Cut This Month

By | Monday, February 01, 2016


February is generally the month people spend reevaluating their New Year’s resolutions. (Yesterday, I took a brutally honest look at my progress, and while I’m doing okay in some areas, I’m aggressively ignoring other resolutions.) Nonetheless, after spending the month of January recovering from holiday expenses, I think February is a good time to get back on track and start moving toward saving goals. Part of this means looking at last month’s spending and realizing where we could improve. I asked 13 20-something women what expense they are currently working on cutting out of their life. I’ll kick us off by telling you what expense I’m cutting this month:

1. When I moved from my old apartment to my new (and much more affordable) apartment, I had to rent a storage unit because my furniture simply did not all fit in the (smaller) new apartment. I booked my storage unit during a Memorial Day sale, so I ended up with a very spacious unit for less than $100. Here’s the problem: the evil storage unit gods end up getting more out of you by periodically raising the price of the unit. A few months later, my storage unit went from about $95 to $105, which I figured I’d have to live with.

But two months ago, it went up to $130/month. And I’ve decided it’s about damn time I stop paying out $130 for a storage unit. This coming Saturday, I’m renting a U-Haul and moving my stuff out of the storage unit. Some of the things in the unit I’ve already given away, some I’ll donate, some I’ll sell, some I’ll make room for at my place, and some my amazingly accommodating boyfriend will take in. I wish I hadn’t paid for the unit in the first place, but I didn’t want to part with the furniture, and my new apartment was so much less expensive that even with the storage unit, I was still saving a lot. I’m really looking forward to not paying out $130/month.

Now, here are 13 other women on the expense they’re giving up:

2. “I’m going to try to not buy food out at all from Monday to Friday for all of February. However, I’ll still allow myself to go out for dinner or brunch on the weekends. In the past, I’ve tried giving up buying meals out (or ordering in), but I giving it up cold turkey never works. I think if I allow myself a break on the weekends, it will encourage me to make it through the week.” — Michelle, 25

3. “I sincerely apologize to any men reading this for what I’m about to say: I’m cutting down on ‘sanitary item’ expenses because I recently switched to using a diva cup. It’ll save me at least $15 on ‘feminine expenses’ this month.” — Caroline, 23

4. “Manicure/pedicures. I have a standing appointment at my nail salon in Astoria every two weeks. But right now, I’m trying to save money because January ended up being a much more expensive month than I anticipated. I canceled my appointments for all of February, and I’m going to see how it goes.” — Sarah, 24

5.“I am a teacher, and my husband and I are going away for February break. We are cutting out the expense of our rent for the week we are going away by airbnb-ing our apartment. Our place is owned by a family, and we have their permission to rent it out for a week. We’ve already secured our tenant too, which was really lucky. We’re effectively making $350 back on rent that week. ” — Alexandra, 29

6. “I’d like to cut down on the amount of makeup I wear this month, and, consequently, I will end up cutting down the amount I spend on beauty products in a given month (which is about $75). Personally, I wear a good amount of makeup on my face, and I’ve been struggling with breakouts a lot more than usual lately. I want to only use eye makeup, but not use any concealers/powders/foundations this month to see if it helps. This means I won’t have to replenish my supply. I buy quality (and, by extension, expensive) face makeup products, which I think is a good investment. So, not having to restock will definitely save me money.” — Isabel, 25

7. “I would say car insurance is a necessary expense, but I recently talked to a few friends about what they pay, and I learned that I’m paying about $50/month more for my policy than most of my friends. I called my insurance company and discussed different options with them, found competing offers, and then went back to the company I already use. I ended up lowering my rate by $25/month without sacrificing too much of my policy. So, I’m cutting out those 25 unnecessary bucks.” — Emily, 26

8. “My boyfriend and I are cutting out the unnecessary expense of Valentine’s Day this year. We typically do presents (we each get each other something that is in the $25-$50 range) and then a nice meal out (about $150). This year, however, we are cooking together at home and aren’t doing presents at all. I don’t want to skimp on ingredients because I still want it to be special, but I think with good meat and good wine, etc., it will come out to about $60. For us, that will still be saving money on this holiday.” — Natalia, 27

9. “I’ve been going out way too much, and it’s not just draining my wallet, it’s killing my productivity. The fact is, I just can’t drink Tuesday-Saturday anymore, and I need to get over it. The prices of drinks in NYC are very different from the prices in the small town I went to college in. Also, I know that the amount I’m drinking is the reason I’m in a bad mood every morning at my office. One of my resolutions this year was to get it together professionally, and I know getting serious about going out less is the step I need to take.” — Kylie, 23

10. “In the winter, I spend almost every weekend skiing. I absolutely love it and I rent a house in Vermont with my friends every year. But, it’s not a ‘necessary expense,’ it’s a luxury. I’ve started saving more aggressively lately, and I realize that I could cut down even more if I stop spending on gas, lift tickets, etc. I’m only going to go skiing for one weekend in February, or maybe not at all. Yes, I’ve already made an investment in the house, but because it’s split between so many people, I get a really reasonable deal. I’m still going to save a couple hundred dollars between gas, lift tickets, and meals out this month, and I think it will be good for me to take a break.” — Tia, 28

11. “I got rid of my yoga membership this year in favor of running outside. So, actually, I gave this expense up in January and am embarking on my second month without my yoga membership. I miss my studio and my unlimited classes. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I do. The membership was $120/month though, and I just couldn’t afford to keep paying it.” — Liz, 24

12. “I am going to spend less on underground transportation this month. Typically, I buy the unlimited subway pass for a set monthly fee. However, I have been tracking my steps and I’ve been told a great way to get steps in is to take the subway less and walk to your destination, even if it’s far away. I am going to buy rides as needed instead of buying the monthly pass and my goal is to cut my travel expenses by 25%” — Laura, 26

13. “This might sound pretty small, but my significant other and I just moved in together and all of our subscriptions are redundant. We have two Netflix accounts, two Spotify premiums, and two Amazon prime memberships. I’m cutting down on expenses by making sure that we share instead of each paying for every account. We’re both keeping Spotify, but I got rid of my Amazon prime (and will use his), and he got rid of Netflix (and will use mine).” — Jackie, 25

14. “I am actually getting rid of the data on my phone this month. I have wifi at home, wifi on the Subway, and wifi at my office. I just got off my parent’s cell phone plan last year, and I’ve realized how expensive it is to pay my own cell phone bill. I can deal with the expense, but I hate throwing more than $100 toward it every month. I want to try a month without data and see how much it helps.” — Rae, 26

Image via Unsplash

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