Cutting the Budget “Fat”

I have been trying to “cut the fat” from our budget today. It’s not easy, but here’s what I have found:

  • I called our telephone company, and managed to cut out a whopping $5/month from our home phone/internet bill. Of course, I could just cut off the home phone entirely, but I’m not sure we’re there yet. Soon maybe, just not yet.
  • I called our auto insurance company, and got a few good ideas about how to cut our premiums, but we’re really using most of the available discounts already. I’m going to get my info together and call about adding our homeowners to the policy to see if we could save on both, but that’ll be a task for another day. No direct savings here.
  • I reviewed our power bill and saw that we have reduced our average consumption from April to May even though it was hotter in May, so that’s good. In fact, we’ve dropped our budget billing amount by $17/month!
  • I’m seriously considering cutting off our satellite TV. It’s $90/month, and we watch a handful of TV hours a week. A little more soul-searching will be required before this decision is reached. I did cut off the extra receiver that we don’t use but have paid for about 6 years longer than we needed it. $5/month saved there.
  • I cut off the DVD service for Netflix, saving $7.99/month.
  • I cut off the Equifax reporting for Michael that I have let dangle for WAYYY too long. There’s another $14.99/month.
  • I cut off my subscription to WildTangent games since I really don’t use it much and don’t need to be playing computer games in my free time anyway. 🙂 $6.99/month saved.

Grand total: $39.97 of cut-off stuff + $17 power savings + lots of things to think about = not a bad day’s work

Baby steps…

Here are some other areas that I’m working on:

  • Using meal planning to cut grocery spending in HALF from May to June
  • Driving less, watching gas prices closer, etc. to cut gas consumption by $60 (getting it within our new budgeted level)
  • Eating at home more…MUCH more…to reduce our eating-out budget by 66%

Do you have other ideas on how to cut the budget?

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2 thoughts on “Cutting the Budget “Fat”

  1. Congrats on what you’ve done so far! You might also try to see if you can bundle phone (home and mobile) with internet and satellite TV. Some areas of the country allow you to do that. Investigating that is on my to-do list, as well. We have to keep our home phone to keep our internet to keep our email addresses we’ve had for about 20 years. It’s a vicious little cycle. You can also see if you can increase your deductibles on the insurances in addition to bundling. Also, regarding groceries, there are ways to save, but beware of the extreme couponers. They advocate saving money by getting free stuff that is heavily processed and not necessarily good for your health. Are you near a local farmer? Sometimes you can buy a whole, half or quarter of a cow for much less per pound than you would be charged in the grocery store. Also, there are tons of recipes out there for homemade cleaning products that are less expensive (based on things like vinegar, baking soda, etc.). Just a few thoughts. We’re trying to trim our budget, too. Also, can you find a way to bring in a little extra income by selling some of the stuff you are purging? Do you have a skill you can use to generate some extra cash?

    • I strayed into the “extreme” couponing for a while. I realized that when you count the time I was spending , the cost of the papers, and the trips to the store, my savings weren’t as spectacular as it seemed on the outside. Also, I wound up buying things that we didn’t really want, need, or typically use.

      Thanks for the other savings ideas. I am going to look in to the idea of buying a larger freezer to allow for buying bulk meats like that. I like the idea a lot! Maybe the freezer can be a birthday/Christmas present? 🙂

      Once I’m really home, I’m going to try to pick up some web design, writing, and editing work as needed. I’ve already started switching a good many of my cleaning products to homemade ones (laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent most notably).

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