Procrastination. It can be a true enemy to your financial life. I procrastinated for many years by not looking at my fixed costs more closely. Fixed are fixed, right? Wrong. And it cost me. Big. $3,240 to be exact.
I’ve been on a kick to save as much money as possible, as my desire to retire early is lighting a fire under my butt to get it done. So, I’ve been looking at ways to lower our monthly bills which will allow more money to be saved. In the last 30 days, I reviewed my fixed expenses, which included insurance policies, cable bills, cell phone bills, electric bills, water bills, and natural gas bills. The results were eye opening.
This is how I found more than $3,000 in savings:
Homeowners. I was being overcharged for home insurance by $400 a year. They had an enormous replacement value on my home because they had in their records 1000 more square feet than its actual size. If I had really read the insurance papers last June, I would have noticed it sooner. I’d love to blame them for incompetency, but this one is on me.
Car Insurance. Not much to change here, but I did find an overcharge on my car for $80 a year. $80 is $80, right?
Our service provider changed it’s policies so I was able to get out of a cable contract that I had with no penalty. I capitalized on this recently, and documented it here. I also took advantage of internet/cell phone bonus and got 1 GBT internet and unlimited data for my cell phones . This is where I saw the most savings, about $2,000 a year. I am MOST happy about this change. 🙂
A side note: If you are financing your phone through your cell phone bill, it’s not a utility bill, it’s DEBT. It took me YEARS to realize this. I’m glad we own all of our phones, and no longer finance them.
GAS & Electric:. This should have been done YEARS ago, but I finally changed all of my lightbulbs to LEDs. I’ve also lowered the temp to 68 degrees, lowered the hot water heater to 120 degrees, turned off the garage refrigerator, and started sealing up the windows. I have yet to get the new bills with these changes, but based on the wattage usage, I should save $25-40/mos. just by unplugging the garage refrigerator. By lowering the heat and hot water heater, I should be able to save another $20 a month. Total savings for the year: $720.00.
Water/Sewer Bill: I changed out shower heads to get a slower flow, as well as other faucets. The water bill has always been an issue, so I’m making a conscious effort to use less. I am taking fewer baths, and shorter showers. Hopefully small changes will add up to big savings. I’ll keep you posted on this one.
I’ve realized, finally, that fixed bills don’t have to be ‘fixed’. There are ways to save money. And I have $3,000 more to prove it. So, not only do I have $3,000 more in savings, but I have $3,000 less to come up with when I retire. A win-win for sure.
If you have ways you save on your fixed expenses, please share!