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I see a young boy Saying He's going to run away. Deep inside, It's already happened. Ronny Dibbern (Grade 8) From Ten-Second Rainshowers: Poems by young people. Compiled by Sanford Lynne

Friday, February 20, 2009

Eliminate Recurring Charges

It's been a fortnight since my first Friday of frugality (Say that with a cookie in your mouth. To follow the frequency of F's make it a fig bar.)

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


Jennifer said...

Great tips. Many people think that if they can afford the monthly payment on something then they should buy it. I like to keep our outgo as low as possible, especially when it comes to things that HAVE to be paid, the recurring costs.

Mom2fur said...

People got along quite nicely without Caller ID or Call Waiting for decades. I don't have them, either, and I don't want them. I have an answering machine that handles calls I don't want, and frankly, I think Call Waiting is rude!

Suz said...

I'm with you on the phone service... no caller id or call waiting. Never had it, never miss it.

Caller id is on our cell phones, something I couldn't get my Hubby to downsize on. It is good on the cell phones because we can decide if we want to spend the minutes, or call someone from home later.

Just Plain Dave FKA Home School Dad said...

Suz, good point on caller id for cell phones. It comes at no additional cost on our cell phones pay as you go plans. Again, not something I mind getting for free.

Jen said...

great post! We've been cable free for just over 2 years and I have to say I love saving that extra $70 a month. That's not to say we don't watch TV. We have an antenna and we did have to buy the dtv converter but we used the $40 coupon and only paid $5. So we still get 3 basic channels (CBS, ABC and FOX) and anything else we want to watch we do so on the internet. You can watch almost anything on cable on that channels internet site.

AmyR said...

Great comments Mr. Rollersteen.

Anonymous said...

Your family sounds a lot like ours. No cable, no cell phone plan (we pay $100 per year, pre-paid). Keeping it basic allows our money to stretch further than we ever imagined!