Medicated Money

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Cutting Those Bills - 3 Month Recap


Back at the early stages of this blog, one of the main subjects we discussed was the conscience ability to decrease our reoccurring bills. It was difficult at first to actually see any difference in those bills after 1 or 2 months of changes. Now, we are at the point where we can make a 3 month analysis to see if our changes really made a difference and if so, by how much.

Electric Bill – In comparing our last 3 months to the same 3 months from the previous year plus realizing that in 2005, we were in a 900sf apartment and in 2006 we are in a 1800sf townhouse, the average for these 3 months in 2005 was $147. The average bill for the past 3 months in 2006 was $137. Even with the fact that our living area has doubled, our electric bills are actually less. We believe if given enough time and comparable numbers for the same residence, we have lowered our energy significantly. Goal – Completed

Grocery Bill – This was a huge problem for us when we started this blog. All in all, we just wasted too much money at the grocery store. We bought things we wanted rather than shop for sales. We never used coupons or the weekly flier! Since our posting, we have cut our grocery bill by $282. For the 3 months before we started this blog, we average a monthly spending of $918. Yet, the past 3 months we have average $636. Goal – Completed

Telephone Bill(s) – We thought we were saving money here but as it turned out, there were better deals out there. We switched to Vonage for $19/month, and found out we could get a better deal with a company discount for our cell phones. We now pay roughly $80/month for the 2 services compared to the $120 we were paying. This saves us $40/month or 33% of what we were paying. Goal – Completed

Auto Insurance – We both liked our respected companies and to be honest, I never thought about this. Yet with the start of this blog, we began to question monthly bills we never thought of questioning before. Turns out by doing some research, we were able to change our monthly cost of $196/month for auto insurance to $145/month. It will be lower when we begin to pay the on a annual basis rather than monthly installments. This has saved us $51/month or 26% on auto insurance. Goal – Completed

Gas Bill – By lowering our water heater’s temperature and taking shorter showers, we have decreased our gas bill by 29% from $35 to $25/month. Goal – Completed

Entertainment Bill – We began looking for free entertainment sponsor by the city we lived in as well as looking for 2-for-1 coupons in the paper and entertainment book. We were spending roughly $250/month. We now spend close to $100/month on entertainment without missing a beat in going out and having fun! This is a saving of $150/month or 60%. Goal – Completed

In just these six categories, we have put $540 back into our pockets. These changes were fairly easy to complete, however, required a little more focus on how much we were really spending and being discipline in not overspending. Overall, the best advantage from this is the ability to constantly be looking for a better deal, which in turn, helps us spend less on a monthly basis.

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