Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Utility Savings

I hope everyone is getting into the Fall routine!  Of course it is in the 90's here, so not too Fall-ish, but Fall for me is always a time of getting organized, getting settled.  I can only do but so much (more to come!), but it psychologically helps.

One benefit of recent efforts includes a decent amount of monthly money saving!

Cell Phone 
One Family posted the other day that Verizon had a new pricing structure on their website.  The plan that we already had was $5 cheaper.  So, I called.  Turns out, that a few other things were also now cheaper, so in total, it will be a $20 per month savings.  The cell phone is one thing we may revamp after the move (I am pushing for a cheaper carrier, G-man is still thinking about it).  But in the meantime, I will take the $20.  Added benefit is that next billing cycle will be even lower, as they made the change retroactive to the start of the cycle, and since this bill is paid a month in advance, we get the additional savings! 

This bill was $143 (up from $131 because I had to get a new phone a few months ago when the charging port broke on my phone).  Now it will be $123 (and $113 for the next cycle!).

Happy day!!!  Prices have come down!!

Our contract was up over the summer, so it was time to renew (I had been waiting....just in case the house sold).  There is no fee for cancellation when we move, so there was no reason not to just get this out of the way (also, if there is a credit, we will also get that back...but this is doubtful since we will have to have the tank filled when we sell and then the buyer credits it back to us at the sale).  Since the price per gallon is way cheaper now than it was a year ago, that was automatic savings.  I upped the gallons by 50 (we went over by 84 last year, and they are predicting another rough winter).  I removed the service contract (which mostly covered the annual cleaning and helped if there was an actual breakdown).  We now have a home warranty (that will transfer to a buyer), so no need for both.  If we need to get the furnace cleaned (not due until May 2016), we will just pay for that, but we are really hoping that we won't be here then.

Additionally, I opted for "fixed" pricing ($2.599/gal) and declined the price protection (which would give us a lower price per gallon if it was lower on the day of our delivery, but would cost about $150).  This is always a crap shoot.  There have been years that I got the price protection, and the price never dropped.  There was one year that I did fixed, and the prices dropped for one month....but not enough to counter balance the cost of the plan.  The only time the price protection really was worth it was when the prices were REALLY high (over $4/gal).  The prices did drop, and it was well worth the extra money upfront (we ended up saving a few hundred dollars after the cost of the plan).

So our month bill here went from $317 to $206.  That is a savings of $111!!!

CT implemented a huge rate hike as of January 1.  Basically, they were trying to make up for the disasters in 2011 (hurricane and ice storm) that knocked out power to the state for 5-9 days.  The cost of those storms was very high, and the electric company is still trying to recoup the cost.   We already had an alternative supplier, but I didn't realize that our rate had switch to variable that month (one phone call took care of that), The fallout was that when our budget plan reset, our month cost went up because it was based on the variable rate, which was close to the CT rate. Our phone call changed the rate, but it took one billing cycle to be implemented.  Our budget plan was already set, and they wouldn't change it until after we had the cheaper rate for a while.

So we have been billed at the lower rate since February, and have accrued a credit since the budget amount thought we would be billed at least 1/3 higher than where we are.  The electric company finally readjusted our monthly bill and the bill went down from $143 to $97 per month.  $46 baby!!

The last bill on the list to see if I can do anything with is the cable bill.  We have tried before, and they basically will offer us a premium package that we don't want for free for 3 months.  NO, I want a cheaper plan.  I know we are moving (eventually!!!) and most likely we will be moving towards a Netflix/Hulu type thing at that point.  But for now, let's see if we can save a few more bucks. I am hoping to have time on Wednesday to make this call.  (This is where working just gets in the way of life!!!  lol)

In the meantime....$20+$111+$46 = $177!!!   So what to do with $177 a month......

Save It
With so much in the air, maybe it is best to save it.  We would probably use it to beef up some of our pre-saving accounts (cat, kids activities, etc).  Possibly just throw it in the "moving" account.

There is more going on with debt than I have talked about.  I will talk about it once the current thing is settled.  But maybe another $177 toward debt would be a better option.  Just using current numbers, that would allow us to hit G-man's car loan hard and it would be gone in about 8 months.  Putting it toward my car would increase the monthly payment to just over $400, so that would obviously speed that process up. We can put it toward the CC (almost the same rate as the car), but we may be doing a balance transfer that would drop the rate to zero for 18 months.

Probably not all, but maybe $75-$100 a month....he is going nuts at my parents' house. Additional money would allow him a little more freedom to go get something to eat, catch a movie, whatever.  He does have some money...this would just loosen the belt a bit.  The remainder would probably just go to savings.

Or maybe I will just spend it.  lol

I am hoping that I can squeak $23 out of the cable bill....bring my savings number to a nice round $200.  Wish me luck!!


  1. what else was cheaper on your phone plan? sounds like I need to call!

    1. Part of it had to do with my new phone. Part had to do with the government discount we have.

    2. I think I need to call because I see it shows online that the new plan for 3gb is $45 a month plus $20 a month per phone. We have been paying $50 a month for 3gb and $40 a month per phone. Supposedly I changed my plan to this new plan, and now my data is showing at $45 but the per phone is still showing at $40 each. I'm hoping it will be $20 - that will save me $60 more per month.

  2. Awesome job!! Also, I missed the post about your kiddos' birthdays. Hope it was good!!

  3. Why not set it aside for a travel fund so you can drive to your husband or he can drive to you more frequently? Seems like seeing each other more frequently would be beneficial all around.

    1. We prob wouldn't drive....but it could be used for his travel. It is a 14 hr drive each way, so we use up 2 full days and alot of wear and tear on the car and body. A flight for just him is $260.