Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cutting Spending: I Downgraded My Cable Service

My Comcast bill (Internet/Phone/Cable service) was a little high this month, so I looked at the bill and noticed that I was paying for HBO service I rarely watch. I do watch a lot of the other channels, but I just don't watch enough HBO to substantiate paying extra for it. It came free for the first six months of the service and I just never went back to cancel after that six month period was over. So my next bill should be $18.95 less, which was the cost of the HBO.

The only reason why I have a land line is because my cell phone gets terrible service in my apartment. It works everywhere else just fine, even on the Metro, but not so good where it would be most useful...figures. I can't get rid of the cable all together because my TV won't work in February if I do that and I refuse to buy a new one until the old one dies on me. I am a part time grad student and need the Internet to write papers and things of that nature, but I would really consider getting rid of that also if I had a PDA with good Internet service. I just don't live close enough to campus to get rid of that though. I realize, that if I'm going to start making more progress on my financial goals, I have to seriously cut my spending.

I do have a few habits that don't need changing like rarely eating out unless it's a special occasion (when I do eat out I don't purchase alcohol) and packing my lunch on a regular basis. Here are a ways I have come up with to cut my spending that I have mentioned before that I plan to implement in the near future:
  1. Learn how to style and trim my own hair (the trimming part is a little lofty but achievable).
  2. Learn how to hem my own pants and skirts.
  3. Don't put my clothing in the dry cleaners and wash/iron them myself.
  4. Stop buying coffee, tea, hot drinks and make them at home or at work.

I want a new (to me) car, but won't start saving for one until I pay off my credit cards and have more in my emergency I have to remind myself of this when I want to make a purchase that isn't a necessity.

Does anyone else have any other suggestions on ways to my lower spending?


Anonymous said...

The things on your list are excellent! I could never cut my own hair, luckily I don't have to have it cut very often though.

I don't know what your grocery budget is like, but cutting out all or most of the meat in your diet can make a big difference! Its easy and cheap to make hummus for sandwiches or salads

Anonymous said...

Good cost saving measures. I been doing all four the things you mentions for years, because I always have to supplement my mother's income and take care of my son as a single parent. My mother has passed on and is resting in peace now and my son is off to college. Yes, I still don't see where I can even work one of those things back into my budget. I have to claim zero on my W2 since I'm alone now, and of course the gov't kills me in taxes. Can't win for losing!

Small Budget, Big Style Chick said...

Budget Chic- I'm sure you miss your son now that he is in college! I strive to look as stylish as you do on a budget!

When my schedule allows, I'd like to get another part time job to pay down my debt faster so I can finally get a car (paid for in cash.

Mrs. Makeover said...

Don't forget that you can get a digital converter box so you can watch network stations for free. Get your government coupon (worth $40) and you can pick up a box for about $10 or so.

I got mine a week or so ago, and I'm AMAZED at how good the picture quality is! It's actually better than my cable, if you can believe it.

I can't cancel my cable, though :( Doing so would raise my internet cost to $60/month. I'm paying $40/month for both cable and internet right now.

Oh, if you get a digi converter box, you will need rabbit ears for it to pick up the signal. So that's like an extra $15.