This week I've been focused on saving money because I'd like to stretch our budget further to allow for more traveling. Here is a quick list of fast and easy things I did since Saturday to lower monthly/annual expenses. Perhaps some of the tips will work for you as well:
1. Current cable bill was $54/month for basic analog cable. Called Comcast and negotiated a promotional rate- $39/month for digital cable PLUS HBO, good for 6 months. In another 6 months I will call back and negotiate again to extend promo rate. Savings over initial 6 months = $15/month*6= $75.
2. Began conscientious driving. Less use of the stop and go braking by maintaining more distance between myself and the car in front of me. Also using cruise control on the highway to maintain better fuel regulation. Finally, keeping speed to 65mph or below (80mph as I like to go kills fuel efficiency). I was getting 25mph and I am now getting 29mph with the changes. That's about $6.40 a week in savings based on current gas prices, $27.66/monthly or $332 annually.
3. In the process of convincing my employer to pick up or share the cost of my wireless network card since I use it primarily and frequently for work (to work remotely). Savings will be a minimum of $20 a month depending on whether they spring for full or 50% reimbursement. Annual savings (minimum)- $240.
4. Gave up my garage parking space to park on the street. Now I will be walking 4 blocks to the office, which is also good for my waistline. Monthly savings = $70 which translates to $840 annually.
5. Opened up a new American Express credit card and transferred $10k (my student loan debts from grad school, our only high interest debt) to the card at a fixed interest rate that is more than 2% lower than my current rate of 7.5%. That's $615 savings over the life of the loan or $140 a year or $11.66/month.
6. Called Comcast a second time to let them know that FIOS is now available in my area for only $30 a month (this is true) and asked what they could do for me. They lowered my monthly hi-speed bill from $43/month to $33 a month for the next 12 months. At 8mbps (compared to FIOS at only 5mbps) that's a good deal. Savings is therefore $10/month or $120/annually.
I'd estimate that it took me less than 2 hours of free time to make the calls and do the research to make all of these changes.
Total savings from this small effort:
$ 154.32 month
$ 1851.34 annually
What kind of savings could 2 hours of calls and research do for your household?