It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

I just cut down my monthly bills by $2,000

page: 1
20
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 07:12 PM
link   
This may seem like obvious steps for some people, but for me, I've always lived in a manner when I was younger, my family, where we did specific things, or purchased specific things on a monthly bases. When I moved out several years ago I carried on those habitual spending manners and it took a toll on my bank account.

Just to clarify, those spending habits weren't Vices. I don't drink Alcohol, I don't smoke, I've never done drugs, and I've never really spent a lot on leisurely things.

What was happening was I was used to purchasing brand-name products, non-bulk items, purchasing foods/goods without really looking at other sources for sales, and only sticking with well-known service providers.

Turns out, I was doing everything wrong!
My monthly bills (Food, Gas, Mortgage, Insurance, Car Payments, Phone Payments, and so on) averaged about $4,500-$5,000/month.

Now, I don't live in the cheapest location in the world. My city is one of the most expensive in all of Canada. I don't have the ability to move at the moment, but that's for the future. In the mean time I needed to save.

Between my wife and I we were spending WAY too much money on food each month. I usually ate from subway, or other fast-food joints every lunch at work ($11 per day, 5-6 days a week!). So that alone was $220 per month just for a sandwich a day. At home we would also eat out at least once a week, which would add another $20-$40 per week just for that one meal. I purchased Fuel from the nearest gas station, and wasn't getting a great deal because of it.

So here's what I did:

First things first, Make your food at home! Now we purchase as much as we can in bulk, sometimes even online (like amazon) for things like packaged noodles (or other things). We went from store to store and saved all our receipts for a month to see which grocery store sells what for the best price. That way if we run out of that item, we know where to go to get a good deal. We also subscribed to all our local grocery store flyers. Shopping in Bulk we saved $100's per month and purchased a larger freezer to store things for longer. We stopped buying name-brand goods and went for cheaper options, still the same quality. We calculated every ingredient's cost into each meal we made and figured out that we used to spend $5-10 per meal, and now spend $0.30-$2.00 per meal (same size, better quality, and Healthier!).

Next, we called every one of our insurance providers (Car/Auto/Health) and updated our plans. We let them know what changes we did to our house in order to get a better rate (new furnace/windows/doors) and we contacted our government who provides Eco-Refunds to high-efficiency home renovations, where we actually made $100's in return. It turns out, our home insurance had some incorrect information and so our monthly rate went from $115/month to $58/month and they reimbursed us for the months that they overcharged.

We reviewed service providers, such as Internet and Phone. We looked at those individual plans and the usage we actually accumulated. Turned out we used half of the our phone plan provides, so we switched it to a lesser plan, saving us about $60 each month. Our internet plan has been going up and up in price every few months, so we changed providers. The new provider has the same plan as our last provider, but it's $40 cheaper per month, AND by switching to them (which was FREE) we got 2 months free internet AND $40/month for the first 6 months. So we saved $120 for two months, and then nearly $500 for the next 6 months after that.

We took up a membership in a local bulk-supply store, which also sells gasoline. So we purchase most of our food from them. However, they also sell their gas about 5-10 cents/liter less than anywhere else in the city.

We went from nearly $5000 per month, to $2500 in just one month. THAT'S $24,000 PER YEAR! Next step, Green-energy to cut down our power bills, and growing our own foods!

What ways have you found work best to save on your monthly bills?
edit on 9/8/15 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)

edit on 9/8/15 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 07:20 PM
link   
Congratulations! That's quite a savings on a monthly basis!


The thing I found that saved us money on a monthly basis was the actual making of a written budget each month. Sitting down with the bills and actually writing out what was to be spent in each category has helped us to KNOW where the money went and to curb the unnecessary expenses.
The first few months it was quite an exercise but after a decade of doing it we've reduced the time it takes to a few minutes at the first of the month.
We use the Dave Ramsey budgeting methods with the worksheets adjusted for our particular household. As Dave says often, "You MUST control your money or it will wind up controlling you!"
Great job and thanks for the post!



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 07:22 PM
link   
Good job! I try to save money on items when I can. I have a cheap cell phone where you just purchase a card when you need minutes. I buy a lot of things from the dollar store and other discount stores. Second hand stores and yard sales also come in handy. Buy food that is on sale and that you also have coupons for. I have a lap top computer and no desk top or I pads or kindles etc. My books are mostly second hand and very cheap. There are plenty of ways to save money. You're doing great!



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 07:24 PM
link   
Oh and people, don't get caught up with using credit cards all the time. I know so many people who get in debt with the damned things. I use mine for emergencies, medical expenses or sometimes Christmas if I find a great bargain online AND I pay all or most of it off in the first payment when the bill comes in.



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 07:25 PM
link   
my monthly nut is not all that much.
i own both my cars.
getting ready to sell my bike so i am not counting that.
no credit card debt.

basically we just comparison shop. my wife kills it with coupons. she has it all figured out.
we have been to the store on more than 1 occasion where we paid nothing at all.
we are thrifty by nature. neither of us care about name brand #. we like shopping at good will.
we both did that before we even met.

so yeah, comparison shop and coupons are the main things i guess.



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 07:26 PM
link   
a reply to: Night Star

probably 95% of our books come from goodwill. there are several around her and we make our rounds every weekend.
sometimes we by them new from amazon but we wait till we have several so we get the free shipping.



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 07:35 PM
link   

originally posted by: Mugly
a reply to: Night Star

probably 95% of our books come from goodwill. there are several around her and we make our rounds every weekend.
sometimes we by them new from amazon but we wait till we have several so we get the free shipping.


There is a place online called Abe books where I can get books for 3 or 4 bucks and free shipping or that's the total with shipping. You can get them in really good condition too. And yes, second hand stores are awesome!!!! From .50 cents to a few bucks even for a hard cover book! OR...libraries also sell books for like .50 cents, .75 cents or a buck.



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 08:37 PM
link   
a reply to: Ghost147

Congratulations!

Better food too.




posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 08:41 PM
link   
a reply to: Night Star

we hit the library sales all the time.
they usually run for a few days
first day is like 3 bucks a bag.
second day is like a buck
last day a dime a bag or something like that

ever hear of paperbackswap?
check it out

when you list 10 books you get a couple credits for free. its pretty cool
we usually put up the books we get for pennies and then request books we want.
its pretty cool



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 09:13 PM
link   


Oh and people, don't get caught up with using credit cards all the time. I know so many people who get in debt with the damned things.
a reply to: Night Star

This is the number 1 best recommendation I would tell anyone. When my wife and I got married we racked up 12,000 dollars on our credit card! I finally focused on paying the damn thing off. American Express offered a 3% locked in interest rate on credit card transfers. I paid a little for the transfer but it paid off big time!

I rarely use my credit card anymore, and when I do, like you said, I pay it off before I get the statement in the mail! Those cards cause too many people to get into a debt hole they can't climb out of. What's really disgusting is these banks are counting on people to run up a huge debt on these cards so they can make money off their high interest rates!

Our mail box is literally filled everyday with credit card applications. I don't even open them, they go write into the shredder.



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 10:04 PM
link   
a reply to: Ghost147

I'm happy for you! Great thread. I graduated from college, but I'm currently living off of $900 a month. I must be doing something wrong! I'm going back to school this year.
edit on 09pmSun, 09 Aug 2015 22:04:53 -0500kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 10:07 PM
link   
Always shop the grocery store sales, and if possible build up a stock of recipes that let you play to your grocery store's strengths.

For example, we made green pozole today which let us take advantage of a sale on whole fryer chicken. Not only did we use the whole bird for a pot of soup that will feed us leftovers for much of the week, but we also got at least 4c of extra homemade chicken stock out of the pot to freeze and use for other recipes later on. That's cans of stock we won't have to buy then.

We have several recipes like that.

Buying in bulk is good advance. Always go for the bulk meat purchase. Cryo-Vac pork loins and beef. Learn how to trim your own cuts. There are plenty of sources online that will show you how. It ends up cheaper than buying the individual cuts packaged.



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 10:12 PM
link   
a reply to: Ghost147

West or Central Canada?

I'm lucky in a sense that near me in a one block radius is a Save On Foods, a Safeway, a London Drugs and a Walmart so before I go shopping I make a list and compare prices and fliers between all four places and will take the extra time to go to each individually for the cheapest prices. Adds a little to my shopping time but saves me a few dollars here and there which is much needed.



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 10:18 PM
link   
Dude!! I am not lying but are you me?? Lol, my wife and I are in the exact same boat. One of our biggest expenses, beside child care cost ($1200/mo...yuck), is our monthly food intake. It is really hard to not eat out. We live in a bigger city here in IA so it's so easy to just grab something at a fast food place or take the 4 of us out to eat which will range anywhere from $30 - $50.

I've really tried and one week we do good and then the next it seems we make up for last week by going out twice as much smh! Congrats to you and this gives me hope that we can do it too!



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 10:25 PM
link   
Heck we (a family of five) have been living on less than $1500 a month for over a year and even less than that for two years prior.

when we were in the field we lived sometimes on $300 but an average of $750 per month.

so I bet you can come down a bit more if you want too.



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 11:14 PM
link   

originally posted by: MonkeyFishFrog
a reply to: Ghost147

West or Central Canada?

I'm lucky in a sense that near me in a one block radius is a Save On Foods, a Safeway, a London Drugs and a Walmart so before I go shopping I make a list and compare prices and fliers between all four places and will take the extra time to go to each individually for the cheapest prices. Adds a little to my shopping time but saves me a few dollars here and there which is much needed.


Western (Alberta). We are on the same page. I have 2 safeways, 1 safe on foods, 1 Co-op, 1 Sobeys, a Costco all within 3 minutes. And everything else you can think of in 7.



originally posted by: ChesterJohn
Heck we (a family of five) have been living on less than $1500 a month for over a year and even less than that for two years prior.

when we were in the field we lived sometimes on $300 but an average of $750 per month.

so I bet you can come down a bit more if you want too.


Yes, that's the plan. This is just month 1, so there are other expenses out there that we can pinch down. The current total includes various fee's from having to change things like service providers and other stuff.



posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 02:30 AM
link   
a reply to: Ghost147

The West is getting really expensive. Some small towns are beginning to charge rent as high as cities do.



posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 06:50 AM
link   
Something similar to this. I realized im paying $220 a month for my Cable, phone and net bundled .
The biggest chunk of change is going to the cable. We literally watch 3 or 4 channels and everything else is downloaded.
So i called Shaw to cut my cable because we were just going to use the streaming services we have - NetFlix and Shomi.
I told them how i only watch 4 channels at most and that i wanted to drop my cable, the gent on the phone said please hold a moment. 10 minutes go by and he comes back and says, i have a few promotions left for Thunder Bay Ontario, you can keep everything you have and we will drop your bill to $105 a month!
Thats quite the savings there. I asked how long will it be at that price and was told that its being locked in.

Its amazing how much they over charge us when they can just drop $115 dollars off your monthly bill, and you know they are still making money.



posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 09:28 AM
link   
Here in NY it's just as cheap to eat it than buy groceries and cook at home. Can't fill a shopping cart up for any less than $350



posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 11:29 AM
link   
I agree prices in western canada for food and lodging are getting absolutely ridiculous, I live in Lloydminster on the border of saskatchewan and alberta. My friends and co-workers spend between 350 and 450 a week on food, they look at me like I have a third eye growing out of my forehead when I tell them my grocery bill is 200 a month, buying in bulk and hand making food (like bread, mayo, salad dressings, all our main meals) being so near farming communities also saves us greatly, I have one farmer that sells me eggs for 1$ a dozen, I get all my meat from a hutterite colony at vastly lower cost and greater quality (2 pounds of homemade bacon is 10$, 7 pounds of pork belly for 15$ .... etc) we spend a little more on gas but well worth it considering the savings.




top topics



 
20
<<   2 >>

log in

join