Friday, 29 January 2016

How We Saved Money Jan 24-30, 2016

As I mentioned, we tried to keep our 6 year old's birthday party reasonable in both expectation and cost. Yes, we are tightening up our budget around here, but I'm also conscious of setting an expectation in my children's minds. When everything you do is lavish and on a grand scale, it gets hard to have ordinary days of work and play. It is my goal to teach my kids to enjoy work and to recognise a feeling of accomplishment when something is followed through from beginning to end. When you live a simple life, do a day's work and go to bed tired, it is easier to appreciate time spent with friends in genuine conversation, a warm fire, a homemade meal. I am not interested in competing with other people's lifestyles, although I respect their right to live as they choose. I am also not interested in trying to outdo last year's costly and elaborate birthday party with something even more costly and elaborate this year. I'm pleased to report that the other moms felt the same and I sensed a sigh of relief when I pulled out cookies as parting gifts and said "I don't expect my kids to bring home a toy from a birthday party"! I know that making all the food and cake myself saved us money, but compared to last year when each child got to take home the superhero plate he or she ate off, I'd say sending home cookies saved me about $25.

I called our cell phone provider to try to downgrade my cell plan. Although our combined plan is cheaper than Husband's individual plan was when we met (for real!) I don't feel that I use my phone enough for it to cost me $65/month. Truthfully, I should go "pay-as-you-go" because I dread talking on the phone. However, I text like a bandit and sometimes our internet phone doesn't work very well, and those seem to be the days I need to use the phone. So after half an hour on the phone with them, I decided that when my contract is up I will have to shop around for another provider with cheaper plans. This of course got me patched through to a supervisor, who after another 30 minutes and the same declaration was finally able to come up with a plan that is $50/month. I will now have 1 gig of data instead of 5 (my usage was never over 1 gig anyways). I think for a $15 savings I can stay off the internet when I'm out and just use wifi at home. If I need something googled I will just have to (gasp!) ask a stranger. So downgrading my plan, combined with cancelling the insurance on the phone, saves me $21/month.

I also cancelled the package policy on an older truck that Husband will no longer be using for work. It would have been easy to forget, but the extra coverage is not necessary and costs $544/year. So cancelling it saves us $45/month. The truck still has insurance, mind you, just not the lowered deductible and special coverage that it used to.

I have not gone to town for groceries. That saves me $10 in gas for the week. I want to make it until February 1 before I get groceries again and I have meals planned so that I can do just that. I've been baking bread and cookies and only just ran out of butter. My mom had a pound I could have until Monday when I get groceries, and she also found cauliflower for $4 and it was a HUGE head that she shared with me. We always share food back and forth so when I find something that is a good deal I will return the favour.

All in all, I spent $101 less this week than I might have, but more importantly I eliminated $46 $66 (don't ask. I am soooo mathematically challenged!) from our monthly bills. That's a savings of $552 $792 in a year. A good chunk out of an extra mortgage payment, or a really good addition to an emergency fund. Or almost a month worth of groceries. It feels good to reduce our spending, and I have only just begun!


6 comments:

  1. Brava!!! Well done!!! Nice way to start the year :-)

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    1. It feels great! I have a few more things on my list next week so I'm hoping to wipe out more of our monthly spending. Should have done all this way sooner!

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  2. Well done. It's so satisfying to save money isn't it. CJ xx

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    1. I feel so much more in control when I review our bills every so often. I'm committed to doing it regularly now! Feels great :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I'm always so impressed with your commitment to savings....I vote for the extra money to go to an "emergency fund". I'm a big believer in emergency savings. Thanks for your recent comment on my blog...

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    1. Thanks, Meggie. I have always been a "saver" (raised that way) and it has saved us numerous times. Right now it is out of necessity as the local economy has seen tens of thousands of layoffs since the price of oil fell. This of course affects small businesses of every type because even if you aren't directly related to oil your income depends on the community spending money and right now no one has any. We haven't been hit yet but I want to prepared if/when we are. And you are right, having emergency funds are crucial. When hard times pass I then make extra payments and deposit to savings or tax free savings accounts (if the money is still there) and begin building up our emergency funds again.

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