1. We did this ourselves with our satellite and insurance plans recently. There really can be some “hidden” savings if you’re willing to do a little homework to find it.

    • CF says:

      Yes, insurance is another big one. We looked closely at our insurance last year, and found out that we were being charged a higher premium for the privilege of getting “eco-friendly” repairs.

  2. We went with an over-the air antenna for both our televisions. Each antenna cost me $30, but I save $50 each month by just using the internet. I am impressed with your $200/month grocery budget. My wife and I have a $400/month, but we never hit that. I am going to try and keep it even with the baby.

    • CF says:

      We are able to cook at home for almost all of our meals, which helps a lot. When we do go out to eat, it is generally a social event, so it comes out of our entertainment budget instead.

      I remember my family used to use antennas for our TV but I haven’t used one myself in over ten years. I wonder what channels I could get…

  3. Pauline says:

    $15 a month in banking fees is outrageous! A friend of mine keeps paying for a cellphone plan because he is too lazy to cancel it, he doesn’t have the phone or the SIM card anymore… I wonder how many millions disappear like that. Anyway, I cleaned up a bit this year but live lean too so focusing on making more $$$!

  4. I also get hit with the stupid banking fees for making a lot of transactions. Its annoying cause I’m not making purchases but rather transferring money and paying bills. They have fees for everything!

    • CF says:

      That’s what got Brian too. He’d get paid, transfer money to different accounts and pay a few bills. But it added up! We’re closing one of his accounts to reduce unnecessary transfers.

    • Kim says:

      I hope everyone who is not happy with bank fees has looked into Credit Unions … you will save!

  5. Good time to look at things like this, but don’t stop after the calendar flips at the end of the month. Once you see the difference you can make, it will hopefully give you motivation to continue identifying ways to save throughout the year.

    One thing you could consider doing with some of your savings, if you don’t have one already, is develop a fund for gifts for next holiday season. Then, when you go to shop, everything is already ‘paid for’, meaning one less expense (and a lot less worry) next January. Good one to start now because you can get twelve months of a head start!

    • CF says:

      We try to do that, but it was a bit more difficult for me this year since I was in classes for the first few months of the year. As a result, I had to scramble a bit more to make and save enough money for Christmas :p I think this year should be better though. We are going to try to put away $50 each per month. 🙂

  6. Ndy says:

    You are right that January is a great time to do this before you run out of steam later in the year. I have been doing this looking for ways to increase my saving. So far the only thing that I can see is food. I spend way too much money on food for just one person me and sometimes I feel like there isn’t much to show for it. Am working on getting that grocery budget down, there are other things I would like to spend my money on.

    • CF says:

      A grocery budget is a must-have, I think. When I lived by myself, I liked to make large meals and have leftovers throughout the week. You can keep things like soups and stews frozen, while other dishes can generally keep well for a few days in the fridge. Good luck!

  7. I definitely think that you should consider cancelling cable! We did and it’s a huge moneysaver and now we have more free time than ever.

    • CF says:

      Did you watch a lot of TV before cancelling cable? We don’t watch TV at all. It’s just the live sports that we’d be missing out on. 🙁

  8. I just got a bunny ears antenna that gets all the local channels in HD and it works pretty well, you can also look into a leaf antenna. I didn’t even know you could still get channels over the air but you can!

    You should also check out my latest article on walmart’s iphone/straight talk wireless new offering 🙂

  9. Suba says:

    I have been doing this kind of housekeeping as well. We are pretty lean too, but not for a one income family. I am slowly going through all the subscriptions and auto pay charges (they can really slip your mind) to reevaluate if they are really necessary. And I totally agree with you on the bank fees and extra cell phone charges. The way I am approaching this is cutting all our spending cold turkey. Only recurring charges go in the credit card, that gives me a clear picture leaving all the noise. Grocery and gas, we are paying with cash this month. I see that I am evaluating every purchase more if I pay with cash.

    • CF says:

      Yeah I have to be careful with subscriptions as well. Occasionally, I play video games online and I will sometimes forget to cancel my subscription before it auto-renews. Arg.

  10. totally on board with all of those goals.. the bank fees were something that just totally destroying our budget a few years ago, when we had overdraws on a regular basis.

    we were very successful at eliminating those last year, and it made a noticable difference.

    • CF says:

      It’s getting to be like airlines, with all the little charges and conditions that you have to adhere to! We’ve made a few changes so we’ll hopefully see a difference next month.


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