Here it is Frugal Friday again. Gosh this week has just flown by for me. I have been so anxious to do today's post that I am ready for it. Today we are going to learn more ways to cut corners regarding your credit cards and some of your bills.
Now don't groan, it's something we should all want to do when it comes to savings. You should have already created a budget that first week of Frugal Friday and if not it's past time to do this. Here are a few links to some budget helpers with graphs and spreadsheets that will help you do this. A visual is often needed when working on a budget. These sites are free to join as well. Like we've said before "nothing like a freebie". You can try mint.com, they have many graphics and budgeting tools, as well as billmonk.com and budgettracker.com as well. They are like having your own personal budget bookkeeper close.
Learn to online bank and bill pay. With late payments on your bills being so high it only makes sense to set up your bank account online as well as set up all of your personal bills this way. Things such as your electricity, water, gas, phone and others. Not only does it save you time, it also saves you money. You don't have to worry about them being paid on time anymore, because now they will be. the bank does the work for you. It also saves you a stamp (which is now .42) each time a bill is paid by your bank. That is an average savings of $36 a year if you pay 7 bills a month. It may not sound like much but that's a trip to the movies or simply just an amount you can add to your savings acct. Online banking is safe and easy. Learn to live in cash. Oh I hear those groans now for sure. To me this one is simple and I do this all the time. After you've worked out your budget that's great, but the way to really make yourself stick to it is to use cash. So for doing this means you need to go by your banks ATM (fees charged for using others) and withdraw once a week the amount in cash you are needing. No more than that. If you are uncomfortable carrying that much cash then stop by the banks ATM twice a week instead. Whenever possible only use the cash you have on hand. Keep a mindset that that is all the money you have in the world.
Can you hear the savings now? Sorta like that cell phone commercial "can you hear me now." I am talking about your cell phone as a matter of fact. Take a good long hard look at your cell phone. A few years ago these weren't used but by a select few people. So really think about it and if it's a life saving device or a splurge. Is it something you can live without? If it's not and I know this is the thinking of most everyone then think about this. Look at your plan and consider if you can drop any of the extras. Do you really use your text messaging that often to warrant the monthly fee? Do you have one that has all the bells and whistles of music downloads and things of this nature? Figure what you are paying monthly and then multiply that by a year and compare that to if you really need that added feature or not. Look at your bill and your plan minutes. Do you have unlimited minutes but only use around 2000 a month? Then drop your plan minutes package and save yourself some money here. Look at the other features on your cell phone. Do you have things like roadside assistance? If you do make sure you really need that service. Lots of people find out there auto insurance already covers this on the policy. If that's the case then this is one you do not need.
Trucker and I used to be on a monthly plan. We really looked at our spending one time after first getting married. Between me, him and Princess we paid close to $200 a month. Was it worth it? Not since getting married it wasn't. So we switched to all prepaid phones. We found the best for us, which is ATT because for $1.00 a day we could talk to anyone with a ATT phone. Since we basically only talked to each other and a few family members (who also had ATT) then this was a huge savings to us. So this is something you might want to think about.
This is also a good time to think about your landline phone. If you have and use your cell phone more than the landline then drop your landline. If nothing else put it down to the bare minimum. Drop the long distance, call waiting, call forwarding and caller ID. This alone is a huge savings. If you don't believe me then listen. I called our landline phone company three weeks ago. I asked about digital cable (which we have now) on our TV but switching from internet dsl (phone line based) to the cable internet (which is actually faster as well). We very seldom use our landline for anything except to receive calls. By dropping the landline and switching over we will save $50 a month. We will have better TV channels and faster internet as well. We are in the process of switching over now. I also downloaded and really looked at Skype for a service too. If you aren't familiar with Skype you can call anyone with a computer (who has this service) for free. It costs nothing. now if you decide you want your own particular number so that person's without a computer can call you, it's only $6.00 per month. We have already started using Skype for this now. So even dropping the landline and using Skype we still are saving over $40 a month.
Get rid of your credit cards. I heard huge collective sighs on this one. You can live without them. Take your pair or scissors and cut them up. yes, you can do it. At least get rid of all but one. Before deciding which one to keep take a chance and call your credit card companies and ask them if they would lower your interest rates? Believe it or not some companies will lower the rate if asked. Pick the one with the lowest rate and cut up the others. Keep one only for emergencies. And I do mean emergencies. Look into refinancing your home or car. Check and see if by refinancing your home mortgage and your car if you can get a reduced interest rate. If so then it's well worth it.
Anytime you can live on cash that is the main thing. Learn to do this and you will find yourself saving at every corner. I've been doing it for years now. After I found myself buried in credit card debt. Now while others are finding themselves suffering in debt I can honestly say I am deft free from credit cards. It's a wonderful feeling.
TIME FOR THE GIVEAWAY, THIS WEEKS SPONSOR OF OUR FABULOUS GIVEAWAY IS: OZARK SCENTS CANDLE COMPANY.
Ozark Scents Candle Company is located in Southern Missouri. They are a home based family business.
Ozark Scents Candle Company has graciously offered to sponsor this weeks Frugal Friday post with their wonderful scented soy candles. They are so gracious in fact that are letting YOU the winner choose the candle of your choice in the 8 oz size. Wow!!!! You get to choose yourself from their fabulous amazing choice of scents. Not only are they letting me do this but also letting me choose 2 winners. That's right not one but two lucky winners will receive an 8 oz candle of their choice. Now that's a prize worth playing for.
All of their candles are made from soy blend wax which is excellent for anyone with allergies. This is one of the many reasons I burn them myself. Each candle is hand made and is hand poured into a lovely mason jar and each is covered when finished with an antique mason jar lid. they are adorable to see as well as smell. They have the largest selection of scents I have ever found with 98 scents in total.
The rules in the giveaway are as described below: Go over to Ozark Scents and Candle Companies Etsy store and choose which fragrance you would like to win from their 98 fragrances available and come back here and in one comment leave me your favorite scent. This is mandatory to do and receive the first entry.
To have more chances of winning you can do as many of the following as you like. For each one you leave a separate comment and this comment is considered your entry for that particular chance. You could have up to 8 entries to win by doing this.
1. Ozark Scents has a blog here and if you follow this blog you receive one extra entry. 2. If you have an Etsy account or if you would like to sign up for one and add Ozark Scents to your favorites you will gain another entry. 3. If you follow my blog (or are already following it) then comment and tell me and gain another entry this way. 4. If you subscribe to my blog and comment and let me know then you've earned yet another entry. 5. If you Twitter about the giveaway with a link to my blog this gains one more. You are allowed one twitter a day for each entry but must leave a comment here each time for it to count. With a link to your profile where you twittered about it. 6. If you write a blog post linking back here this will be one additional entry. Also you must leave a separate comment with the link to your blog where you posted about it. 7. If you place my Frugal Friday button on your blog or website this gains you an additional entry as well. The same goes for this, leave a separate comment here with a link to your blog for me to check it out.
Remember: you have to leave me a separate comment for each of these different ways to enter. If you twitter about it each day then leave me a entry telling me you have done so with your profile link. Each entry has to be done on this Frugal Friday post for it to be official and counted. Remember two winners will be chosen.
Giveaway runs from today till midnight next Thursday, the 26th. Hey the 26th is my birthday. So win one for me please. LOL. Winner will be announced at next friday's Frugal Friday post. At which time we will also have another giveaway to announce. Winner will have 48 hours in which to contact me with their mailing address or another person(s) will be chosen. So remember to check back here next friday to see if you have won this terrific candle for yourself or a gift. Tell your friends and family about the giveaway and what wonderful scents and candles that Ozark Scents Candle Company has to purchase. They won't be sorry and neither will you.
Welcome to "Stepp Into My World". I'm so happy that you stopped by for a visit and a glimpse into my World.
Over the years my world has changed many many times. Now I've reached that point in my life where I have found out who "I" really am. I invite you to come along for the ride with me. I love comments and hope you will take the time to leave me some. I will do my best to respond personally to each and everyone of them.