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Here is what I do to have $50 extra a month for c.c payments


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#26 MIKEinORLEANS

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:11 AM

Eating out will kill ya...

Even just cutting out the lunches... at the office we eat a $5 meal each day, $25 a week! Over $100 a month! So now, I buy in bulk, and I use a vacuum sealer... keeps the frozen food surprisingly fresh.

Also, dropped caller ID and call waiting. That's over $11/month. I've got a cell phone, why do I need call waiting? If it's that important, they'll call the other line. And caller ID... you can just as easily screen your calls with an answering machine.

Cable... it wasn't worth $39.99 just to watch Golden Girls every night. Seriously, that was all I watched, except for the occasional tennis tournament on ESPN.

-M



#27 420greg

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:15 AM

I installed a tankless water heater. I got it on ebay for about $200.

I am not keeping 40 gallons of water hot 24/7 anymore. My bill is down about $40 a month, and I have hotwater when ever I need it, and don't have to worry about the breaker or a switch.

#28 nmnjpany

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:17 AM

We did the programmable thermostat thing, and it did work wonders! I don't remember the brand, but it was only about $45. The guy we talked to said to ensure any model had a "recovery feature" - what that does is it knows what it will be doing next, temperature-wise, and about an hour before it is supposed to go to a new temp, it start slowly heading towards it - apparently, that prevents sudden surges.

The other thing I've done - don't know if it'll help anyone else... each payday, I take the minimum payment for any bill coming up, and subtract that from my paycheck. From there, I budget for food and a little extra money for whatever I may want - then with anything remaining, I split it to highest interest bills to pay the most I can down. I send out those payments immediately, so I can't get tempted by some shoe sale or something, and, until my mess is finished, my one credit card is only used for absolute emergencies.

I guess it's anything that works for each of us :D

#29 VibrantEcho

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:45 AM

Our big money waster was...gulp...overdraft fees on our checking account! :oops: Shortly after we moved in together and opened our joint account, we got into the habit of checking our balance online to determine whether we had money available to spend - bad, bad idea! So finally about 8 months ago we purchased MS Money and made a commitment to saving receipts and entering our spending into the Money register daily. Got carbon checks so that we didn't have to try and re-train ourselves to use checkbook registers (I've NEVER been good at that, DH was until I corrupted him :twisted: ). I've gotten quite addicted to knowing to the penny how much money we have - I can't believe we lived the way we did for almost three years!

MS Money has also been a real eye-opener for us in terms of how we always manage to nickel-and-dime ourselves through our paychecks every single month. A month ago I was playing with the report features, sorting by category, and about fell out of my chair when I realized we spent close to $200 a month on stuff like movies, video games and "fun stuff", and $400 a month on eating out - twice as much as we were spending on groceries! Somehow seeing the numbers in black & white made it much easier to say - "do we want to spend $400 on eating out, or put an extra $400 in our down payment account?"

Which brings me to the other thing that has helped us become mroe disciplined - having a tangible goal! We are planning to buy a house next spring, and I know that (a) the money we'll need up front isn't going to magically appear the day of closing, and (:D we're going to have to cut back some frivolous spending in order to afford the payments on the size of mortgage we want, so we might as well start practicing now.

Fun thread, by the way! Lots of good ideas.

Fiona

#30 JessicaRabbit88

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:50 AM

Another one that you may or may not think of ... but:

Make sure that you regulary get your car oil changed and your car serviced when recommended. This little maintenance can save you hundreds in the long run because your car won't break down and cost you much more in repairs.

Jessica

#31 Idarrau

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:51 AM

I am a die hard budgeter. I have a large binder with pockets for untility bills so I am ready.

I have learned to work through a budget. Because I always mean well! But I have to face the fact that I have 4 children, a barn full of animals (maybe not a barn, but 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 ferrets and an evil bunny) and things always arise that I had no way of planning for.

I get stressed out at times. Imagine that? And I give myself alternatives to blowing the budget. Like when it is late, been busy all day and I dont want to cook, I try to keep frozen pizzas in the frig for dinner. The other trick I recently figured out is to cook the hamburger before I freeze it. I get the ECONOMY size amount of hamburger, brown it for pasta, hamburger helper and stuff. Since it's already cooked, it cuts the prep time down and I am more likely to just make something at home. I put it in a huge gallon freezer bag and throw that in the freezer and scoop out what I need. It cuts down thawing in the microwave, then cooking and time.

Last year when DH lost his job I have no idea how we made it. By the seat of our pants! We had our income cut in half, there was simply no give. But the best way to do it was to simply look at what was actually coming in and not to kid myself. I paid what needed to be paid and that was it. I kept on top of it every few days.

Recently, right before I found this board, I was doing a once over of our budget. I have been trying for a while to come up with a way to make some money at home on the side. Ebay, stuff like that. What I found was that it really didn't net me that much money. I was spending a lot in fees, or some things didn't sell. Sometimes you can luck out, but it wasn't all stable. It can help in a desperate pinch but it seemed the post office and Ebay were the ones making money.

So, I looked at finances again. The biggest thing was I had not taken my ex-husband to court for a correct amount of child support for my 2 oldest in over 5 years. I was not about gouging or beating it out of him. (That would be fun to watch though) But I discovered that he was making over 90k a year! Since I have always had the kids, my income oppurtunites have been limited and last year we made less then 30k. So, I did a modification to child support and had that upped by $400 on Monday. It is enough to make the bills that we were falling short on be paid and have some left over.

I know a few people have said to cut out a lot of things. I went for it on others. I found that if I wanted 2 features on our phone, it cost less to just buy the whole dang package of stuff. (I have a teenager, I need call waiting) Since I got the package, I also got a discount on Long Distance. I have unlimited long distance service for $19 a month. Sine I had local and LD through the same carrier, they gave me a low deposit for a cell phone and I get a discount for that as well.

The other thing is that I dont turn stuff down. There are reasons that some things have income limits. Being as we have a large family, my kids qualify for state medical insurance. I have made a few trips down to get commodities that have really helped stretch the food budget.

:wink: Thank you lifonthelakeforever for suggesting the water heater thing. We live in the middle of the desert and our electric is just terrible. I am going to try that this month!

#32 Kona

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:51 AM

A very simple way of paying down the credit card is to make a goal of charging x dollars less a month on it. This, in effect, represents a "payment" on the card as the balance will decline. Charge $50 less and then add to that $50 from money saving techniques, and you will have $100 extra impact on that bill.

#33 Ioperate

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:54 AM

Ioperate, yes DH does VERY work hard for the money he brings home for his family.

We have the joint savings account, house checking and then DH checking account. We don't call it an allowance we call it his personel account that he needs to budget within in turn spending this money on anything he wants. Why shouldn't he budget his personel account. I have to budget all the other accounts to make sure we have enough for the bills, food, rent/mortage, taxes etc......

The money in his account doesn't go for any of that, it is all his to spend on what ever he sees fit - Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Coffee, Tools, etc.... WHATEVER he wants and he doesn't have to ask anyone to spend it he just does. But if he runs out of the money in his account before the next pay period he is out of luck cause the rest of the paycheck which has gone into savings or house checking account is already spent on bills etc.... Not my personel stuff, I don't have my own personel account.

Because I know how to use money and credit wisely I take care of all the bills in our house. By doing this we have managed to pay off my car, all credit cards and his cars. We have a large savings account and have managed to save a lot and having a house built on a lot of acres. Without planning things out we would not be a great situation right now.

If you would rather be broke that is fine - that is what makes the world go around. But for us we are happy having money in the bank and not owing anything to anyone. We like having a little extra money at the end of the month to spend on something nice or use to go out as a family and do something fun. We don't worry about money anymore. And were we live in California not many people can say that.

His buddies - they know he has his own personel account and they know how much is deposited in his account monthly and let me tell you, they all wish their wifes would do this for them. Because in order for them to have any money to do anything with they all have to work side jobs to get spending money for their lunchs, tools, car parts etc.... Not my MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!! I take care of him and he isn't embarassed about his situation, not at all. He is happy.

By the way we are not talking $20.00 here, if all he had was $20.00 in his pocket to last two weeks he would not be happy and we would be broke.


Nice job pattigril! I applaud you for the great job you're doing with your finances! :mrgreen: Keep up the good work.

I think I've asked you this before, but what part of CA are in? I'm near Ontario, CA here.

#34 JessicaRabbit88

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:55 AM

Oh and here is a great site for savings:

http://www.slickdeals.net/

For instance I have printed and used this coupon from them to get my coffee for free in the morning three days now:

http://www.barnesand...rceid=&pid=6476

#35 Kona

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:02 AM

Oh and here is a great site for savings:

http://www.slickdeals.net/

For instance I have printed and used this coupon from them to get my coffee for free in the morning three days now:
http://www.barnesand...rceid=&pid=6476


Thanks for the link. It is interesting that a local supermarket has just posted a sign stating they will not accept Internet coupons because of customer multiple use and/or copying.

#36 butterflywings

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:14 AM

:wink: Thank you lifonthelakeforever for suggesting the water heater thing. We live in the middle of the desert and our electric is just terrible. I am going to try that this month!


You are so welcome! I will be thinking of you over the next month so please let me know how your electric bill turns out. Remember, you will need to do this for an entire utility month to see the real difference. Best of luck to you and it was my pleasure to start this thread. After all, we are all in this together! :lol:

#37 butterflywings

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:17 AM

Another one that you may or may not think of ... but:

Make sure that you regulary get your car oil changed and your car serviced when recommended. This little maintenance can save you hundreds in the long run because your car won't break down and cost you much more in repairs.

Jessica


My husband said those exact words to me yesterday!

Thank you for bring that up because sometimes we dont think about maintaining our vehicles as a form of budgeting, but it certainly is!

#38 Havok

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:32 AM

I dunno if I should even speak. But I am 24 years old single man, making decent money, I usta spend 800 dollars a month eating out. I don't like fast foods so dinner was always a sit down restaurant. I had a cellphone, home phone and dsl., and cable: 50, 70, 60, and 54. I now have basic cable and high speed internet (67) and a cellphone (7 oclock N&W and mobile to mobile) 55. Im almost saving a grand a month on when I started to cook for myself.

#39 jsunshi1605

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:44 AM

I am a die hard budgeter. I have a large binder with pockets for untility bills so I am ready.

I have learned to work through a budget. Because I always mean well! But I have to face the fact that I have 4 children, a barn full of animals (maybe not a barn, but 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 ferrets and an evil bunny) and things always arise that I had no way of planning for.

I get stressed out at times. Imagine that? And I give myself alternatives to blowing the budget. Like when it is late, been busy all day and I dont want to cook, I try to keep frozen pizzas in the frig for dinner. The other trick I recently figured out is to cook the hamburger before I freeze it. I get the ECONOMY size amount of hamburger, brown it for pasta, hamburger helper and stuff. Since it's already cooked, it cuts the prep time down and I am more likely to just make something at home. I put it in a huge gallon freezer bag and throw that in the freezer and scoop out what I need. It cuts down thawing in the microwave, then cooking and time.

Last year when DH lost his job I have no idea how we made it. By the seat of our pants! We had our income cut in half, there was simply no give. But the best way to do it was to simply look at what was actually coming in and not to kid myself. I paid what needed to be paid and that was it. I kept on top of it every few days.

Recently, right before I found this board, I was doing a once over of our budget. I have been trying for a while to come up with a way to make some money at home on the side. Ebay, stuff like that. What I found was that it really didn't net me that much money. I was spending a lot in fees, or some things didn't sell. Sometimes you can luck out, but it wasn't all stable. It can help in a desperate pinch but it seemed the post office and Ebay were the ones making money.

So, I looked at finances again. The biggest thing was I had not taken my ex-husband to court for a correct amount of child support for my 2 oldest in over 5 years. I was not about gouging or beating it out of him. (That would be fun to watch though) But I discovered that he was making over 90k a year! Since I have always had the kids, my income oppurtunites have been limited and last year we made less then 30k. So, I did a modification to child support and had that upped by $400 on Monday. It is enough to make the bills that we were falling short on be paid and have some left over.

I know a few people have said to cut out a lot of things. I went for it on others. I found that if I wanted 2 features on our phone, it cost less to just buy the whole dang package of stuff. (I have a teenager, I need call waiting) Since I got the package, I also got a discount on Long Distance. I have unlimited long distance service for $19 a month. Sine I had local and LD through the same carrier, they gave me a low deposit for a cell phone and I get a discount for that as well.

The other thing is that I dont turn stuff down. There are reasons that some things have income limits. Being as we have a large family, my kids qualify for state medical insurance. I have made a few trips down to get commodities that have really helped stretch the food budget.

:wink: Thank you lifonthelakeforever for suggesting the water heater thing. We live in the middle of the desert and our electric is just terrible. I am going to try that this month!





That is very Odd


you just described mine and DH's life :)

#40 nativesuntravel

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 12:00 PM

It's kind of ironic, but my family was on vacation last week when I saw someone on tv talking about turning off the hot water heater, when you're not using it. DH and I were kicking ourselves because we were gone for 2 weeks and missed an opportunity to save $$. We are also in Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. territory (the bills are so high!!) and we live in a slightly drafty victorian house that is chilly in the winter and HOT in the summer. We are trying to make improvements as we are able to but anything that can help us to save on that bill is welcome. I am going to have DH install a timer on our water heater during the summer.

BTW- This is a really good topic. Sometimes it can get overwhelming to try to figure out where the bill payoff/paydown money is going to come from. Many of the ideas here are relatively painless.

:8) ~Native~ :8)

#41 tattedbrat

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 12:01 PM

Here's my tip:

Fiance and I watch ALOT of movies (we don't go out very often so this is our entertainment) but were paying $20+ for three movies every week because no matter how hard we try we can NEVER seem to get the movies back on time and cable is so expensive that it's not an option for us. So I signed up for online movie rentals with Netflix and we love it. For $22 a month we have a running list of movies we want to watch and get 3 movies at a time, we keep them as long as we want (no late fees) but we don't get a new movie until we send one back. Postage is paid both ways by Netflix and it takes about 2-3 days for us to get a new movie once we send one back. I have a mailing routine that has us getting a new movie pretty much every other day or two, so we almost always have something to watch. So instead of $80-100 dollars for movie rentals we now only spend $22.

#42 Kona

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 01:16 PM

For those of you with electric and gas bills that fluctuate with time of year and use, you may want to consider signing up for the budget plan. Basically, they review the previous year and then specify an amount to be paid each month. This enables you to plan set payments each month, and you don't have to deal with utility charges that wreck the monthy budget during high times of use as the payments are predictable.

#43 jane

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 01:18 PM

I work in NYC and it seems like everyone goes to Starbucks.... There are some people that I work with that spend like $30-50 a week on coffee!!!

I am quite happy with my Maxwell House... and paying the extra money to my credit cards!!!



I'm with you. I like my yuban or folgers coffee. Whatever is the cheaper coffee when I hit the store is what I buy. Also, Costco has phone cards by MCI which are really great. I buy the 680 minutes one for less than $20.00. You only pay for the mins you actually talk not for placing the call or any other such rip off charges. You save alot of money on your phone bills especially if you call long distance like I do. Another thing to do is get a block on your land line phone. That prevents you from making any toll or even local toll charges and you can use your costco MCI calling card to make any calls you can't make with the block on. I figured it out once and it's like 2.5 cents per min with the MCI card. Alot cheaper than even the best phone plans I'v seen. Now I don't have any CC but I like to shop and I don't like being broke. I will look for ways to save money anyway I can. One thing I never understand is those people who use their CC for donuts or a cup of coffee. Why on earth would anyone charge $1.00 or 2.00 and pay those interest charges? Unless you pay off your charges right away which most people don't do.


Jane

#44 ijaguilera

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 01:56 PM

Does anyone know if this would work with a gas heater? (turning it off and on)
Just wondering....

#45 butterflywings

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:07 PM

Yes,

It would help you save on your gas bill for sure. :D

#46 De

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:17 PM

May seem silly, but I turn all ketchup, steak sauce, shampoo, cream rinse, lotion, etc. bottles upside down on the new bottles and drain them completely rather than pitch them with that little bit left in the bottom. When I'm doing laundry and trying to get the last bit of detergent out of the bottle, I turn the bottle upside down in the washer and let it drain out as I am putting the clothes in and filling the washer with water.

DH always cracked on me for draining bottles in the kitchen, but DH isn't here anymore--and I am still draining. :(

I have a gas hot water heater (large capacity) with all my kids--but I am going to try the breaker switch thing. We don't have real set patterns though--some bath in the a.m., but most at night. Maybe I could cut it off at bedtime and turn it back on after we all get home from school? How long does the water in the tank stay hot after you cut the breaker.
I'm going in the closet in a minute--and hoping nothing else is hooked up to that same breaker!.

#47 hegemony

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:20 PM

Does anyone know if this would work with a gas heater? (turning it off and on)
Just wondering....


my gas bill was only $17 last month. why on earth would I bother to turn it on and off to save a couple bucks???

#48 De

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:25 PM

mine has been running in the $40s-50s--but downstairs heat and air are on gas too--can get pretty high in the winter.

#49 Kona

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:26 PM

Does anyone know if this would work with a gas heater? (turning it off and on)
Just wondering....


my gas bill was only $17 last month. why on earth would I bother to turn it on and off to save a couple bucks???


Agreed, as my bill is low also. For me, there are easier ways to save money. Personally, I'd rather keep it on than to deal with relighting it, etc. and then have it burn until it reaches the right temp for the entire tank of water.

#50 hegemony

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:26 PM

I just checked...it is 114 degrees in my garage right now where my hot water heater is.




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