Over the past few months, I’ve locked in hundreds of dollars worth of savings without giving up a thing. How? Easy. I re-evaluated some of our recurring monthly expenses, reduced our level of service, and we’re now saving nearly $30 per month on an ongoing basis, and without sacrificing anything.
Streamlining our Netflix subscription
As I noted awhile back, we decided to scale back our Netflix subscription because we weren’t taking full advantage of it. We’d been on the 3 DVDs at-a-time plan, but we haven’t been watching all that many DVDs. On the other hand, we use the heck out of the online streaming service thanks to our Roku player. We thus decided to drop to the 1 DVD at-a-time plan, which still gives us access to unlimited streaming.
That decision saved us roughly $8.50/month and we haven’t missed a beat. Granted, $8.50 isn’t exactly a princely sum, but it’s our $8.50, and we weren’t really gaining anything by forking it over, so we might as well keep it for ourselves.
Cutting back on cell service
Next, I was recently reviewing our cell phone bill when I realized that we’re paying for way more service than we need. We’ve been on a family plan with 700 monthly minutes at a base price of $60, but we’re nowhere near that in terms of actual usage.
We ultimately dropped from the 700 minute cell phone plan to a 550 minute plan that costs $10 less per month and which qualifies for an additional $7.50/month discount from my employer. When you figure in the nearly 15% in taxes that gets added to our bill every month, we’re looking at roughly $20/month in savings.
Where can you cut back?
I could do the typical finance-writer thing here and point at that it costs nearly $40 in per-tax earnings to cover that $28.50 in unnecessary costs (depending on your income tax bracket), or that by investing that $28.50/month at an 8% return for the next 30 years will result in a roughly $40k nest egg. But I won’t.
Instead, I’ll simply point out that I’ve merely scratched the surface here, and further challenge you to take a closer look at your own spending. Are there any areas in which you can cut back without even noticing it? If so, then do it.
This isn’t to say that you should only cut back in areas where you won’t notice the impact, that’s up to you to decide. But you have no excuse not to cut back in the pain-free areas.