2018 is right around the corner and here is how we will save thousands in only 12 months!

2018 is right around the corner and here is how we will save thousands in only 12 months!

It is that time of the year again.  Everyone (myself included) is recovering from turkey dinner overload.  All thoughts are turned toward Christmas and what gifts to buy.  And, of course, what shindig to attend for New Year’s Eve.

Why not add something else to the list of December activities?  How about what to save money on this coming year.  Of course (as my better half likes to remind me of), without making ourselves miserable while saving money.

Related: How to outmaneuver the expense creep and hack your personal savings rate goal!

2018 is right around the corner and here is how we will save thousands in only 12 months! (puppy )
“Don’t save on my treats! It’s NOT worth it!”

Digging through your expenses is never fun (unless you’re a weird excel nerd like me).  Having tracked my expenses for the first three quarters of this year made it a bit easier.  And the “other” expense category was ripe for the picking.

Related: Expense Tracking Update – 3rd Quarter 2017 Spending Hits and Misses

Here is how we will save thousands in only 12 months!

Cleaning Lady (Bless her soul… I will miss her dearly!)

I used to have a cleaning lady.  As of two weeks ago to be exact.  The money-saving hypocrisy, I know!  Hear me out on this one.  For one, my condo isn’t that large and, hence, she didn’t cost me an arm and a leg.  And … I’m out of excuses.

Including tip, I paid her $65 every two weeks.  Way back when I hired her, it seemed like a small price to pay for not having to clean toilets, wood- and tile floors, as well as that darn glass shower.  After all, we are busy professionals who work and blog.

That thought lasted until I annualized the “small price”.  What I was really paying her was $1,560 a year.  Add the Christmas tip and it’s a cool $1,600 even.  Once I imaged having that much cash in my hands, I felt much more inclined to clean myself.

Lesson Learned: Small amounts add up quick!

(Extra) Cable Channels (I won’t miss Spectrum/Time Warner/Whatever you want to call yourself now!)

Involuntarily, we are a bit in a bind when it comes to cable.  Our condo comes with an HOA fee which includes basic cable.  And hence we are unable to cancel those channels.  Even if we wanted to cut the darn cable cord completely.

What we had been paying for is a few extra channels and two DVRs.  Seems like no big deal, but still added up to $35 per month though.  So, we decided to get rid of the DVRs to shave a few dollars off the monthly bill.  I mean, how much could we miss them.

And that is where the fun started!  Getting non-DVR boxes turned into me witnessing an epic argument between my better half and a cable rep.  Apparently, you need a DVR to watch the extra channels you are paying for.  And of course, they don’t come free with the channels.

Rip Off Much!

Another gimmick to rip off consumers.  Here they are, advertising extra channels for only a few dollars per month.  But hey, you have to spend another $10 per month for a different cable box to watch them.  So $5 just turned into $15!

I hate feeling like I’m being duped into something.  So, we decided to not hand them any more of our hard-earned cash.  And instead, returned all extra equipment and canceled the extra channels as well.  HOA cable fee and internet only it is from now on.

Lesson Learned: Be mindful of gimmicks!

Related: Can you guess how much time is being wasted on watching TV?

With both, we will save thousands in only 12 months!

Not having the cleaning lady come over any longer will save us $1,600 per year.  Add another $400 shaved off the cable bill and we will be saving a total of $2,000.  Money which can be spent much more wisely, saved for a rainy day, or stashed away for retirement.

Either way, not having a DVR and some extra channels we probably barely watched anyway won’t be a big deal.  And having to spend a few hours cleaning every weekend to hold on to $1,600 all of the sudden doesn’t sound so bad.

Who’s with me?  How will you save money this coming year?

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8 thoughts on “2018 is right around the corner and here is how we will save thousands in only 12 months!

  1. My wife and I debate if it’s worth having a cleaning lady (we don’t) and paying a gardener (we do) regularly. Unlike some very popular bloggers, I see both sides of the argument. If you hate cleaning, it may be worth it to hire it out. Yes, hiring it out costs money but is it worth your time? It really depends on you. I love how you annualized the cost annually. I do that as well for every monthly bill.

    As for cable, I just wrote about how I tried to cut the cord and ended up with enough of a discount that it I just kept cable!

    • Financial Muse says:

      I love that you ended up with a bunch of discounts and it was worth while to keep cable. I’ve called my cell phone company once and got a discount that month simply because I’ve been a customer with them for years. Sometimes it’s worth just picking up the phone.

    • Financial Muse says:

      I love hearing from people who are happy without cable. I have Prime at the moment. If I could kick all of our cable to the curb (incl the piece covered by the HOA), I’d go the Netflix route too. Too much time is wasted in front of the TV anyway!

  2. I don’t know why you have to cut the cleaning lady altogether. I get my apartment cleaned 4x/year and it’s lovely! Much better value than cable. Plus you’re supporting a small business!

    • Financial Muse says:

      We cleaned ourselves this weekend and it only took a few hours. A little effort for a lot of savings. Fair point though regarding supporting small businesses. We do try to support local businesses whenever we can.

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