It’s no secret that with everything going up that I’ve needed to find ways to save money. I abhor paying more than I need to for the very basics in life. Over the last few weeks I’ve tried to figure out where we can cut back to save more money. The key? Asking. Asking for what I want has saved us a great deal of money during the month of October.
We’re with AT&T and have an iPhone and Palm PDA on a family plan. Well that family plan while on a base price of $170/month came out to $437 at the end of October. Can you see the steam coming from my ears? After a long merry go round with different reps, lodging a complaint against one and evangelizing the merits of having a corporate presence on Twitter to another, I reduced our monthly plan and even got $70 in credits to our account. We had a family plan for 2100 minutes, but used on average 1000 minutes and had 9000 roll-over minutes in the bank.
The rep recommended that we go with the 1400 minute plan (alternative is 900 min plan), added the international plan to our account and had his manager adjust our account so that our roll over minutes wouldn’t expire. Sweet!!! Why was the bill $437? I am selling a home overseas so I check in with the lawyers and buyer weekly to keep on top of things being that I am stateside. If not, then things go to hell real fast. I also did A LOT of texting over the summer which resulted in a $200 overage charge. I’m just glad Im not friends with that person anymore, it was getting expensive as you can see LOL!
I also found out that we were somehow subscribed to a ring tone subscription and I almost lost it. My husband while I love him dearly is a tree hugging nature guy, he’s simply not into ring tones or any of that teeny bopper crap. Then they also tried to say that we were on a pay per use Internet plan which was an out right lie. As much as we use the Internet on our phones, she had to be out of her cotton picking mind.
So they adjusted everything and all is well. We now have a monthly bill of $120 and will use our remaining roll-over minutes for overages
Paid Off Retail Account, Sold Beater Car And Bought A New Car
I wasn’t really sure how this would work out but it did. To make a long drawn out story short, we were still paying off one retail account but needed a new car. I was concerned about adding one more car note when we were paying down debt. But it so happens that we were on schedule to pay off one account so we went ahead and bought the new 09 Camry with no real plans for the 99 Solara. She started giving me problems and hubby just didn’t want to deal with it anymore. When I got back from Blogworld in September, he’d picked up the new car.
The repairs associated with the MD inspection for the Solara were over $1200 and we owed $1700. We sold it for $1700, paid it off and so everything evened out. Both payments from the retail account and the Solara payment equals the new car payment amount. So instead of dealing with two car payments and insurance we are down to one.
Shut Off Electricity On Main Level Turn Off All Lights
Last year we were on the budget plan because gas and electric were out of control at $200 and $300+ respectively. But we’ve since paid off the balance from the budget plan and just pay it off every month. Our bills have been around $100 for each since we don’t cook everyday and I cut the electricity off on the main level when we are out of the house. We have a switch in the family room that cuts everything off except the alarm and this works out great!
This winter I may get a space heater and warm pajamas. I’m from the islands and I like to run around in shorts and a tank top in the house, hubby thinks this is the funniest thing to do in the winter. So you know that means I have the heat on 85 right? Yea Imma have to cut that out.
I found out about the discount grocery Aldi last weekend and OH THE JOY!! My hope? Spend no more than $300 a month on groceries. I’ve yet to look at Yodlee to see how we did in October but I think it’s no better than September as far as groceries are concerned. At least now we have a real option to save more on groceries. I’d like to spend $200 at Aldi and then $100 at the other stores. We’ll see how that works out.
Total Savings: $1,300
Areas in Progress?
I still like to bargain hunt on Ebay and I can’t even say that I’m working on it because I’ll scope something out on Bluefly and then find it for half the price on Ebay. But as Lynn Richardson likes to say, if it ain’t free then it ain’t on sale! ‘Tis true.
This has proven hard because we like to try new restaurants and have quite the social calendar. It’s hard to say no because well, we like to be social and hang out with friends when we get the chance. So this needs some work but perhaps we’ll cut back to twice a month. (See 12 ways to save on eating out this year.)