Are You Throwing Away Your Hard-Earned Money?
How I Saved Hundreds Immediately on Basic Living Necessities
By LaVone Hicks
Who would have thought I could save nearly $500 a month just by asking questions? It all began last year when the recession seemed to be the topic on everyone's mind. I shared with my husband that we should curb our spending and save more. So here are the specifics of how the savings began to grow.
- Ways to save money
- Cut cost
- How can I spend less money
One idea that paid off was to join our electrical company's time of use (TOU) and equal payment plan. I asked about it after reading on an enclosure in my bill. The TOU charges less per kilowatt instantly because you agree that you will purposely do the majority of chores requiring electricity at night and on weekends. The savings is reflected on the monthly bill. In addition, the equal payment amount is figured by adding up the last 12 months of the bill then dividing by 12. The result is what you will pay for the next 12 months thus helping you to budget. In the meantime, a new efficient heating and air unit had to be installed at my home a few months ago. At the anniversary of the equal payment plan last month, I was informed that our new monthly payment will be $150 lower!!!
Another super move was to check with our credit union on both mortgage interest rate and the possibility of transferring our auto loan from the dealer to them. Since the existing mortgage with them had rates that had fallen, they did an in house adjustment to the new lower interest rate without an appraisal. A small handling fee was added to the loan and the new payment dropped by $80 without changing the terms of original loan. This was called modification. Then the auto loan also was switched to the credit union, and saved nearly $100 a month!
Next, I checked with a broker for our auto insurance. They changed us to another company for around $60 per month less. After six months passed, a check was sent to us for $1,600 from the former company due to the insurance commissioner's orders!
This last venture really was a mind blower for a baby boomer like me. Because I have a home business that meets for free at a local college, I needed web access for my laptop for training my associates. I was about to pay another phone company a $35 per month wireless adapter fee with a 2 year contract when my young adult son told me about "tethering" through my smart phone. All I had to do was tell my existing cell phone company and they set it up for a lesser amount than the other company. Now I access the Internet at the college through running the laptop through my smart phone.
Needless to say, the moral of this story is to ask questions. Don't take anything for granted. Work smarter, not harder. You deserve to keep more of your hard earned money.