bargains · budget · life hacks

lifehack: how we saved $105 a month

if you’ve been around me lately, you know i’ve recently become obsessed with personal finance. i am a regular lurker on the subreddit, personal finance and frugal. matt and i have been feverishly saving, but neither of us have a ton of experience with budgeting. so, i turned to the interweb for help {duh, millenial}.

right after our wedding, i put together a budget. with our current expenses, we had a healthy amount left over to save, but we’d have to be serious about it. we were both used to having a good disposable income {and it’s basically free to live in middle america}, but it was going to be a challenge to think before we spent. plus we both love eating out at yummy places. you know how much i hate to give up brunch.

so far it’s been going great. we hit our savings goal a few weeks ago, which was about 2 months ahead of schedule. we’ve maintained the same amount of saving each week {because, why not?} aside from some unexpected expenses, like both our cars needing to be re-registered the same month {ugh.}

saving and budgeting has made me totally re-think the way i spend money. ever since our nest egg started growing, i’ve been hungrier to make the number increase. they say that wealthy people get joy out of growing their money, which i always scoffed at. but now, i get it.

anyway, thanks to reddit, i’ve been looking for ways to cut our monthly expenses.

i started with our comcast bill. 

first let me say, i have had nothing but terrible experiences with comcast. i’ve always dreaded calling their customer service, and braced myself for an argument. when our bill skyrocketed to $150 a month for TV and internet, i was filled with dread. but, i couldn’t live with myself if i didn’t try and negotiate a lower bill.

i decided to go into the store locally. the worst part about calling customer service is that they can’t see you, so i firmly believe it’s easier for them to say no/ blow you off. but when a living, breathing, human is in front of you,  demanding asking for something, it’s hard to turn them away.

i cancelled our TV service {we’ve officially become cord-cutters!} but stuck with the highest internet speed. our bill is now $93 a month with taxes, fees and the rental of our modem. $57 saved. 

i moved on to our wireless plans.

the rules of the wireless world are basically that of the wild, wild west. anything goes.

matt and i were each on our parent’s family plans and paying $130 total. matt had an iphone 5, which he was eager to upgrade. his current plan was still linked to the old days where you didn’t have to lease your phone and you just paid $100 up front {or whatever} and then $50 a month or so after that, so i wasn’t anxious for him to make a change. i knew he’d get roped into a more expensive plan and we’d be paying a lot more when all was said and done.

i saw a commercial for att’s buy one get one free, stating that it now included the iphone. i quickly did the math, and with a free phone, we could be paying close to what we were paying now, but be on our own plan {i mean, we are married} and matt could get a new phone {which he desperately needed}.

i did a lot of other research before we decided on att, including looking into the tier two carriers, such as cricket, metro pcs, etc. they boasted $45 a month plans {including tax}, which was awesome, but you had to pay $200 upfront for each phone, which was an iphone 5.

as we all know, when technology companies come out with newer versions of things, their other models eventually become unusable, so we were worried if we did this, in a year apple would make their phones have a new charging port or something, and we’d have to buy new devices. plus matt was a little worried about service/coverage area, especially when he goes camping and we drive to california, etc.

with att, our monthly bill is still $130 a month with taxes + fees, but if matt had upgraded with verizon, we would have been paying $160, so i consider it $30 saved. 

i looked at any subscriptions we had that we weren’t using.

matt had a video game service, similar to netflix, that he literally never used. it was $18 a month and he just hadn’t called and cancelled it. i grabbed two games he’s been holding on to for who knows how long, packaged them up, mailed them back, and asked him to cancel the service, which he did. therefore, we saved $18.

being frugal isn’t easy. it takes time and effort. shopping for bargains isn’t that fun, and i think it’s important to factor in your time as value. for example, i decided i wouldn’t drive 15 extra miles to go to winco to save $10 on groceries. #1 winco is a truly terrifying place, and #2, my time is too valuable. my local grocery store, smiths,  is cheap and convenient. i know exactly where everything is and i can be in and out in under an hour, usually.

i’m continually looking for ways to be frugal–advice is appreciated!

xoxo

cait

2 thoughts on “lifehack: how we saved $105 a month

  1. I don’t know why but I found this fascinating! You are fun to read! My idea for saving $? Cook one more meal a week and save $50 a month.

    Like

  2. Aw, thank you! It’s crazy when you look at what you’re spending just by not paying attention. Yes, we definitely need to cook more 😉 Great idea!

    Like

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