Author Topic: Cuttin' down the monthly expenses  (Read 4660 times)

zolotiyeruki

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Cuttin' down the monthly expenses
« on: February 13, 2014, 01:11:13 PM »
I'm fairly new here, but thanks to MMM, my wife and I have had some serious discussion on how to improve our finances.  We're both quite frugal (I married well!), but with five kids running around, it's pretty easy to spend money.  Here are the changes we've made in the last couple months:

1) cancelled weekly semi-private swim lessons ($30/week) for our three oldest.  We semi-private because our oldest is high-functioning Autistic, but we realized that swim lessons once per week wasn't resulting in noticeable progress for our kids.  We'll wait until the summer, when we can enroll them in more intensive daily swim lessons, so they can learn better.
2) switched from Straight Talk to Airvoice Wireless.  I looked at my actual texting/calling/internet history, and realized I could cut my bill from $50 to $25/mo at least.  As it turns out, it'll be right around the $10/mo mark.
3) switched from Vonage to Ooma.  When we started with Vonage, it was $25/mo.  Nowadays, with all the taxes and stuff, it was $36.  Ooma only costs the regulatory fees (about $4/mo) after the initial purchase.  We do miss some of the features of Vonage--Ooma is pretty bare-bones--but we'll be ok without them.
4) put the thermostat back on its schedule.  Instead of a constant 68 in the winter, it goes down to 60 from 10pm to 5am.  It's extra encouragement for me to get to bed at 10:00, and it warms up the house by the time I get up at 6:00.
5) replaced the nine (!) 60W incandescent bulbs in our front chandelier with CFLs.  Went from 540W to 117. Most of the other bulbs in the house are already CFLs.

Now, I just need to convince my bosses to move the company to a state with lower property and income taxes.  Illinois is ridiculous.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Cuttin' down the monthly expenses
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 08:04:43 PM »
Good work! All those cuts will add up quickly :-)

1967mama

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Re: Cuttin' down the monthly expenses
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2014, 03:04:32 AM »
Nicely done!  We have 8 kids, ranging from 22-> 6 years old and they all still live at home.  Nice to see other larger families on here, still trying to make a go of more mustachian ways... It can be done! Our power bill is down 26% this winter due to all I've learned at both this site and The Prudent Homemaker. 

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Cuttin' down the monthly expenses
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2014, 07:54:01 AM »
Thanks, guys.  My wife grew up in a family of 6 kids, and I'm the youngest of 9, so big families are nothing new to us.

I guess there's one upside from morning sickness--my wife doesn't want to do anything for Valentines Day this year :)  That's a whole evening's worth of babysitter/dinner/gifts we won't be spending this time around.

Numbers Man

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Re: Cuttin' down the monthly expenses
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2014, 08:49:33 AM »

Now, I just need to convince my bosses to move the company to a state with lower property and income taxes.  Illinois is ridiculous.

I escaped Illinois for a much lower tax state called Arizona and love it.

momo5

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Re: Cuttin' down the monthly expenses
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2014, 06:38:39 PM »
I'm another one with five kiddos

I like your plan to wait for summer with the swimming lessons. I agree, more regular lessons will likely have more noticeable results.

Anti-ComplainyPants

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Re: Cuttin' down the monthly expenses
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2014, 03:50:37 PM »
I posted this elsewhere in the forum, but is worth a mention here -

Yesterday I dropped the collision coverage on my car insurance, saving me ~$25-$30 a month. It's a cheap car anyway, so I went with MMM's advice of "stop paying for imagined safety" (or something to that extent).

wordygirl

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Re: Cuttin' down the monthly expenses
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2014, 07:54:15 PM »
My kids are both autistic (high-functioning and Aspergers) and we went the semi-private lessons route for a while. However, here in Canada such things are paid for as part of our special needs funding so it didn't cost me out of pocket.

But I did pull them out because they both hated the lessons. Instead, we started going swimming as a family during public swims, and we frequented a nearby watering hole during the warm months of summer,  and both kids learned to swim on their own.

You don't need lessons, you just need practice.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Cuttin' down the monthly expenses
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 05:37:23 AM »
Quote
Yesterday I dropped the collision coverage on my car insurance, saving me ~$25-$30 a month. It's a cheap car anyway, so I went with MMM's advice of "stop paying for imagined safety" (or something to that extent).
That's a good point, and one that we're already partly doing.  I drive a '95 Corolla with only the legally-required liability, and we have a '02 Odyseey minivan that has collision (just because it's worth more).

Quote
You don't need lessons, you just need practice.
I expect the same will be true of our kids (autistic and not).  Truth be told, when I hit high school and joined the swim team, it was like learning to swim all over again.  I knew how to keep from drowning, but my technique left something to be desired :)