Posted by CF
on Jan 16, 2013 in Money
| 21 comments
One of the things I intend on focusing on this year is trimming out the fatty bits of my finances. Brian and I live pretty leanly already, but there’s always room for improvement! I want to make a big push towards financial independence this year and optimizing our finances is the first step. January is a great time to rack up some savings because it’s the start of a new year! Who doesn’t want to get a new year off to a good start, right?
I want to find the places where money is being wasted and redirect that money towards debts, savings, or even fun. This wasted money really bugs me because it’s not really going towards anything – even when I spend $5 on a roll of sushi, I will at least enjoy eating that sushi. Money that is spent on fees, extra bills or unnecessary services do not benefit me at all.
Here are a few areas I’ve identified:
- Bank fees have got to go. I admit, I had a bit of a rage when I discovered that Brian was leaking $10-15 in extra transaction fees the past few months. As far as I’m concerned, these fees go to nothing. It’s just a drain that eats away at our money. We’re restructuring how we pay bills and how we do transactions in order to minimize and hopefully eliminate these extra fees. In the long run, we plan on keeping enough in our chequing buffer to eliminate the monthly fees completely.
- Cell phone charges need to be reduced. Right now, I pay $70 a month for my cell phone – that’s talking and texting, voicemail, and 500MB of data. I never go over my plan, but it’s really ridiculous that I’m paying a premium for a data plan when I spend most of my days at home or at work – both places that have wifi! So I’m planning on downgrading my plan or even switching carriers in April when my contract expires. I’m considering going with Wind Mobile’s $25 plan – has anyone used this company before?
- Why do we have TV in the summer? Every year, I ponder the feasibility of getting rid of our cable for the summer months when there is no hockey to watch. (Not that there was hockey to watch the past four months…grr…) Even now, I don’t know when the last time I turned on my TV was. :/ I’m going to revisit this issue around May or June.
- We need to eat less. Eating on $200 a month for two people is just plain stupid. I think we can do better! Therefore… just kidding. :) I’m pretty happy with our $200 a month grocery budget and we’re not going to changing anything.
For us, our saved money will go right into debt payments. For others, opening a savings account and putting that money aside for a rainy day might be the best bet.
Have you cleaned your financial house this January and found areas that you could cut out in order to save some money? Any suggestions for other areas I could investigate?