Money-saving tips for the new year

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I recently got an email reminding me that my subscription to the best magazine on the planet, InStyle, was up for renewal and that they’d gladly take $35 or so out of my bank account automatically unless I wished to cancel my subscription.

I love this magazine. It has great interviews, great fashion, affordable hair and makeup suggestions, shoes, jewelry, you name it. It’s 200 pages of Pinterest every month and is perfect for taking on an airplane or flipping through while your significant other is watching football.

But … I have a stack of magazines dating back at least six months. I haven’t been on an airplane in at least two years, and I’d rather read a book when I have a little down time around the house.

So the InStyle subscription got cut, and I’m evaluating whether to axe Netflix, or at least change it to streaming-only. We’ve all heard that if there’s something in your closet that you haven’t worn for a year, get rid of it. Those plaid Tommy Hilfiger pants that don’t fit me, and that still have the tags on them, are never going to fit me. And likewise, I’m shelling out cash each month for subscriptions to items I can’t use. Even Amazon Prime and Spotify – both of which I love (in theory) – are rarely used and have been replaced by free iPhone podcasts and cheap paperbacks at Half-Price Books.

I don’t think that re-evaluating my recurring credit card charges is going to make a massive change in my bank account, but I do think it’s a good practice to ensure that the items on which we spend money are items we actually use.

Does anyone else buy a bag of salad and a bunch of bananas at the grocery store every Saturday? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown out milk and lunch meat. I got sick a couple of weeks ago and went for a Saltine cracker and just about broke a tooth.

Wise choices will help us to live cleaner, simpler lives, and maybe we’ll end up with an extra $20 at the end of the month.

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