Thursday, May 1, 2008

What Can You Cut to Save Money?

gas pump

No doubt we all can relate to this cartoon! I just heard on the radio news that gas is at or near $4.00/gallon in some areas of the country! We are pretty close in my neck of the woods, and I imagine on Memorial Day weekend we will see $4.00 or more. Our friend delivers gas for Cumberland Farms, and it seems that Americans are doing good at not filling up so much, as they have just cut him back to one less day a week. Believe it or not, he said that equals $25,000/year of his salary (I didn't know gas deliverers get paid so well!)! So while its doubtful that this is hurting Mr. Gasman, it is hurting Americans, even the workers for Mr. Gasman! What are we going to do?

I've seen many people start to make changes, including carpooling. I definitely think of anything and everything I need while running an errand, so I can do it in one trip. I'm sure that is common for most. As we look at our budget, we have to up our grocery and gas budget. So if we have to up those areas, we have to cut back in others. This is what we've done so far:

We stopped our garbage/recycling pickup. We live close to our town transfer station (a place that takes your garbage/recycling and they take it to a dump). Garbage/recycling pickup is $30.71/month. Getting a permit for our town transfer station is $60.00/year. That makes for a savings for us of $308.52/year.

We sold my husband's car (Praise the Lord!). We had a lease (or as Dave Ramsey calls it a "fleece") for $239.42/month. That is a savings of $2873.04/year. Honestly, my car sits in our garage most days of the week. We are fortunate to live in an area, where if I really need to go to the store, it is within walking distance. We haven't figured out what this will save in car insurance yet, but until we buy a new car (a small junker with cash is our plan), there will be savings there too.

We feel there are still many, many areas to cut. For instance, do we really need both a cell phone and land line? Again, where we live, my cell phone comes in as clear as our land line. We have a friend who just cancelled their land line and just uses their cell, and have no problems whatsoever. Also, one thing that has been brewing in our hearts anyway (having nothing to do with finances), is cancelling our satellite TV. If we were to cancel our TV and land line, that would be a savings of about $960/year.

I am not saying these things to brag, but to encourage that it is possible. As we seek God, He will reveal what are true needs verses wants.

I'd love to hear comments of what you are doing to save in your budget!


Liz said...

Hi Jen - well I was interested to see what you guys will be cutting back with the price of food and gas. My hubby and I haven't discussed it in detail, are so fortunate to live close by to stores, banks, know where I live....about 3 miles from the A& we need a second car....but we're cutting back on our grocery bill. By making more stuff homemade and hardly any processed junk...really saves money. Not much but it does help. Baking our own bread, I know you do that, and just by being creative. We're not doing swimteam this year, all that running around everyday and night will really add up with the gas bill. So, we'll have a lazy summer at home instead of a crazy running around summer. Would love to get rid of our land phone, but our cell reception isn't that good here in the house. Honestly, don't know what all of us Americans will do. We plan on taking a vacation to Mrytle Beach in August....that will cost much. Pray the Lord will help...and if we're faithful to Him - He will be faithful back to us..... Liz

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow