It’s that time of year again, presents, dinners, family parties and gatherings, which basically equate to one or two things; food and money. Both of which we can’t seem to get enough of 😉 For the money side of things, everyone seems to be cutting back, which is can be a good thing, especially if you are buying items that you don’t need. Recently I have looked a little harder at my monthly spending and highlighted areas that I could cut back or maybe shop around for a better deal.
There were three areas in which I was able to cut back:
1.) Garbage & Recycling Fees
Paying over $90 every quarter for garbage removal seemed a little steep to me, especially when my household only accumulates 1 bag of trash a week (the rest is recycling – which the garbage service also picks up). So I called the garbage removal company and asked what they could do for me, I explained that I was a loyal customer and even recommended the service to my neighbor (which she eventually signed up for). They knocked $8 dollars off my quarterly bill, which is small yes, but is going to say me $32 dollars annually, not too shabby!
2.) Monthly Phone Bills (Home Line)
Our monthly phone bills for our home line were getting out of hand, it wasn’t because of the additional charges (ie., extra minutes or long distance calls). It was the base price of the phone service, we were “bundling” our phone with our internet and paying over $50 a month in phone charges alone. Enough was enough, we started shopping around and stumbled upon Vonage, which offered a number of plans that we could tailor to our needs = WONDERFUL!. So now for $17 a month (includes taxes and fees) we get more than enough services and minutes. Vonage also canceled our old phone service and sent us all the needed equipment for free. Now we are saving $33 a month, with an annual savings of $396 dollars, it is starting to add up!
3.) Cable TV & Video Rentals
This one was the kicker, between the poor service from our cable provider (which also supplied our internet and phone – which we switched) and the horrid monthly costs of over $120 a month, I was on the move for something better. However in our neck of the woods (literally) we don’t have a lot of options, so Direct TV is where I landed. I now have 4 TVs hooked up with a “whole-house” DVR, HBO and movie channels (limited time offer) I get all my cable needs met for $65 a month, a monthly savings of $55 and annually $660 in savings. Between the switch in cable, using NetFlix for streaming movies and shows, and when in need renting movies from Redbox we are saving a ton.
So, in summary for all three items, we are saving $90 a month and $1,088 annually, enough for a mini vacation or a nice addition to my closet!