Last night, I set about the task of eliminating or reducing expenses. Each trip to the store, phone call or web visit took just a few minutes, and resulted in some pretty decent savings. By the way, when I use the word savings, I use it in its loosest form. I’m not only referring to times when I receive a discount, or when I put money away for later, but times when I eliminate an ongoing expense, or recoup money from a prior purchase. Here’s what I did:
Over the years, we have subscribed to various internet-based entertainment services, like Netflix. We love Netflix, so we are keeping it. However, I did cancel another internet-based streaming service, and saved myself $9.99 per month. Total annual savings, $119.88. Total time on website, less than 5 minutes.
Side note: I’m not really sure how we ended up subscribed to the particular service. I think we signed up for a free trial and just never cancelled. Like I mentioned a few days ago, I’ve been slacking the past few months – and that’s the kind of stuff that happens!
I have, in my time as a web content producer (a fancy way to say blogger) registered several domain names. Today, I listed those names, decided which ones to keep (for now) and eliminated the ones that I know I no longer need. I cancelled the renewal for two domains, and both will expire in a few months. The annual savings, for each domain, is $14.99. Total annual savings, $29.88. Total time on website, less than 5 minutes.
Side note: I am considering trying to sell some of the other domains. I’m doing my research and estimating their values.
When paying a medical bill yesterday, I noticed, via the healthcare provider’s website, that I actually had a credit balance on one of my accounts. I tried to contact the provider via online chat, but they never picked up (is that the right phrase?). So, I gave them a call. It took a few minutes of drilling down, through a seemingly-endless selection of menus – but I finally reached an actual, real person. I requested a refund for my over-payment. It should post to my checking account in a few days. Today’s savings, $27.12. Total time on the website and the phone, less than 15 minutes.
I returned a pair of shoes. They were new and never worn. I purchased them without trying them on – and they’ve been sitting in a closet for three weeks. Thankfully, I kept the receipt. Today’s savings, $72.11. Total time to return the shoes (minus the driving), less than 5 minutes.
Side note: It’s often shocking how much new-with-tags and new-in-the-box stuff folks have in their closets, garages, dressers, and drawers. Returning these items is a great way to de-clutter and put a little money back in your pocket. If a store refuses a return, I’ll sell an unwanted item on eBay. When we were first getting out of debt, we used eBay to help us build our very first emergency fund.
I printed out and analyzed bills from our current internet, cellular, and television providers. The bottom line is – we are paying too much for these services, considering out actual use. The reality is – we are an extremely busy family – our oldest is now driving! – and I’ve been ignoring the real costs associated with convenience. I haven’t made any firm decisions, but I will soon, and these costs will be coming down! Time spent downloading and printing current bills, less than 2 minutes. Today’s savings, ????
Side note: We live in a relatively rural area, so our choices for providers is somewhat limited. That being said, we can do much better than we have been doing. I’ve also noticed, the prices for these types of services seems to creep up, over time, with new fees and added costs. Changing providers may or may not be an option for us, but we’ll see.
There you go. These were the first in a series of what I hope will be profitable steps.
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