Shopping Around for New Services

Many unexpected blessings have come my way through a few major life changes during the past year. One of those being the recent opportunity to buy my own home. A side effect of this recent blessing was the major wake up call that I needed to be in better control of my monthly spending and financial situation. As a renter with lower monthly payments I haven’t led the strictest lifestyle when it comes to monthly budgeting, and even though I work hard at saving money. I could definitely have done a better job. So with my new payment schedule in mind I have been trying to figure out different ways to make changes in my spending to ensure that I can meet my obligations, continue to save, and hopefully have a little left over to enjoy.

Personally I am not a person who enjoys change, I have the bad habit of sticking with a situation that is familiar because of loyalty, laziness, or just because its familiar. When I began to look at what I was spending I realized there were easy places to make cuts I would just have to step out of my comfort zone and accept that change isn’t always a bad thing. Trying out new service providers is an easy way to get better deals on things that you pay for every month.

For example I have used the same phone/internet/cable company for the past 13 years, and as they have gone from a local company to a national company their prices have steadily increased. I called my old reliable company to say I was moving, and they said great thank you for your 13 years of loyal patronage, however because you are moving you are no longer grandfathered in on your current rates. Gee thanks. My new rates would increase my bill another $10-15 bucks a month, and that is the first year only, after 12 months it would go up again. So I decided okay its time to shop around. I did and wow… I signed on with a new company which will save me around $60.00 a month.

I’ve also driven a little farther to a gym that I liked, which was costing me $42.00 a month. I’m switching to a place right by my office which will not only save gas money, but the first year is only $200.00. Wow a $304.00 a year savings. I realize I’m sacrificing a pool, but I think it is definitely worth it!

Cutting out unnecessary extras can also help put money back in the budget. I had a monthly subscription to a premium movie channel, I maybe watched it once a month. Gone. Saved about $13.00 bucks a month, also had a by mail movie service. DVDs would usually sit unwatched two or three weeks before I would get around to it. Cancelled – that’s another $8.00 bucks a month saved. Yes those may be small things, but just think a year’s worth of that movie channel cost me $156.00 and that I can definitely spend elsewhere.