Yo. What’s good y’all? Get into anything juicy over the weekend? We hit up a fair yesterday where Baby Penny and I both slid down the tallest slide we’ve ever seen in our lives. And I won’t tell you which of us was the most frightened ;)
But let’s get down to business, shall we… Last we checked on our expense shredding mission (aka Challenge Everything) we had cut down our cable bill by $50/mo bringing our automatic savings every month to roughly $190. Which ain’t too shabby for literally putting in a few hours of work.
Here’s what our “Challenge Savings” looks like after month #1:
That’s an actual snapshot of my USAA account we set up for these challenges, and while it’s delayed by a month while we waited for all the bills to hit, you’ll see we’re off to a killer start. And so far our quality of life is roughly the same too (more on that in a sec).
Here’s what this $203.96 includes, in detail:
You’ll see the $190’ish up top which is the difference saved between the three bills cut so far, followed by other monies we’ve also picked up along the way. Quite literally ;) It still amazes me how many people just throw their money on the ground. And we’re not even talking pennies here, folks – I found a dime and a nickel too! Blasphemy!
[I’ve got eyes like a hawk and not afraid of getting dirty]
And lastly, you’ll see the infamous backpack we sold on Craigslist recently to round up the account. Which kicked off our weekly “listing” habit that I’m now proud to say has two sales under its belt, thank you very much. (I think it’s going to stick!)
I’ll be listing this guy in the next roundup as it hit in October, but if you were around circa Easter, 2012, you may have recalled that hand carved vintage Indian knife I once picked up amongst all my yard sale binging. Which coincidentally also kick-started my new love affair with old coins too.
The knife was cool and made for a great decoration piece in my blogger lair, however it was time for it to move on with the additions of the little humans in our household, so I listed her on up (I think it was a girl? It was pretty!), and a few days later I had a crisp new twenty dollar bill in my hands. A 471% profit margin off my $3.50 investment.
And this time they came to meet me 40 mins away, haha… I’m learning over here ;)
The Quality of Life Stuff…
Now that it’s been a couple months since we’ve cut down on some of these services and even swapped products, I thought I’d drop ya a quick update on how we still feel about these changes. Since the main point of this mission outside of saving money is to pretty much get the same stuff in life without sacrificing much at all – if anything. We want our expenses cut as much as possible, but not to the degree of crappifying our lives. (New word – you heard it here first!)
Here’s how we’re doing so far:
- Cell phones – This is probably the biggest difference we’ve noticed out of the group here, but only because we went from iPhones to Android phones which are completely different and take some getting used to. Now that it’s been a month or two, however, I’m proud to say I’m finally getting the hang of things and slowly forgetting about my iPhone as the days progress. I still prefer it to be totally honest, but not enough to give back my $100 bill I’m now saving each and every month ;) And the service Republic Wireless gives is pretty close to all “normal” carriers as well – with perhaps an extra dropped call or two – so I’m still riding as high as I was when we first tried these hipsters out… There will be no going back anytime soon, I can tell you that.
- Car insurance – Haven’t noticed a difference in the least here. Though we also haven’t gotten into a car accident in the past 4 months either ;) Frankcaddy is slacking on it’s hustling! Probably because he got complacent after winning Hustler of The Year in April… Happens to the best of us.
- Cable/phone/internet – A little difference here since having 3,000 less channels now (I’m almost kidding), but nothing enough to open back our wallets and hand over a Grant ($50) again to those money sucking cable companies. If I have to go without MTV or ESPN for now, so be it. As soon as HBO offers its new stand alone service that’s coming soon, the % of dropping cable altogether goes up to a solid 95%! Especially once we upgrade our TV from stone age to modern age here in the future… I really want to see what I’m missing w/ streaming everything directly from the interwebs.
Overall State of Affairs: A+
I really can’t thank my lucky stars enough for finally waking up and DOING SOMETHING about these bills that were so normalized over the years. And, really, decades. We got so lazy and use to maintaining stuff without ever thinking that it took a small epiphany to finally shake us out of it and become mindful again.
This epiphany was found in an article by Mr. Money Mustache when he mentioned cutting expenses “increases the amount of money you have left over to save each month, and it permanently decreases the amount you’ll need every month for the rest of your life.” I was so caught up in the “earning more” part of the wealth equation that I forgot about the “cutting expenses” side for a while so this was a great reminder. And now here we are today. Obsessed with seeing how far I can take it while still living a magical life :)
My hope is that these articles jiggle something inside of you too. Even if you only end up saving $10/mo from trying one of these exercises, it’ll still amount to thousands of dollars by the time you get bored of this blog ;) And then you can go right back to being lazy again!
Here’s a page I’ve put together that includes all of the articles we’ve done up to this point, as well as the successes others are having too since following along: Challenge Everything! Feel free to send me your own successes as well and I’ll feature you up on it too.
Here’s a snapshot my friend Shannon recently sent me:
She’s already whipping my ass and we’re only in month #1! But hey – nothing bad with some friendly competition, right? We need all the motivation we can get…
Keep hustlin’ out there.
[Top photo by Sean Naber. Looks tasty!]
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!