Full-time RVing is an amazing, life-changing experience. It is also a drastically different way of life that requires you to get creative about how you earn and spend money. In preparation for my upcoming transition to full-time RVing, here are a few things I’ve done to save money.
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1. Understand Your Finances
The first step, before even consolidating your debt, is to check your credit score. I’ve used myFico for a long time. They have the option of signing up for a one-time credit score check or ongoing monitoring. The ongoing monitoring notifies you anytime anything on your credit report changes. This is important for detecting fraud as quickly as possible.
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Your credit score and accurate information on your credit report is really crucial. This will affect any attempt you make to consolidate your debt with any sort of loan or line of credit.
2. Consolidate Debt
There are tons of companies promising to help you consolidate debt out there.
It would be all too easy to fall for a scam company that will claim to help you get out of debt but will really only add to it.
Speaking from experience, I can recommend a few companies to be above-board:
Payoff - the benefit of Payoff is that it’s super simple to use. When I was looking to consolidate a while back, they had the best rate available for the best monthly payment. They have better rates than credit cards, and allow you to have one, simple monthly payment. Checking your rate doesn’t affect your credit score and takes just a few minutes!
Tally - Tally works a little differently. Tally is entirely app based. It automates the process of paying your credit cards, and works with a line of credit to pay down as much as possible at a lower interest rate than your cards. The system knows all your interest rates and will pay down your cards in the most fiscally-responsible way. I was skeptical at first, but I really love the ease of letting the app make all my payments for me and all I have to do is pay the one bill to Tally each month.
Upstart - Similar to Payoff, Upstart is a consolidation loan you can use to pay down higher-interest debt. It’s peer-funded and takes more than your credit score into consideration, so it could be a good option if your credit is less than stellar. Upstart is a good option if you have less than stellar credit, but decent education and experience!
3. Use an application to find price drops
I don’t even remember signing up for Paribus, but apparently I did at some point. I found this out by getting emails from them about saving me money! Not a bad accidental sign up, eh? And it's totally free!
Paribus works by monitoring your email for online purchases. It then checks the websites you bought the items from and watches for price drops. The system then notifies you to request a refund from the company you bought the item from. They even give you the exact wording of the request and the link to do it at.
I’ve saved almost $50 with Paribus and it’s required barely any effort on my part.
It also notifies you if an item is delivered late. Amazon doesn’t offer price protection, but they do stand by their delivery dates. I had a birthday gift to my niece delivered a day late and Amazon extended my Prime membership by a month to make up for the inconvenience! Definitely worth the quick setup time with Paribus. And it doesn't cost a single cent to use!
4. Cancel Cable
I don’t know about you, but I realized I had 700+ cable channels and I was barely watching any of them! Mostly I was just watching Netflix and the local news. Why was I continuing to pay for all these channels?
I canceled cable and switched to Sling and saved over $80 a month. Cable is soooo expensive!
Roku is a little device that you can use to stream tv over the internet. You can set up Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and a whole list of other Roku channels. It makes watching TV without cable ridiculously easy. I have one upstairs and one downstairs and I don’t even miss cable at all!
I use my Roku to stream Netflix, Hulu, Sling, and Amazon Prime Video.
Sling is a streaming company that you can use to watch live tv. They have a few packages to choose from, depending on the channels that are important to you. You can even watch live sports without cable! Use my link to get a free 7 day trial!
Originally I also had Starz and HBO and realized I wasn’t watching those either, so away those went.
One subscription I did keep was my monthly PBS donation. That lets me watch the PBS streaming channel (yes, I am that big of a nerd). Plus it’s only $5 a month so it’s a good investment to me.
5. Cut Down on Extra Expenses
This comes back to understanding your finances. You have to understand where your money is going in order to figure out where you can cut back.
- - Do you eat out a lot? I started tracking my finances and figured out that I was spending a TON of money eating out every week! Now, this wasn’t entirely shocking, but seeing the actual numbers was mind-boggling. I’ve since restricted my eating out to twice a week, but it’s usually more like once.
- - I also figured out that buying ‘a quick snack’ at the gas station was not only terribly unhealthy (again, DUH me) but it was adding up to a lot of money a month. I was driving for Uber at the time, so I was super busy and not as aware of what I was eating. I’ve gotten better at having fruit around the house so I’m not tempted by the quick sweets.
- - Are you buying prepared foods? I was buying pre-cut fruit and I didn’t really realize how fast that adds up! A whole personal watermelon is less than $4 and gives me 5 or 6 servings. A container of two servings was almost $5 by itself! Things like pre-marinated chicken and pre-spiralized veggies can also add up.
- - Take a look at your cell phone bill. Are you using all the data you’re paying for? I cut my bill from 10gb to 5gb when I stopped driving for Uber and was able to save a bit.
- - Do you have a gym membership you never use? Consider canceling it, or switching to a less expensive option. I checked my membership and realized I was paying for the highest level location when the one I attend the most is the lowest tier. It’s only a few dollars a month difference, but it adds up!
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There are unlimited ways to save money. These are just a few less painful options that have personally worked for me. I’ve used all of these methods and through hard work, I’ve managed to save quite a bit!
What other ways have you found to save money each month? Have you tried any of these before?
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