I’m very proud of myself today because I just made decisions that will save me $100 per month. I called the cable and cell phone company and told them to:
- Discontinue my cable TV bill (learn how to negotiate here if you want to lower your bill instead)
- Reduce our family plan cell phone minutes
Before you leave this page thinking that this doesn’t apply to you because you make enough money to easily cover these expenses, let me tell you that my wife and I are not trying to save because we cannot afford the luxuries anymore. In fact, our living expenses are so low that we can live comfortably with just one income. We are cutting the fat out because we feel that it’s just not necessary to spend $100 on something we can do without.
Oh and by the way, doesn’t this contradict what I said a few days ago about how I spent my time? That’s because this post was originally from 12 years ago.
Time flies doesn’t it? While I’ve changed to Ting to pay even less for cellphone service since then, I’ve been cable TV free for 12 years now. That $100 a month sounded a lot then, but 12 years’ worth adds up to $14,400. If I invested the entire sum every month, that’d be worth double or even triple that amount. By eliminating $100 off my budget a month for 12 years, I have enough already to pay for it three times over.
And That’s Just After 12 Years
What happens after an entire lifetime? What if our kids inherit that sum and extend the savings?
Inheriting a huge sum of money is certainly a dream come true for many. We ponder on the idea whenever we watch a show that gives us a glimpse of the super rich. We also think of it when our friends get a gift from their family.
Yet, many don’t seem to realize that we are the parents of our children. That one day, we might even become grandparents. We think of frugality as not being an effective way to increase wealth because what’s another $100 for cable TV?
Clever writers even came up with a brilliant statement like this one – You can’t take your money with you when you die.
Latte Factor on Steroids
That $100 may end up costing ten times the amount in your lifetime. You might still think the cost is manageable, but it will be 100 times that by the time your kids are done, and 1,000 times that amount when it gets to your grandchildren’s lifetime. With that kind of multiplying power, even $100 becomes $100,000. A month!
Every little bit of savings may only be worth a couple of bucks now, but a few dollars will grow to significant sums when the timeline is in centuries.
There’s also a side benefit too. If you are the perfect example of frugal living to your kids, then that’s 24/7 responsible spending lessons for them, the grandkids, and so on.
Frugal Living Hourly Wages
The main argument for not practicing frugality seems to be that spending hours upon hours to save a couple of bucks is not an efficient use of time. That the opportunity cost isn’t worth it. Fair point, but are you going to get another job with your free time, or does your employer allow you to log overtime whenever you want?
There are 24 hours in a day. If you spend eight hours sleeping and another ten hours working, then what are you doing with the other six?
Here are three things you can do to spend those six hours.
1. Go dig up some childhood toys for your kids (or you) to play instead of buying new ones.
My wife brought back a pair of badminton racquets from her trip a while ago that she’s been using when she was about 10 years old. It was surprising she still had them but I’m glad she found them. We’ve been wanting to play badminton for a while but didn’t want to spend the money to buy new racquets (actually, we brought some 99 cents ones that broke after half an hour of play).
This past weekend, our family found some time to try it out and we had loads of fun. It wasn’t too windy but one side definitely had an advantage.
I know I still have some old rollerblades, tennis racquets, and other board games I can dig up when I go back to see my folks.
I’m sure that once we transport everything back, Emma and I can come up with a ton of activities to reuse all our childhood toys over the weekend.
So listen up everyone. It’s time for a treasure hunt. Start digging!
2. Use customer service to help save money.
As some of you know, I love to golf (which is a very expensive hobby by the way) and always want to buy a ton of stuff. The latest toy that I wanted was a laser range finder and the one I wanted is sold everywhere for $299.99.
I know that TGW.com (a golf specialty retail store) regularly has 15% off email promotions, so I decided to try calling the sales hotline to see if I can get one emailed to me to make an order at a discount. The call didn’t start off well because I called the 1-800 number and was put on hold. About 15 minutes later though, someone picked up the phone and this is how the call went…
Me: Hi, I know that there are 15% off coupons being circulated but I really want to buy a laser range finder today. Is there a way for one to be emailed to me now so I can place an order online?
Representative: Hmm… What’s your address?
Me: My address is …(You thought I was going to write that here didn’t you)…
Representative: I can put the code on for you and have the unit mailed to you
Me: Oh nono. I really wanted to do an online order to be picked up at the store since I wanted to get it today.
Representative: Oh unfortunately we cannot do that over the phone. Only online.
Me: …oh (disappointed tone)…
Representative: Why don’t you hold on? I will ask someone else to see if I can give you the code to use online.
representative: I have the code ready. It is _____.
So for about 20 minutes of my time, I got a 15% off coupon which saved me about $50. I also often hear other people having success with subscription services like cable or internet when they want to cancel. I know customer service is usually very annoying but sometimes they can be a money saver (if not a time saver)…
So next time, try it and you may be surprised.
3. Speak up to save money.
Emma is very good at helping us save money because she isn’t afraid to speak up. I still remember how she managed to save us $500 at our wedding because she spoke up when we were treated unfairly. The place we picked for our wedding ceremony had a $500 wedding coordination fee and we were told that it was part of the package and was basically mandatory if we picked this place. Since we liked the location so much, we decided to pay for it even though we didn’t feel that we needed the wedding coordinator’s help.
As our wedding planning process continued, we tried to contact the wedding coordinator without luck. After a few months, we finally found out that she took a long vacation during that time and that’s why she was unreachable. I would’ve probably just be frustrated but not say anything. However, my fiancee took a better approach. She called the sales director of the banquet hall and basically explained the situation to him and expressed disappointment with how we were treated. She was very calm over the phone and what resulted was that we didn’t have to pay for the service we never received (saving us $500) and also an extra golf cart to transport our guests from the entrance to the location of the ceremony.
This isn’t the only occasion of course. Emma saved us money countless times through the years by letting the other party know why we were disappointed with how we were treated. One good thing about being in North America is that customer service is usually very good. Therefore, we would usually be compensated for being mistreated as a customer without a ton of hassle.
I Just Saved My Grandchildren $100,000 a Month
OMG! I would write to you some more but I need to spend more time finding more ways to save. Write to you later!
Editor’s Note: Did you know about the service called $5 meal plans? For $5 a month, they send you recipes of delicious, healthy, yet cheap food that costs just $5 a meal.
Several of my friends signed up and they are able to eat at home more because the instructions are easy to follow, making everything convenient. The deal also comes with grocery shopping lists, which saves them so much time. Check it out yourself by clicking here and you too may be able to save more and become healthier at the same time.
Originally posted at https://moneyning.com/frugality/i-saved-another-100-per-month/