Just a little off the top.
So we have a budget now. And it’s pretty easy to see where we are throwing some money away. This week I hit the low-hanging fruit of the budget. Utilities mostly.
1. Direct TV
I noticed when I was inputting previous billing amounts for our new budget that our Direct TV bill had jumped, twice in the last six months. Our one year “trial” package increased in price and Direct TV began charging us for NFL Sunday ticket that was supposed to be free for this year according to our negotiations at this time last year. I had Isaac call to complain.
Result. They credited us the two payments made for NFL sunday ticket and lowered our package by about $40 a month.
Savings for September. Since the credit will be on this bill the total is $82, down from $235, so a net savings for the month of $153. Woohoo!
We use Comcast for internet, because AT&T was much slower at the time we switched to Direct TV for satellite. I’m not sure if that is still the case. Also at the time, it was cheaper to bundle internet and phone service ($45/month) that to just subscribe to internet alone ($60/month) so we bundled. Even though we do not have a home phone. Apparently the bundle expired, a while ago, and the bill has crept up to over $100 a month. For internet. What? I called comcast, to just subsribe to internet.
Result. They bundled me again, this time with basic cable for the rate of $40 per month. I’ve set a reminder in my calendar to call them again next September to rebundle so hopefully we don’t see a steady increase in the bill. We do have a television in the spare room that has no satellite box, so we could I guess hook it up to the cable now. Eventually. This is “save money month”, not “home improvement month”.
Savings for September. The bill was reduced from $111 to $55. A net savings for this month and months going foward of $56.
3. Georgia Power
We waste a lot of power. I am mostly the cuplrit here. I leave lights on all the time. I leave devices plugged in all the time. Chargers not connected, curling irons, blow dryers, etc. Then there’s the matter of the OMG HOT SUMMER IN THE SOUTH thermostat running on overdrive. Our A/C unit is getting close to it’s life limit I think (quick knock on some wood it’s still 90 degrees out!) and it’s full of homemade bandages. Thank heaven my husband is an electrical engineer. Anyway. We now have the thermostat set to a comprimising 74 degrees, which is really more like 72 once it’s dark. It’s comfortable in the house usually, maybe a little warm in the afternoon when the sun is at its peak. Tolerable though. And there’s fans everywhere that can be run in case it gets too warm in a particular room.
Result. TBD the Georgia power bill usually comes towards the end of the month.
4. The Westin
We stayed the Westin back in July for a friends’ wedding and did not have the best experience. I complained to the hotel and detailed our disappointements. As remuneration, they comped $98 from our bill. I intend to argue an airfare we purchased last month as well. We bought a last-minute/one-way fare ($$$$!!) for a flight that had already been cancelled.
September Savings. $98 credit.
The total for the week is $307! I have booked our condo in Tybee Island with these savings. Next week, I’ll tackle our variable expenses (re: food, gas, random spending, etc).
See more on the challenge at southernsavers.com and say hi to Jenny!