Friday, January 18, 2013

Things I can do right now to save money

1.      Drop the insurance on our cell phones. The one time I called in about a problem with my phone, the person who assisted me insisted I check into replacing my battery first. Turned out it was the battery. So, yeah. But anyway, someone I know complained that something bad happened to her phone and although she'd paid insurance, they wouldn't cover it. I'll just try to be very careful with my phone. We've had our phones for a few years now and so far, knock on wood. The insurance premium is $7.99/month/phone. That's $191 per year.
a.       This is done now. I calculated what we might have spent over the time we've had these phones. The total. . .about $390. That could have bought us two new phones definitely. With fewer features for sure, but still money gone down the drain.
2.      Research <s>cheaper<s> less expensive auto insurance. The last time I researched auto insurance we got turned down because our situations were too variable for this company to take a risk on. I wasn't employed and was actively seeking a job. They saw the potential for me to suddenly get work fifty miles away from home (and I almost did). Now that I've got a job I travel to by mass transit and hubby has about the same commute, it might be time to try again; reason being our auto insurance went up by more than $10/month. The time I might spend on the phone is definitely worth less than $120. If I can switch to a cheaper plan, though, I'll save way more than the extra $120/year. 
3.      Prepare my lunch. I've found myself spending on lunch unnecessarily. This is embarrassing because what I wind up buying is sometimes something I could have cooked for a fraction of the cost. And sometimes I find the food makes me feel slightly ill. If I would only bring my lunch to work. Imagine, I've spent the better portion of $20 and none of the food was particularly good. There's a potential to save over $500/year doing this if you figure I can prepare my lunch for half the price of what I'd pay at a restaurant or supermarket buffet.
a.       I did this today. Leftover rice and beans with salsa, cheese, store-bought guacamole, an egg, and two tortillas. And I feel great. No funny sounds coming from my tummy.
4.      Return my library books. It's all well and good to borrow books from the library that you don't wish to own; or in lieu of owning books. But it doesn't do to pay too many fines on those books by returning them late. I used to comfort myself by saying, "well, the library doesn't get enough funding so I'm doing my part by paying these fines". That's just silly. If I've got extra to give to charity then I can certainly give it to the library. But I have no budget for fines. Besides, I'm keeping others from reading the books when I fail to return them on time. I haven't paid a lot of fines in recent years but in the past I've dropped $5-$10 on a single visit to the library. Still I'm not entirely certain about the savings here.

All told, I could save nearly $800 for the year if I can meet with success on all of the above.

Do you have a money leak somewhere? What can you do to patch it?

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