Last time I was here, I said that a key to frugality is to know when to spend and when not to. Today's post is all about when not to. First, I must say that none that follows is meant to be judgemental or prideful. If you came into my house, and followed how we spend our money, you would see many ways that we either spend or money unwisely, or spend money in a way that you never would. What I am talking about today is about the major ways we save money. These tips are certainly not for everyone.
The main way we save money at my house is on what we have decided to do without, not with what we spend less on. We really only have 5 monthly recurring bills. electricity, gas, home phone (which is bundled with our Internet connection) our mortgage, and our credit card bill. We are on a budget right now that would put us down to 4 monthly recurring bills by the beginning of 2010 when we hope to have our credit card paid off for good.
Now, of course, we fill our tanks and are cars tanks to keep us and them moving. Those are basically pay as you go. We don't have cable. We don't have a monthly cellular bill. We also have a bare bones phone package. We have been married nearly 11 years and in all that time we have not had call waiting, or caller i.d.. I was just at my phone company's website and the cost of those two features is 13.22 per month. That's almost $160.00 for 1 year. And what's the downside? We don't know who's calling us and sometimes people get a busy signal. We are actually not on the phone all that much, and I am pretty good at guessing who's calling by the time of day and other contextual clues. The problem with that is no one is impressed when I guess it's them, they just assume that I have caller i.d.
The one that gets most people, is the no cable. Truth be told we moved our T.V. away from the antenna about a year ago and no one in our family has complained. We watch plenty of television, it's either on DVD, videocassette or watching on the Internet. Many of the DVDs and videos are borrowed from our library at no cost to us. Don't get me wrong we love cable in moderation. Amy and I stayed in a hotel last weekend and there is nothing like watching 4 episodes of Law and Order in a 12 hour period. We just don't like paying for it.
My wife and I do not use our cell phones much. We text each other grocery lists and that sort of thing and when we compare notes with those with monthly plans what we pay averages out to never more than 1/2 of what they pay.
Again, I don't write this to be judgmental, critical, or prideful. I share it because I think, that eliminating or trimming down even one of your monthly recurring charges could make quite an impact on your personal finances. I know it has on ours. Even if we can't watch Law and Order four times a day.
Click here to see other good ideas for saving money at Frugal Friday part of Biblical Womanhood.
Next Time: A final word about encouraging words