Monday, January 28, 2008

THAT's TOO MUCH! (Updated)

Over at Sense to Save, there is a THAT'S TOO MUCH challenge

Ok, so we are trying to lower our utility bill (gas, electric and water is billed as one). WE have lowered the thermostat from 68 to 65. Recently we have been turning it down to 60 from 7pm (right after dinner) to 7am (when we start getting up and going). But do keep on SOME heat so you don't end up dead, like this woman who did not use her heater when she could have.

I have no idea how to do the savings with water. We have a front loading washer and I always run it full. I run the dishwasher full. We turn off the water while brushing our teeth. But I am sure there is SOMEWAY to reduce our water. I need to do some research on this. I did call and ask about "peak hours" as mentioned in the comments. Our utility company only does that for electrical. Our water is billed in "blocks." Which means if you use a small amount of water you pay less. You pay more the more water you use.

As far as the cell phone, even though we are paying $10 more a month, we have 50 extra minutes a month, roll-over minutes (which will save us money should we ever had to be in the hospital again) and my hubby has unlimited web access (which is beneficial as we use the internet to map out where to go as well as check and compare prices - this has saved us a LOT of money) and we have a second line for me. All for $10 more a month. WOOHOO!!

But the land line. We are paying $42! I am going to call and see about lowering it. SO right now, we have the basic BUNDLE (key word being bundle) where caller ID, call waiting and call waiting caller ID are "free." So when I asked what the BASIC BASIC no bundle line is, he said it was $14.88!!! (Of course there is still the taxes equating to about $12 here.) Our total bill would be $26! ALMOST HALF of what we were paying and THOUGHT we were getting basic basic and all this FREE stuff!

We don't need call waiting because they can always call the cell phone if the land line is busy. And without call waiting, you don't need call waiting caller ID. If we still wanted caller ID (to avoid those middle of dinner sales calls) it is an additional $7.50 a month. That would still be $10 savings a month. My mom just said for her basic basic it is $9.99 and that blocks them from making long distance calls. I asked about how much it would be for us if we had no long distance ability and they said it would still be the $14.88. But maybe somewhere near you it would be different.

They were also going to charge me $9.18 to do this. NO WAY! I contested it and the extra charge was removed (because she was able to re-process the order in a different way). So now, we are saving $120 A YEAR on our phone line! The only things we will miss are that special ringy-dingy when the call was long distance and call waiting (but isn't that what CELL PHONES are for?). :)

We do not have cable (woohoo!) and the newspaper we get Sundays only for $1 which is 25 cents less than it is supposed to cost AND it is delivered. :) And the magazines we are subscribed to, beloved gets through a special site and doesn't pay more than $1 per issue.

We have quite a good deal on our insurance and are pleased with it. We might be able to lower it.

Checking and Savings Accounts
We have switched to a local credit union (DON'T flush money down the toilet by keeping it in a bank, find a credit union - they WANT you and will most likely be able to find a way to make you a customer and if not, you can find one that will). But with the drop in rates, we are switching to a DIFFERENT local credit union which has rates 1 point HIGHER than the military credit union we are currently using.

It was mentioned about gym memberships. We do not have, nor are we likely to get one anytime ever. Right now where we live, there is SO MUCH TO DO to enjoy the outdoors here in Colorado! The children like hiking. And during garage sale season, there was a treadmill (something we have wanted) that was $200 marked down to $100. I gave her my number and said if she didn't sell it would she mind selling it to me (someone who would use it rather than try to resell it at the flea market) for $30. That treadmill is now a GREAT part of my winter workout! :)

Well, I *THINK* that is all. :) If nothing else, I am saving us an addition $120 a year! :)

Three things I am thankful for:
How the girls just dote on their brother JJ
How JJ comforts his sisters when he knows they are sad
How the girls allow JJ to ride on their backs like a horse, and the smile he has when he falls off


Kacie said...

WAY TO GO! Woo hoo! I'm so happy for ya! $120 per year is awesome. Every little bit adds up, right?

You *might* be able to save on your water bill, but I'm not sure. Give your water company a call, and ask if they have lower rates during off-peak periods, like at night time.

If they do (some do!) you can run your dishwasher and washing machine and try showering during those off-peak times (so long as it doesn't affect your routine in a bad way). Let me know if it works.

Anonymous said...

Do you have cable internet? If so, you should consider Vonage for your landline. That is what we use and have had little problems with it. It is only $29/mo and includes caller ID and call waiting. Just something to consider. Good luck with your savings. Your husband must be so proud of you!
~Mrs. Farrah Ginter