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Understanding “Trimmables,” or, Purposeful Saving

What is a trimmable? It’s something you’re paying for on a monthly basis that you could remove and it would not negatively impact your life. A gym membership is not a trimmable, unless you don’t actually go to the gym. A Netflix [3] account is a trimmable. A gym membership you don’t actually use is a trimmable. And guess what? You only need to cut your trimmable temporarily until you earn enough money to achieve your goal. Understanding your trimmables can be the secret to buying whatever you want.

I know this sounds like a very basic idea – that’s because it is. The beauty of it is that you can cut a trimmable temporarily to save up enough to buy what you want. Do you want one of those new iPod nano’s [4]? Let’s say you have a $15 Netflix [5] membership… all you need to do is to cut it for 17 months and that iPod nano could be yours. Seventeen months sounds too long? Find yourself another trimmable of $5 and you cut down that time to twelve and a half. If you scrounge up $40 in trimmables, you get that iPod nano in six months. Find $50? You get it in five.

List all your monthly payments and see what you can do without for a few months. Don’t cut out things that drastically improve your quality of life (cell phones, gym memberships) but look for things you can really do without (most will be entertainment related) such as an Netflix membership [3] and you will be able to buy whatever it is your heart desires. Remember, you will only need to suspend that trimmable temporarily and it’s for a purpose, such as buying a widget or going on a vacation.

You’ll find it’s easier to cut that trimmable when you’re working towards something. Want to go on a cruise? Save a little extra, trim a little extra, and you’ll see that vacation getting a little closer. Add on the fact that you can use a credit card and get a 1 month grace period and that little goal is that much closer. Set your sights and trim something!