“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Closing In On $10K A Year In Savings

... oh yea baby!  Stepping back in time ... examining how our great grandparents lived ... has been a good exercise in frugality.  Looking at pictures ... seeing their simple lives ... cutting out waste from our own family income ... has taken us one step closer to kissing debt goodbye.  Our latest cost saving find is examining our auto/home/life insurance premiums.  By making yearly payments instead of monthly/quarterly/semi-annually we have discovered a minimum of $200 savings per year; or $2,000 in ten years ... sure adds up!  If you are driving an older car .. try dropping comprehension and just carry liability insurance for a bigger savings as well.  Tomorrow I'll have a precise figure once we also bump our auto and  home insurance policies from a $500 deductible to $1,000.  Keeping more of our hard earned money out of the pockets of big insurance companies ...  now that's a good thing.  Having a reserve/emergency fund should a crisis arise ... priceless.  For more cost saving ideas ... check out the side bar of this blog to see what we've axed from our budget to get our mortgage paid off early by simply changing spending habits.  What have you cut back on or changed in your way of spending money in this tight economy?  Leave a comment if you have a great idea ... Mr. MacFrugal is always asking me for more ideas.

Update:  switching homeowner's insurance deductible to $1,000 netted an extra $66 bucks a year and $24 savings on our automobile policy.

image from FreeFoto.com


Maria Stahl said...

I can't quantify the savings but I know making our bread has provided one. If we were to buy only the cheapest bread, we might break even, but we don't do that, so it's definitely a savings.

Let's see... Eating more beans and grains, which helps our health as well as our budget.

Changing the heating system to geothermal was a biggie. I'm gonna guess that's probably saved us about $1800 a year AND we got central air conditioning out of the deal.

We swapped out one of our cars for a newer one (still used) that gets 5 mpg more than the old one. Not an enormous difference on the face of it, but with Barry commuting to school 3-5 days a week to the tune of about 65 miles round trip, that's going to add up over the year. We dropped the insurance down to just liability on the old Jeep, which is still for sale but we are not trying very hard to sell it, as having a second vehicle has already saved the family schedule many times, and we were surprised to find out that if we were to go down to just the newer car at this point, our insurance would actually go UP a tiny bit, as the multi-car discount we get for insuring two more than pays for liability coverage on the Jeep. Weird, huh?!

Just taking our eldest off our insurance all together saved a bundle too. Her college isn't far enough away for us to reduce her to an "occasional driver/distant student" discount, so we figured we'd just drive her around when she's home for breaks. Big savings, about $470 a year if I recall correctly.

Nothing too profound here, just bits and pieces.

Maria Stahl said...

One additional point: While we would love to be working on paying off all our debts at this point in our lives, while Barry is in college training for a second career, that has gone on hold. Our current goal is simply to continue to pay off the debts we have and not gain new ones, other than college loans, which are inevitable in our case, but which we are striving to minimize.

Barry works part time and would work more if I would let him, but he takes his schooling very seriously and spends probably 30 plus hours a week in studies, and if he worked more, he would make up the time by not sleeping. I'd prefer to have a healthy husband at the end of all this. :) So I encourage him to just work enough to satisfy his need to bring in a paycheck. I also tell him that any time he spends applying for scholarships and grants can pay off much better than working in a nursing home ever will.

Mrs. Mac said...

Maria ... these are all good savings tips. Soon I'll do a post about Mr. MacFrugal's used car ... it's a real gem;)!

LynnS said...

A-ha!! You caught on!! There's quite a difference in premiums if you shop your insurance package, too. This last time, I went to a broker and through the broker, went w/ a well-established insurance company that specializes in "safe drivers". We saved $$ in doing that alone! I was delighted!

You already know what we did with our homeowner's insurance! lol Dropping it altogether was a $440/year saving.

We already pay by the year, but yes, it is less expensive to pay up-front instead of the monthly or quarterly premiums. You are paying THEM if you do that.

With cars, we have a 2003 Toyota Corolla, 2002 Chevy Silverado truck, and a 2005 Dodge Ram 3500. We put $1000 deductible on all and only have liability on the trucks now. The Toyota has reduced comp. because that's the commuter car. The trucks don't need to be driven in inclement weather and since I stay home, I choose when/if I go out. Simple! I just need to continue being an accident-free driver!! ;-)

I wonder what's next with you in cost savings.....Isn't it fun to use frugality as a "mission"??