A huge part of “living richly on a budget” is finding stuff you need at lower prices. It’s not about depriving yourself.
It’s like a diet. If you deprive yourself, you’ll end up unhappy and fail.
So let’s reframe things. What do you and your family really need and what makes you happy? Focus your spending dollars there and cut spending on the things that don’t matter.
For some, it’s the need to keep up with basketball (Go Warriors!), have cute clothes (nothing wrong with that), or go on family trips to Disneyland every year. I don’t judge so don’t judge yourself either.
For every person, it’s a different thing and it’s ok. It’s not about what other people say should be important. Instead, dig deep. What’s truly important to you?
And then figure out, are there lower priced alternatives to this? Here are things I have tried to cut costs and save money.
If you’re a sports fan or want to watch live TV shows, YouTube TV is the best option. You get all the major sports networks – ESPN, FS1, MLB, NBC Sports, TNT, and also the major TV networks – ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox. Other networks include E!, Bravo, CNN, and USA.
Watch live TV and sports on your phone, tablet, computer, or TV (Google Chromecast or YouTube TV app) with up to 6 accounts and no cable box needed. Plus, save shows with cloud DVR.
There are limited networks, according to your area. And it’s $40/mo.
I’ve lived on and off without cable over the past 7 years. Depending on where you live, a digital antenna may work for you, with the emphasis on “may”.
* Check your local coverage first here. Then buy a digital antenna here.
You buy a digital antenna once and never pay a monthly fee.
Limited Coverage – When we lived further away from the city, near mountains, a digital antenna did not work, since we only got 4 channels from it. But when we moved back closer to the city and closer to the TV station towers, we were able to get 20 channels.
Local Sports Coverage May Be Blocked – We didn’t get certain major networks and couldn’t watch local sports. Since sports coverage is contracted to certain networks, they limit how you can watch local sports games.
Must Be Placed Correctly – In order for the digital antenna to work, you must place it on or near a window and be in the line of sight of TV towers to get the most coverage.
If you’re looking for channels like ESPN, CNN, and Food Network, SlingTV starts at $20/mo.
Almost everyone knows about Netflix.
Each family member can have their own profile to separate viewing activity. This is a must when you have kids as you might not want them seeing the shows that you’re watching.
I also love that they have Netflix Original programs like Fuller House.
As much as I love Netflix, I miss certain shows. They change their selection of shows and movies every month so nothing is there forever.
New TV seasons aren’t available until the entire season has aired on TV.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video has a wide selection of TV shows and films, way more than Netflix. However, not all of it is free.
I love the selection and that they currently carry my two favorite shows – Psych and Monk.
I don’t like that you can’t have separate profiles for different family members like you can in Netflix. Because of that, it’s not kid-friendly. I can’t let my daughter watch it without me being there.
And not all of the shows are free. Therefore, you are enticed to buy shows and movies that aren’t included in your Amazon Prime Video account.
Cell Phone Plans
Cell phone plans change frequently so check here for the latest deals.
If you don’t mind getting gently used clothes (I sure don’t), then check out ThredUP. They offer a wide selection of cute and stylish, name brand fashion for women and children, all at bargain basement prices. You can find women’s sizes ranging from XXS – 5X and 00 – 32.
Low Prices – The prices are low and they have a HUGE selection. I’ve gotten so many cute things from $.99 to $30.
Name Brands – I pay store clearance prices for name brand clothes that I would have never been able to afford before. In fact, most of the clothes I wear in my YouTube videos are from ThredUP.
Excellent Customer Service – I’ve contacted their customer service a few times and each time, I have gotten a timely response and they resolved my issue.
Quick Returns – They credit your account for returns almost as soon as you ship your item.
Time – Since there is a huge selection, you’ll have to set aside time to scroll through to find what you like. I typically spend 30 minutes to an hour, sorting through stuff on my phone. I do this probably every week – I told you I’m addicted! If you’re short on time, they have a box, called a Goody Box, that’s similar to Stitch Fix, where they curate clothes for you.
Incorrect Info – And not everything is what you expect. Sometimes an item has mislabeled fabric info, a minor stain, or doesn’t fit as you expect. For that, most items can be returned. They offer free shipping on returns if you choose to receive a credit rather than the original form of payment.
Kid’s Clothes, Toys, and Gear
Just Between Friends Sales
These are consignment sales held a few times a year at local exhibition halls.
Find quality second hand baby and kids items at a fraction of the cost. I love it for buying toys and baby gear.
These sales are usually just 4 days and popular items sell fast. Volunteers and sellers get first dibs on the sale.
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