Y’all, I’m not ever going to become some sort of personal finance blogger. For a host of reasons that we can all agree upon as being valid. But much like my ALDI/Meal Planning/Cooking crusade, if we start doing something that makes sense and frees up space in our budget, you’ll always be the first people I tell.
But let us all remember, that none of my savings tips should ever been construed as financial advice. Because you need some fancy-pants certifications for that and I 100% lack that expertise.
So to move forward, from an extremely basic way I see it, there are three ways for Marcus and I to increase our income:
- We can increase our earning capabilities through our work
- We can earn money through our investments
- We can free up our cash flow by eliminating or reducing spending
Of the three, I think it’s safest to say that we simultaneously have the most control and the least control over #2. Because our life’s work is not to game the market, we will set our sights on #1 and #3.
I think you already know that when I find easy ways to cut corners in our budget, I do it. Because having money is a nice thing. Being able to spend your own money instead of letting another company spend it is a really great thing.
As I mentioned before, as part of my spring cleaning crusade, I targeted a couple of different parts of our budget to tackle. Namely: Consolidating car insurance and reducing our cable bill.
How it is possible that three years later, we had not yet made it to the point where our auto insurance was consolidated, I cannot say. We were bundling the rest of our insurance, so it’s not as though we didn’t ever touch it. The policy I was using was through USAA (I got it through my Grandfather in the 1940s!). Marcus uses State Farm. We’re able to receive discounted services from GEICO.
We ended up quoting through all three, with the intention of bundling car insurance with our other homeowner insurance policies. You can only keep track of so many accounts, after all. At the completion of the process, State Farm ended up being the most affordable by about $300 annually. Our net profit there was $250 because with the elimination of my USAA policy, I now needed to sign up for roadside assistance through AAA.
Talk about passing go and collecting!
When I think about how much we pay for cable, it’s actually sort of mortifying, to the point where I cannot even say the number aloud. While did not succeed in cutting the cord completely. I really felt that we could start making our way in that direction. Our Achilles’ heel ironically was not HBO (which you can now get as part of a basic cable package for $20/month), but FX which doesn’t even exist on hulu plus. I will never understand this.
When Marcus called Comcast, they were able to quote him a price that was $40 less per month. Sure, that’s a decent savings at the outset. The customer service representative told him that if he were to cancel our current service and sign me up as a new customer (which I am), he would be able to access a package that would save us $60 per month.
That is real money, people. We immediately cancelled our service and re-subscribed. Which was a massive pain. But once we factored in the fees for the re-install and the new cable boxes, we had managed to re-claim another $600 per year in our budget.
Not to mention that with these swanky new cable boxes (our old ones were probably five years old), we are able to DVR four channels at once and we are able to access our recorded shows as well as OnDemand on the television in our bedroom. I know. I KNOW. What world is this?
Our grand total? $850. It took us a month to work through the process, as well as undergoing the hell of re-establishing a wireless internet connection through our router, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Do you have any savings tips you can share?