Starting the $1,000 Challenge right before the holidays hit may not have been the best idea I have ever had. But I’m not one to let something like that stop me. I decided to tackle two of the categories at one time. Car Insurance and Miscellaneous spending.
After a few wasted hours on this subject I decided to give up. I am getting every known discount with the insurance company that I have now and have called around to a number of their competitors to see if I could get a better rate. The answer to that question is a resounding NO. Not only were the other companies more expensive – they were WAY more expensive! Some were over $300 per month more than what I am currently paying. I had hoped that I would be able to save at least a few dollars in this area. Sigh.
Brian O’Connor points out in his book that this is the black hole of the family budget – especially those recurring charges that you place on your credit card every month. I started going through a list and really thinking about every single thing that I spend money on so that I could be sure to eliminate anything that was unnecessary. Here’s what I considered based on what is mentioned in the book:
Magazine subscriptions: Don’t have any.
Storage Unit: Nope. If you could see the amount of stuff I have carted to the Goodwill in the last three years you would be amazed that I have anything left!
Membership Sites: Not a member of any kind of monthly group or online subscription site.
Yard Guys: My one luxury in life. At $110 a month (a bargain in my opinion) they come weekly and mow, edge, weed eat, and blow everything off. A couple times a year they even trim the bushes. The harsh reality is that we can do the work ourselves. So with great sadness and a sense of impending doom I let the yard guys go. I have been consoling myself with the fact that I have been wanting to get some exercise and this was a good way to do that. The week before Thanksgiving Eva and I got outside to do some yard work. Two hours later I had a blister from raking and she was hiding in the garage crying about how much she loves the yard guys. I may have shed a few tears myself. You can imagine how thrilling it was when there were as many leaves in the yard and on the porch the very next morning as when we started. I’m committed at this point but I can’t honestly say that this cut will last forever. I have to keep telling myself that I’m in it for the exercise…
At this point I have saved $110.00 per month. I am hoping to save $500 per month from my current budget so I feel like I am well on my way. I’m probably going to die doing yard work – but at least then I won’t have to worry about the stupid budget anymore…
How are the rest of you doing? Any progress is these areas? Let me know!