We needed a new car. We also needed to have the money to make the payment. We picked out a nice type of used car that would be suitable. Only a couple years old so still under warranty and low mileage ones available. To be able to pay for it we wrote down on paper the exact amounts we could save. I checked a site to save on our utility bills, and my wife called about our homeowners and car insurance to get lower rates. She pretty much just told them we needed to save or we were moving on. I was able to save a good amount on our monthly electric bill. In two ways actually. We got a fixed rate that was low per kilowatt hour, and seeing how much we were wasting got me to put in those LED and CFL bulbs I bought but never installed.
We looked over all of our expenses. We found we could save a few bucks here and a few bucks there without really trying. Most of it was getting lower rates on things we used such as electricity and stopping paying for stuff we do not use such as those streaming services. We were signed up for three or four of them and only used one consistently. Ten bucks here and five bucks there added up to the car payment and insurance costs we needed to come up with every month. We got out new car! Well, it was new to us.
I learned a valuable lesson about money. You really need to manage it like it is an unruly kid or treat it like a pet dog with ADHD. You have to train it instead of letting it train you! It can quickly lose focus and run wild if you do not control what it is doing. Those takeout meals in a single month can add up to more than a car payment. We are not going to stop having restaurant food altogether, but we are managing it through a budget now. We are saving money on our insurance and electric bill, have a new car and more money in our pockets due to simply taking a close look at our spending.