Money is a precious resource that buys time, other necessities and freedom. On a day off from work, I decided to continue the fight for the money that I earn. I have traded my time to earn funds and it’s time to make each dollar that I am making go further than before. We have had a few topics on this before, but today I wanted to list out the order of my operations, as I work to make my money go further. I do have one question. Are you willing to fight for your money?
Is anyone else singing in their head, “I work hard for the money…”? From the introductory paragraph, we sometimes need to work extra to make sure we keep as much money as possible that we earn, in order to put that to the best of use possible. We already know ways to save money on a snack/lunch (thank you bananas!), how to make a few dollars with our exampled side hustle reports but this goes further. Remember, NOTHING MATTERS MORE THAN YOUR SAVINGS RATE! You can be making all of the money in the world, but if you have a low to negative savings rate – you will go no where when it comes to financial independence/freedom. As you scan your income to see how you can boost it – always recommend doing this in as many ways as you can, it still never hurts to think of ways to reduce your expenses when peering down the expense column. There are expenses that you don’t have to think of every day, but should look into at least once per year, in order to make every dollar count and we want to bring those to light.
1.) Auto Insurance – Currently, I pay $638 per year in auto insurance. This is bundled with my home insurance, the next topic, as well. However, you must make every dollar count and this is one expense that you need to look at, on at least an annual basis. I drive a (now paid off!) Honda 2010 Accord and have had only one violation in the last 3 or so years. My car is now 8 years old and I am placing around 8,500 miles on the car per year, which that mileage per year is trending downward due to renting cars for client visits instead of driving the good-told Honda. I am concluding that my car is fairly old and that over $50 per month is too expense for the ~700 miles I am driving per month (if that). Therefore – this bill is going to be high on my list to review. Given that I am a CPA and a member of the AICPA & OSCPA, there may discounts related to these items at other companies. Who does everyone prefer or recommend, by the way? I will be happy to listen to all recommendations here! I am looking to spend around $500-$550 per year in auto insurance. I remember on my previous car (Sigh…the Celica) when I switched auto insurance carriers – I was paying close to $60 month, made one phone call and switched to another provider at an average price of $28 per month – talk about 30 minutes of my time being worth it. The main point – fight for auto insurance to be as low as possible, and have the coverage that you need.
2.) Home Insurance – Another bill, jointly with auto insurance above, that should be reviewed annually! This is one that Bert has also had his heart set on, by evidence of his tweet:
On Saturday, I plan to receive at least 3 new #insurance quotes and sign-up for a new #internet provider and FINALLY cut the cord. What are you planning to do to knock your #goals out before the end of the year? https://t.co/LBSg1jtQj8
— Dividend Diplomats (@DvdndDiplomats) December 8, 2017
I know Bert is excited to make moves and reduce expenses in these two areas. Pumped for him to drill down some dollars, to flow more into paying down his debts or investments. However, the phone calls and quotes are easy to pull online and honesty is the best policy when filling them out. Does anyone have recommendations in regards to home insurance to keep these prices in check? The reason I ask is that the price from 2016 to 2017 jumped almost 14%! That does NOT sit well with me and currently I am at $730 per year, which I can only “safely” assume will increase next spring time. Recommendations and tips are appreciated!
3.) Natural Gas/Gas Provider – Currently/through December 8 of 2017, per my recent bill, I was paying $5.39 per MCF usage. I went to this site, for the state of Ohio, to negotiate and find different providers (your state may have a different, yet similar, site). This is definitely an expense that one can & should take a look at, at least annually, as you may be able to save money and is critical in the “colder” states up north! I signed up for a 6 month term at $2.79 per MCF to stay with my current gas provider. I did an analysis of December 2016 – May 2017, as my new contract is for 6 months. The analysis showed me how much money I am expected to save, based on my new contract on the next six months, versus the prior year’s same-six month period. Based on the information below, I am estimated to receive a savings of $68.22 or 36.25%! That is awesome and I will gladly take the savings, especially during the cold winter months we have on our hands. Also, I will note that it has been far colder this year than last year, equating to even more future savings.
4.) Electricity Provider – Further, given deregulation of utility providers, you can also switch/negotiate this as well. I was paying, on average, $0.0579 per KWH. The deals that were out there were around $0.0475. However, my usage wasn’t that significant and it appears that there would be a few strings attached to signing a new contract with a different provider, I chose not to switch. I will re-visit this come May of 2018, as the summer months with air conditioning, would be very good timing to do this. No savings here, but this is something we should all look at on an annual basis.
Bill review conclusion
We all waste time, whether that is binge watching on Netflix, reviewing endless social media accounts or simply watching time pass. Instead, pick up the phone or the website address and start making your money go further than every before. You cannot “afford” to not do this! We work so hard, trading in time, increasing stress and all of the above, for us not to care about this topic! How would you feel, knowing that after you worked 60-70 hours per week that instead of keeping 5% of it, you can keep 10%? Maybe that number actually can go from 5% to 25% if you tackle all of them the above? I use 5%, as that is the average (woof) savings rate in the United States at this moment per a Motley Fool article and is actually in the low 3% range per the St. Louis fed website (OUCH).
To fully conclude, fight for your money friends, fight long and hard but enjoy your life during the meantime. Sacrifice a few minutes to enjoy the fruit from that fight for a long time to come. Please provide suggestions and tips below, as we (the community) can all benefit from them to save as many green backs as we can!