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.
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.
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!
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?