Blogging can get expensive really quickly. And I’ll be the first person to look for free or low-cost hacks to save money on my blog. But sometimes it’s just not worth the time investment, and you know your blog would do a lot better if you could spend more on it.
To avoid racking up credit card charges that you can’t pay off, I’ve compiled a few places to cut your personal budget so you can reallocate that money toward your blog. That way you can say “I need $29/mo for this tool, where can I find $29/mo in my budget?” so you’re not going into debt.
Note: I will never tell you to pay less toward your debt in order to pay for blogging tools. So student loans, credit card bills, car loans… don’t touch those.
First things first, take a good, hard look at your grocery budget and decide if you really need to be spending that amount.
America has such a big problem with food waste. We’ll go to the grocery store, buy what we think we need, and then end up throwing a ton of it out.
Not only is this terrible for the environment, it’s also terrible for your wallet! Think of it this way: it’s all money you could have spent on your blog, but instead you threw it in the trash. That hurts a little more, doesn’t it?
So how can you avoid this and cut your personal budget? Meal plan! Before you go to the grocery store, plan out what you’re going to eat for the week. Keep in mind what’s already in the fridge so you use it up before it goes bad! Figure out what you need for each recipe and add them to your grocery list. And then only buy those things at the grocery store.
Another interesting tip I heard recently was to have an “ungrocery list.” Keep track of the types of foods you’re throwing out all of the time, and keep an “ungrocery list” in the back of your head (or even better, on your phone) so you don’t ever buy those things.
I know you want to be a person who eats kale. But you’ve bought it five times and never used it. This time won’t be any different. Put it down.
Try to shave 10% of last month’s grocery budget off of this month’s grocery budget. Depending on your lifestyle, that could be a lot or it might not be that much. Either way, you’re setting aside money for your blog and helping the environment, so it’s still a win!
P.S. Need a budget template? I’ve got you covered!
On a similar note, cut your eating out budget. This goes hand-in-hand with your new grocery strategy: meal planning!
As you’re coming up with your meal plan for the week, keep in mind what recipes can be easily reheated and brought to the office for lunch. You’re more likely to eat at home more often if you just have to pop something in the microwave.
Try to decrease the amount of times you eat out each week by one. It’s not nearly as hard as cutting it out altogether, but it can still make a big impact! Depending on where you live, that one meal at home might save you enough to get you an awesome blog tool that you’ve been eyeing. (Looking at you, Adobe Creative Cloud.)
Subscriptions You’re Barely Using
How many subscriptions are you currently signed up for? Do you have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Or maybe you have a monthly subscription to a video game you’re only playing once a month. Do you receive 5 subscription boxes a month but you never actually use the products you’re receiving?
This is such an easy way to cut your personal budget. Try to cut out just one subscription per month. If you’ve got 3 entertainment subscriptions, see if you can cut out one and make due with the other two. Since these are recurring monthly costs, they translate really easily into recurring monthly costs for your blog.
Plus, this is an excellent way to find more time to blog. If you’re not using that video game subscription very often, cut the cost and reallocate that time to your blog!
Next, try to limit the amount of money you’re spending each month on clothing. This one is going to be a little more difficult if you’re a fashion blogger, but it’s still a totally doable way to cut your personal budget!
When I decided to do this, I started with fast-fashion purchases. I wasn’t going to be shopping at H&M or Forever 21 any more; any piece of clothing was going to be an investment. Yes, they’re more expensive, but you also need fewer pieces, and they’ll last you longer.
You’re way more likely to get more value out of a purchase for your blog than you are on another $30 dress that you’ll hardly wear before donating to Goodwill. (#beenthere)
Plus, if you’re feeling as though you need to buy more things because your clothes just don’t quite fit right, bring them to a tailor! You might spend $5-10 getting a pair of pants fitted to your current size, which is a heck of a lot cheaper than a new pair of $100 slacks.
Once again, try to cut this budget by 10% based on what you spent last month. It might be a small amount, but that adds up quickly!
Insurance is one of those bills that you pay each month without thinking about. This is especially true if you’re like me and set up automatic payments. You might not even notice that you’re paying it!
But did you know that you might be paying more for your insurance than you need? Call up your insurance company and negotiate a lower rate. You never know what you might end up saving!
When Sean and I did this, we cut our insurance bill in half. Not bad!
And finally, the not-so-fun place to cut your personal budget: your hobbies. How much are you spending on new books every month, when you could get them from the library?
Or maybe you’re spending a bunch of money at craft stores every month, but you never actually finish a project. Take a few months off from shopping and finish up the supplies you have on hand!
Plus keep in mind: blogging is a hobby. So reallocate some of your funds from other hobbies into this new and exciting one!
You should never go into debt just to start or grow your blog. So take a look at your spending habits and see where you can cut your personal budget to make room for fun new blogging expenses!
Don’t forget to download your free budget spreadsheet!