Personal Finance

Streamlining Operations

I have been trying to figure out how to come up with the extra $770 a month that I need. After May, I no longer have to pay $175 a month for my son’s full day kindergarten. That leaves me with $595 to find. I go back and forth about what to give up. If it was only a year or so, it would be easy. But I am asking myself, what would I want to give up for 5 years?!  So, what could go?

  • $25 a month for towards my Roth IRA. I really don’t want to give this up. If fact, I should be contributing more!
  • $200 a month for the kids college savings. I also think it’s valuable to have this with the cost of education being where it is. However, without a mortgage payment in 5 years, I could add more at that point. College is 9 years away for my oldest. 
  • $30 gym membership. I don’t use it as much as I should, but for health reasons (high blood pressure) I feel like I should keep it. 
  • All of the kids activities: Monthly: $120 piano, $79 swimming lessons, $169 dyslexia tutoring, $245 taekwondo classes, $45 language lessons. Biannual: Soccer $130, Sunday school $105.  Annual: Basketball $100, Girl Scouts $15. Definitely think this is the category to reduce, but they are only kids once! 
  • $95 house cleaning service. Don’t judge me! πŸ™‚ This is definitely a luxury item, but is has brought me so much sanity throughout the years that I hate to see it go. 

I’m curious what you would give up and why. 

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22 thoughts on “Streamlining Operations

  1. Do you have a place at home where you could exercise to youtube videos? I gave up my gym membership and started working out at home, and I actually exercise more often now. And it’s free! But it’s pretty individual. I know a lot of people who only exercise because they know they made that investment, and it gets them out of the house.

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    1. Yes and no. I don’t really have a space I could designate to workouts. In the past, I used to run which is free. But now I mostly take yoga and Zumba classes. I could do these at home but I’m not really that good about motivating myself. But to save money, maybe I could.

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      1. Maybe find a workout partner – I find if I know someone is counting on me, I’m up and ready for that early morning walk. You can partner up to do free things – walk, run, YouTube videos etc.

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  2. As a kid, my mom signed my sister and I up for a million activities when all we really wanted was 1 sport plus Girl Scouts for each of us and time to actually play. We finally told our mom when I was 10 that we were too tired. I’m sure that saved my parents a ton of money! Maybe ask the kids if they do anything they don’t really like?

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    1. My daughter used to want to do everything, but I’m guessing she has more of an opinion now. I think I’m going to list them all and have them choose one sport and one other. They’d probably love to give up tutoring and Sunday school! πŸ˜„

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  3. I would ask your children if they really want to do all those activities. They may not be enjoying them as much as they once were. If you are not currently using your gym membership, I would deactivate your membership. If you start going again, I would try a day pass or a month pass to see how many times you actually use it. If it is enough to justify a monthly membership, sign up again.

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  4. I had to go through the same process. I gave up gym and instead go running and have a gym set up in my garage which I can do when the kids are at home too. I only let my kids do 2 activities each. I had a cleaner too and now my husband I share it, but I understand a cleaner can save a marriage and is cheaper than divorce. I so miss the feeling of coming home to a clean house!

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    1. Yes, the house cleaning saved my marriage. I started using it when my son was a baby, I was working full time and just didn’t have time to clean. My life now is very different since the kids are older and I work less. I think many of the kids’ activities need to go. My family couldn’t afford for us to do anything when I was growing up so I think I’m living a bit through my own! I need to get over it!

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  5. Hi there! I would also go with the kids activities. I definitely wouldn’t give up your ROTH IRA contribution. This is going to be controversial, but I would stop saving for kids college. This is what we did while we were doing the Total Money Makeover. They can always work their way through college or as a last result take out a student loan. But if you need the money, I would use $200 from the college savings, and cut the balance from kids activities. Plus, there is some free stuff out there that you can get them into if you get creative! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Good perspective on the college fund. My husband and I got through college on scholarships and loans, so it’s possible. You’ve definitely given me something to think about!

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    2. Something to consider – as your kids are young enough to look into this and plan for it down the road – is concurrent enrollment. Basically they take courses in high school that count for both high school and college credit. Our high school in town does this, in fact some students leave high school with an Associates degree. It is a great, cost effective way to get going on the foundation classes required for a college degree. In other areas not near a college or university, there are online options to do dual credit classes. Especially with Dyslexia in the mix of schooling challenges, it could help to shorten the time in school over all and make every effort in school count twice in the long run.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, what a great program. I’m definitely going to look to see if programs like that are offered where I live? Do public and charter schools offer this? Or is it only private schools?

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