Penny Pinching – The Journey Begins

As my frugal living journey begins, I have searched and decided to start the Dave Ramsey plan.  Many of you may know who Dave is for those of you who don’t here’s a shortened version of it.  He worked hard, made alot of money, made bad decisions, lost all the money and now he has a self proven plan that he has started that helped him to overcome his pitfalls and now he is a millionaire.  Okay, now I have read his books before but today is a new day!  I got my envelopes ready, started labeling them as needed for my “expenses” and boom it hit me!  I pay the Stupid Tax!  “The what?”  yes folks you heard me right , the stupid tax.  Yeah that too is a journey that I am beginning and I hope a battle that I win. 

Let me give you a few examples of ” The Stupid Tax ” that I currently Pay:

  1. Too Much Car Payment- We had been looking at the Yukon XL for a while.  We thought it would be ideal for our family and would provide all the room we needed to haul friends, go on vacations, etc.  On one sunny summer day I got a wild hair and stopped by the dealership and there it was… Not just a Yukon XL, but a Denali. The beams of sun were shining on it and the only thing missing was the “waaaa” sound.  Needless to say, I purchased it not giving a second thought of what my payment would be.  Now it is three years later and I still have a huge car payment and one year left before it is finally mine.  Once paid for, I will be driving it until the wheels fall off!
  2. I didn’t Pay Attention To Credit Card Statements- I purchase almost everything from the Internet as do many people today.  Most of the time I will put it on my American Express card and never give it a second thought.  Recently I started looking at my statement and it was a real eye opener!  I had all of these charges for amounts like 9.95, 14.95, etc and I had no clue what they were for.  After further investigation I found out that they were recurring monthly charges due to some “opt in” agreement I signed.  Turns out, you really need to read all of the fine print when purchasing something online.  Many times when you check the I agree button you are also agreeing to some other subscription that you have no interest in nor do not want.  These companies feed off people like myself that just pay the bill each month and do not carefully investigate the charges.  After doing some simple math, I was paying around $50 per month for these types of charges per month.  That was an instant $600 per year saving by simply looking at my statement and making sure I ordered everything that I was charged for.
  3. Last But Not Least, Tobacco Products – Hopefully I am the only person struggling with trying to kick the nasty habit of using tobacco that reads my blog.  I really had not thought about how much money I was spending yearly on tobacco until I read one of Dave’s articles. I use about a can of dip per day (sometimes more, but just to keep it on the low end) which costs around $4.25 where I live.  That habit is not only killing me, making my teeth yellow but is also costing me around $2,000.00 per year.  I did finally find a product that has really helped my teeth.  I researched and found a highly recommend product that came with a 30 day free trial.  I only had to pay the Shipping and Handling.. I have been using it for about two weeks now and I can tell a huge difference.  Since I dipped for so long, I don’t think I will get the brightest whites from this product, but I have probably brightened my teeth by 4 shades or more.   If you are in the same sad shape I am in, the product I am trying is Bright Teeth Pro. I don’t know if it is the best product on the market, but it has definitely made a difference on my teeth and I am just on the free trial.