Home > Cutting Expenses

Cutting Expenses

June 5th, 2015 at 01:41 am

Looking at my budget makes it pretty clear that high fixed expenses are limiting my debt payoff, so I've been looking at ways to cut some of those bills. I get paid every two weeks, and ideally I'd like to pay all fixed bills except the student loan from one paycheck.

The biggest expense by far is rent, due to living in a costly urban area. I recently moved, reducing my monthly rent from $1450 (slated to go up to $1500/month if I signed a new lease!) to $1175. Still a lot ,but better. Without adding a long commute and living far from work and friends (or living in an excessively murdery neighborhood), it would be hard to get this significantly lower. As a bonus, I'm also much happier here!

Since my electricity billing cycle falls early in the month, I count this at the time it's due every budget period. The total for this month: $57.23. This is way over previous utility bills at my old apartment, but I'm pretty sure I know why. One reason is that the new place is a much older, draftier building, while my last apartment had fewer windows and was mostly on the interior of a big complex, insulating it from temperature fluctuations. More importantly, it was in the high 80s on several days, and I turned the AC on twice when I had company visiting. Not a regular indulgence, but don't want guests sweating. Will work on ways to get this back down to my goal of under $40 next month.

Still, $100 budgeted- 57.23 actual = 42.77 extra for GP loan

Water is billed quarterly, so won't have those numbers for a while. Should see less variability there though, since my use hasn't changed since moving. Will either cashflow this as general spending or take it from the recurring expenses category.

Car Insurance
When I notified the insurance company of my move, the premium dropped $80 every 6 months, for a $13. 33 monthly savings.


You're next, phone bill! Currently paying AT&T the princely sum of $113.17/month for my smartphone plan. (Apparently this somehow crept up about a dollar since I made my budget, which is making my numbers look a little fuzzy.) My last contract should be ending now, so it's time to shop around. Don't need much data since I can connect to the wifi at home and there's guest wifi in most areas at work. Believe it or not, I actually don't have many "extra" features for that price- just unlimited texting, which I use all the time, and a middle of the road data plan.

Freakin' Comcast monopoly. Have tried. Will focus on other bills, maybe harass Comcast customer service again later. Mostly annoying because my introductory rate was half as much, and they obviously weren't losing money on that.


Long story, working on it. Leaving the budgeted amount as-is for now until this gets nailed down

To summarize, definitely some work to be done on the budget

6 Responses to “Cutting Expenses ”

  1. VS_ozgirl Says:

    There's work but your rent saving is massive, I'd be throwing that difference straight towards your loan, that's $275 right there. And cellphone- do they have $30 plans there? Currently you can add $300 easily to your payoff which is pretty awesome.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Kudos to you for working on reducing your bills. Moving is a big one and it sounds like it paid off!

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    Definitely look into Ting for cell phone service. It's $6 per month plus usage. For a family of four we pay $50/month, sharing data/minutes/calls. The thing about Ting is that their texts are cheap. If you want like the equivalent of unlimited texts and don't use much else then you could probably keep it to like $20 per month. Maybe another $30/month if you use more than 100MB of data.

    Text is and Link is
    Incidentally, there is a $100 credit for signing up by June 8th, if you use this link. Click on the "rates" tab to see how much it costs for your usage.

    Several on the blogs have switched to Ting and my spouse is so picky he didn't like any of the other small cell providers. Their customer service has been excellent.

  4. rob62521 Says:

    Good work on thinking of ways to reduce expenses and paying off debt.

  5. Kiki Says:

    I called at&t to lower my plan last fall when both phones were off contract. I am not on a contract but pay about 65 including taxes for my iPhone with 4 gigs of data a month, unlimited calling and texting etc. so you may be able to cut it in half like I did.

  6. MonkeyMama Says:

    I guess WalMart has a new "Family Mobile" plan - something like that. My dh has heard good things about it.

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