Monday, January 26, 2009

$480 an hour

Annie and I are trying to figure out our finances. The number one struggle most married couples have is over their finances. It's number 3 on our list, just under the over/under toilet paper argument of '07 and the improper use of the term "gandy dancer".

So we're taking a class and our homework for week one was to put together a simple budget. That was actually an incredibly helplful thing to do. The simple act of putting together our monthly bills for things like - food, utilities, mortgage, blow torch rental, phone etc... It forced us to see, and on some level, understand where our money goes.

I think I can count on one finger how many people I have had in my life that were really good with their money. He was the guy that everybody called cheap and then later asked for a loan from. Having said that, I've never really taken any classes or had anyone sit me down and talk about the basics.

It's interesting how many people go into great debt in college or shortly after, and yet personal finances aren't a priority at most high schools. It's the number one cause of divorce and the number three cause of under funded Saget movies...and yet...nothing about it at Worthington High School (Home of the Cardinals)

So I made two calls on Friday. I asked my cable and my phone guys to hook a brother up. I made them both around 9 - 10ish and they both knocked $20 a month off our bill.

Twenty dollars isn't really that big of a deal to a guy like me. I'm not lighting my cigars with them, but let's just say I spent a little more than that on my last anniversary. Now I know not everyone throws around money like that, but I just need a starting point to let you know that a Hamilton for me just isn't so much.

$480 on the other hand is a big deal...and that's what I saved this year by making those two phone calls.

We also cancelled two of our memberships (gym and Costco) and were given a $100 cash refund from one and saved $720 a year on the other.

That's $1,300 if you keeping score at home.

So if you want to give more money to your favorite charity or skinny jeans dealer, maybe you ought to take a looksie at the old budget this week. You'll be glad you did...


  1. leahwise8:37 AM

    Brad finally gave in. We, of course are "overs" with our toilet paper. It really is the correct way... the only way.

  2. it's so simple, right?!?!

  3. Good job guys! We had already cut our cable and I can't get rid of my curves membership for my sanity and health but it's cheaper than cable would be! We're trying to find other ways to 'fix' our budget.

    It's nice to hear you got them to lower your rates considering sometimes customer service reps aren't exactly helpful!

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  5. So what exactly did you say to the cable co. to get 20 bones knocked off?

  6. There is no reason the toilet paper should be coming from under. That is crazy. And it should never, I repeat never, be off the roll and just "sitting" on the back of the toilet. It takes just as much effort to put the toilet paper on the roll than it does to set it on the back of the toilet.

  7. that meatloaf graphic is FUNNY!

  8. My senior year 2nd semester class schedule at Worthington High School:

    1. American Political Thought and Radicalism
    2. Mythology
    3. AP European History
    4. American Science Fiction Authors
    5. Etymology
    6. Gym

    Ah, Worhtington.

  9. I quit shaving my back hair. It saves me 10 dollars a month in electric.It takes a weed wacker to get the job done.

  10. I've found with getting any bill reduced you have to be willing to go without that product. If you can't, they have no incentive to negotiate with you. My aunt Peggy just calls and asks for the "retention department". I've never done that, but it makes sense to me.

    I used to switch my phone service in the days that phone services were competing with one another and just shop around for the best deal.

    With my cable company I just told them that I didn't want to switch, but if I could get equal service with the other company and save over $200 a year - I was going to do that. They offered me either $5 off a month for 10 months or $10 off a month for 5 months...and I said that I'd rather just cancel and go with the other company and save $20 a month forever.
    They sent me to the boss man and he made the deal. He even threw in 3 months of free premium channels just because...

  11. Is being a TP "under" a guy thing by default ?

    i was always an "under" but finally succumbed to join the "other direction".

  12. I've only payed full price for zoomtown internet one month out of the last 3 years. I just call them and tell them that it's too expensive and they cut it back down to whatever the special deal is. Saves me $180 a year.