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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Frugal Living: Getting Rid Of The Extras

Over the past few weeks I have shared information about my husband's company layoff. Fortunately he was able to find employment without going to far into the layoff.

Regardless of how we look at it we still had to make changes. For the last 4 months of his employment the company would only allow him to work 20 hours per week. He might as well have been laid off as far as money was concerned. By the time they took out benefits and taxes he was getting about the same or less than what he would have received on unemployment!

Here is how we cut $1250 out of our monthly expenses.

Cable: -$55

I tried the whole "cancel your service or else" approach but that didn't work. Instead I ended up doing away with cable T.V/ all together. We haven't missed it since!

Phone: -$45

We cut out our home phone all together. We already both had cell phones and didn't see any sense in having both! Most of our family has the same carrier so the calls are free! We limited talk time (being very conscious of time) for the paid calls and didn't even have to bump our minute plan up to a higher priced package!

We our home phones (jack phones not cordless) plugged in just in case. Although the cell phone carriers have gotten better about routing 911 calls I still didn't feel comfortable solely relying on them for this duty. Even if you do not have a paid home service plan you can still plug your phones up to the land lines and be able to dial 911.

Car & Car Insurance Changes: -$865

We have one car that we paid cash for and one that we had a note on. GET RID OF IT (Dave Ramsey Style). We did away with the car payment and full coverage insurance and saved a whopping $835! (Our finance term was smaller. We opted to finance in less time to avoid paying a gazillion dollars in interest...of course we should have paid cash for it but the purchase was made prior to my Dave Ramsey Mode and before I started this site!) No Car = No Tag & No Insurance!

For now we still only have the one car. We are saving up to pay cash for the second vehicle!

Gasoline: -$150

Doing away with the second car...which was actually a truck we were able to save $150 per month on gas. We put $30 per week into the car and force ourselves to make it last! My husband takes it back and forth to work. My daughter started riding the bus to school instead of just riding it home and I still only go shopping once per week! I have been staying home a lot more over the last few weeks with preparing for the move so it helps!

Home Owner's Insurance: -$10

Changing our deductible from $500 to $1000 saved us about $10 per month.

Garbage Bill: -$7

Our garbage is billed every 3 months @ $54 per billing period. We opted to go in with a neighbor and share 2 garbage cans for $72 per month for both! We split the bill in half. Saving each of us an additional $7 per month.

Water Bill: -$17

We saved up to pay cash for a front loading washer and dryer. Being conscious about NOT leaving the water running for sink tasks along with the washer change has saved us on average about $17 per month!

Electricity: -$100 (average)

I didn't realize how wasteful we were being when it came to electricity. Leaving lights and T.V.'s on along with other items that weren't in use really added up! I went "unplug crazy". It took some time to get use to but I unplugged everything in the house (with exception of the refrigerator, stove, and alarm clocks). You would totally be amazed at what you don't go back and plug in. There are things in my home that I haven't even plugged back in yet! Lamps, computers, microwave...it all went!

It was hard at first. Getting use to unplugging and only plugging in while the item was in use was tough for the family as a whole! It took us about a good month for everyone to get into the habit but it is well worth it!

We made smaller other changes like clothing purchases and eating out but these were the main items that we cut back on!

If you have any ideas or things that you do to save money around the house let us know! Leave a comment and help us all save money!

Making small changes now (whether you need to or not) will pay off big in the future! I guarantee!


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!Great, thanks for sharing...now I'm on the hunt to cut more expenses out of our monthly bills. Thanks so much for all you do!!!You've really helped us during this tough economy...not only in saving money, but saving our pride and being able to feel good about making good, informed decisions so that our family thrives in this tough time! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Carol said...

goes without saying but drink more water (and don't buy it bottled - get a brita or pur pitcher and filter your own! it's so much cheaper than bought bottled water and significantly cheaper tan soda!!!

Melissa said...

Worth noting - being able to plug in a home phone and call 911 w/o active service varies in each area. It doesn't work everywhere. If this is a major concern, it is best to call your phone company.

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