Ok, I’m slowly getting my transactions all categorized, one by one, into personal finance software, but I’m going to take a break and look at what fixed expenses, or bills that I get every single month, and see if there is any fat to cut. Using my last post as a guide:
Phone (Landline) – Used to be about $40/month for local + long distance. Switched to VoIP with SunRocket, and so far it’s been great. Now it’s only $199/yr = $17/month including taxes. Don’t think I can get much cheaper, unless I go without, but I need fax send/receive capability. Even MyFax costs $10/month for online faxing. Realized Savings: $23.40/month.
Cell Phone – $80/month for two lines. Tons of minutes, but I use a lot for work, and am partially reimbursed. Net result: $50/month. I’m about 1 year into a 2-year contract, so not much to do here. In the future, we can probably make do with less minutes and a cheaper plan. Possible future savings: ~$20/month.
Cable TV / TiVo – $50/month for Cable + $12.95/month for TiVo = $63/month. I don’t want to hassle with satellite, we could save money here, but I think it’s worth it. I can watch PTI, wife gets American Idol.
Internet Access – $46/month for Cable Internet. We save $10/mo for bundling with TV. 1.5 Mbps DLS is about $50/month too. Could steal bandwidth from neighbor with open WiFi router, but… nah. (It’s a good backup)
ATM Withdrawals – none, Bank of America ATMs as far as the eye can see ’round here…
Home Upkeep / Kids / Pets – maid? yeah, right. pool? I wish. kids? nope. pets? none yet, maybe in near future.
Insurance – Currently, $115/month for 1 car, renter’s, jewelry, and umbrella insurance. Need to re-examine this.
Rent – $1250/month. We are on a month-to-month lease, I’m not sure how increases work over time… But we like our place and our neighborhood, so we’re staying put for the foreseeable future.
So far, that’s $1391/month in fixed expenses. It looks like insurance is the real area that I should look more into out of these fixed expenses. As usual, I’m open to any suggestions. Next, I’ll look at more variable expenses, like electricity, food, entertainment, gas, etc.