This blog is a way for me to share hard learned lessons about money with those who are just starting out on their own. I hope it's a way for you to avoid making the mistakes I made, and to benefit from my experiences

Friday, July 21, 2006

Lesson 7: Review All Services You Buy At Least Once a Year

It's amazing how easily additional services creep up on you. You sign up for one, and then another, and eventually you've got many. Here's just a partial list of stuff that adds up- Cable TV, DSL Internet, Netflix (actually Blockbuster), Yahoo Music Subscription, cell phone, 3 magazine subscriptions, and 2 political organization memberships.

Each of these is a monthly or yearly expense. Many are not needed or no longer used. This is very common. So you should at least once a year, go through all this stuff and ask yourself. Am I still using this? Do I need it at that level? Do I need it at all? Can I get this or a similar service elsewhere for less? Even better would be to think about these every time you pay the bill.

Right now, I'm considering halting the Blockbuster DVD service, or trimming it back from 3 DVDs at one time to 1 DVD at a time. I just don't get to sit down and watch DVDs that much.

I recently switched to DSL internet at $17.99 per month from Comcast Cable at a rapacious $42.95 a month. I haven't missed the higher cable speed at all, but I sure like having that extra $25 per month.

I've shaved my home telephone bill from $27 to $17 a month by going to a 3rd party long distance carrier. They have great rates by the way, with no monthly fee or minimum usage requirements. I urge you to check out Americom for your telephone and long distance needs.

I've ditched one of our two cell phone plans in favor of Prepaid. My monthly cell phone bill went from $19.99 to about $3 to $6 per month depending on how many minutes I used. If you use less than 200 minutes a month like I do, take a hard look at prepaid cell phone plans. Right now, I think T-Mobile has the best prepaid plan. Like Catherine Zeta-Jones says, "Why pay more?"

Your auto insurance is a great service to do this with too. Every year you should review your coverage, and then shop around to a few different companies or sites to see if they can give you something better. One time, I reduced my rate by $500 per year this way by finding out Costco offers low cost auto insurance. Make sure you check the rates your warehouse club offers if you are a member. Or if you aren't a member, check anyway. A $500 annual savings is worth a $35 annual membership.

By staying sharp and investigating alternatives, you can save substantially. Who doesn't like to save money?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! This will help our financially challenged Christians' Class!
If you have anymore, please emial me with FINANCES in the subject.

Blessings to you!

3/13/2007 10:26 AM


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