6 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Financial Picture

Your financial situation can continue to improve by taking both small and large steps toward financial independence while living a happy life.

We worked hard this year to meet our financial goals, and we’re finishing strong! These are some of the things we did this year to improve our financial situation. Some can also assist you in meeting your financial objectives.

1. Cancel unnecessary insurance coverages

When was the last time you took a close look at your insurance policies and what they cover?

What we did: We reviewed all of our coverages and were able to save a significant amount of money by canceling unnecessary coverages.  We even started saving money, self-insuring for certain life events.

2. Begin optimizing your asset allocation strategy for early retirement

If you want to retire early and live life on your own terms, now is a good time to review your asset allocation to make sure it’s on track.

What we did: We realized that our asset allocation needed to be tailored to the needs of early retirees in their 30s and 40s. This allocation differs from traditional retirement planning. We started shifting our allocation accordingly in order to be prepared for early retirement. Our savings must last us far longer than the average retiree.

3. Cut your internet cost!

It could be a good time to look into how much you’re paying for internet service and what competitors are offering. You are far more valuable to your service provider than you may believe.

Contact your service provider’s retention department. Check to see if they can give you a discount in order to keep you as a customer. Sometimes you have to go through the entire cancellation process to get to that department. Just don’t cancel because that wasn’t your intention in the first place.

What we did: We were forced to change providers due to a merger, but we ended up finding a great deal for two years: $29 per month for high-speed internet. Seek and you shall find!

4. Reduce your dining-out expenses

You can save money by cooking your own meals. Living closer to work is one way to save money on food. If you can relocate closer to your job, you’ll have more time to cook at home instead of eating out.

What we did: Since we live in the boonies, far from our favorite restaurants, we have a huge advantage: we end up cooking more at home. By living closer to work and cooking more frequently, we were able to save around $2,000 in restaurants, coffee shops, and work lunches from the previous year.

5. Reduce your gasoline spending

By eliminating a long work commute, you can save a lot of money. Perhaps you can find work closer to home or relocate closer to work to avoid the commute.

What we did: Since we moved so close to work, we reduced our commute from 19 to 3 miles, saving approximately $800 in gasoline consumption over the previous year.

6. Reduce your use of air conditioning

During the summer, the air conditioner is the most voracious consumer of your money. You can save money on this baby if you develop a heat tolerance to the point where you don’t need to wear a sweater while at home! You can also circulate the air in your home by using fans.

What we did: By using only one air conditioner in the dining room and two window fans throughout the house, we were able to keep our summer monthly electric bill to $49!

A small amount of discomfort can save you a lot of money. The most interesting thing was that once our bodies adjusted to the heat and humidity, we weren’t bothered by it much (except on those 95-degree days with 90% humidity), and we found ourselves being cold at other people’s homes and at work.

The added benefit of this experience was that when we visited the Dominican Republic in November and stayed with my parents, we were quite comfortable even without air conditioning.

What steps are you taking to improve your financial situation?


After dedicating 13 years of his career to Vanguard, José retired from the corporate world at the young age of 44. During his tenure at Vanguard, he expertly coordinated the production of both electronic and print educational materials for 401(k) participants. Now, he relishes in his early retirement, cherishing time spent with his family, indulging in his favorite hobbies, seeking out new experiences, and savoring meals in the comfort of his own backyard.

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8 years ago

several thousands of savings per year will definitely put you ahead.

I cut my phone bill, I never spend money on trash bag (use strictly grocery store trash bag), share cable, netflix, never pay for brand new card, and share housing were some of my tricks for savings. My co-worker asked me how I can save $100K a few years ago, I said, add if I can save $10K/yr more than him, then in 10 years I get $100K. We’d make the same amount of money, who ever can manage their personal finance the best would be in better financial situation. That’s that!

8 years ago

Great tips! We also use the shopping bags as trash bags. Just like the saying goes: It’s not how much you make, it’s how much you can keep. You’re showing them that by cutting on costs you’re keeping more in your pocket and the best part is that you could invest it and get over $38,000 extra at a 7% return. Thanks for stopping by!

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