Over the past few months, I have been listening to Dave Ramsey’s FREE podcast on iTunes. I’ve read his books over the past year and have been inspired, but listening to his podcast has really helped me get “gazelle intense.” I decided that I wanted to see what we could do to lower our monthly utilities.
It started with a flier in the mail for Satellite. The flier was for a package costing $29.99. I knew we paid A LOT more than that from the same company. I asked Todd to call the company. Needless to say, we got $15/month knocked off of our bill just for giving them a call. $15 x 12=$180/year
Trash: We have had our current trash company since we moved into the house in 2007 because they were the only ones that would service our area. I noticed that there was another truck in the area and found them online. When I called to get a quote – it was HALF the price of the company we are using. So, instead of paying $96 every 3 months, it is now $43 every 3 months. $53 x 4 = $212/year
DSL: We had a promotion on our DSL for one year that expired. So, I paid the new price of $56 for a month. I decided to shop around to see if I could do better. There was another company offering DSL for $29.99. I called the original company and let them know that I found a better price and that I’d like to stay with them. They matched their competitor’s price for me! The contract is extended for $29.99/month until next year. The customer service rep said to call again next year and they will re-adjust it again to keep me as a customer. The bill per month now: $32. $24 x 12 = $288
Mortgage : Todd and I have a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) on our house when we bought it 3 ½ years ago. It was a 20 year loan at 5.99%. I found out that we could get a 15 year mortgage for 3.85% from the same bank we use. By making this change, we are saving $15/month on our mortgage payment, cutting 2 years off of our mortgage and saving $25,000 in interest over the life of the loan (assuming we’d pay the loan off in 15 years.) We will pay an additional $150/month toward the mortgage and it will be paid off in 10 years. We are winning all the way around with this deal. $15 x 12 = $180
That right there saves us $860 a year and we haven’t had to adjust our standard of living. It is amazing what these companies will do to keep your business!
I did this with our propane carrier as well. They jacked up our rates and I refused to lock in. I called and told them that I had a quote from another supplier. The lady was not very pleasant on the phone, so I informed her that we would be discontinuing our service with them as soon as our tank was out of propane. We got a letter in the mail from a Manager who lowered our rates and is locking it in for a year! We are saving $300/year and staying with the same company.
There is ONE LAST THING we saved on this past month. 3 years ago, when we first moved into our house, I got a speeding ticket on a back country road on my way into work (yes, I am a speed daemon : 61 in a 45.) Insurance for our two cars was over $550 every 6 months. Now that the ticket dropped off the insurance, our insurance is now $320 for 6 months! That is $230/half we are saving. This has helped me see the cost of speeding and has helped control my lead foot!
I did not include the last two items in my total (which would be $1620/year!) because not everyone has propane and not everyone is reckless with their speed. Everything else was easily negotiated and took less than an hour to negotiate a savings of $860!