From my postings on Facebook, I have realized that this week marks the first anniversary of our journey to start on our road to saving money.Not the anniversary for blogging (that’s next month – unbelievable right?) or actually starting to get rid of debt, since that only started in October of last year. But the moment when the light bulb finally went off and we started to save on what we pay every month (and that was right around this time last year).
First was our cell phone bills that went down because Virgin called me and actually lowered our bills, which we were very grateful for. I am grateful to them for that even though their prices have skyrocketed since.
They actually gave me a far greater gift of starting to look at what we could save on further. Starting a chain of events that changed our outlook on what life had in store for us, and our plans for “A Decade To Freedom”.
We followed with disconnecting cable, going with HD antenna and disconnecting the landline by installing a dry loop for internet DSL. So much more followed after as we examined every bill that came in and wondered if we could save on all of them.
The thing about saving money, it was initially uncomfortable to do because you get nice and comfortable with a routine. It’s hard to change things up. But we broke out of that mold to get to saving money. And now instead of giving up, we continue to go out and see if there is anything else we can save on. A little discomfort now, with some awesome benefits later.
So since I was reminded that cell phones is where I started, it is where I am starting again. Doing a full circle of sorts. Looking for better rates. And I won’t say it has not been without problems.
First we switched to a company that had great rates, but bad service (as in signal) for our area and now we have found a nice rate and good service, but because it was billed wrongly at their end it caused some discomfort that some would have probably said justified not switching because it causes too many problems.
I changed 2 phones to PC mobile ($38 dollars a month $10 extra per 1 gig used – so you get charged only for what you use – 500mbps – $5 – 1GB – another $5 and then it goes up in increments of 1 GB for $10- no initial charge etc – pretty good deal since some of us don’t use data that much – a lot better than the $60 we get charged every month for some services we don’t use at full capacity – and the signal is great from our remote area).
They changed one phone as a single person (on the bill they set up) and not a family so no other phone numbers can be added for at least a year on the bill when the status of it can be changed (first mistake). So this phone number has to be on a separate bill for at least one year. Bummer.
We had one option of keeping the phone number and keeping the single account. Or cancelling that phone number (which we did not want to do) and then putting it on a family bill.
The second phone line was put on some poor woman’s phone bill which I noticed when I brought the contract home (second mistake). Same problem for this. They obviously had to take my son’s number off that bill but he would lose his number if it was just cancelled out.
So the only option was to transfer it to another company for a few days (Koodo) so he could then transfer it back to PC on a family account.
So because of some ineptitude on the customer service part, we have not started on the best footing for a relationship.
Although the solutions to our problems were not that great and required some back and forth, I am still willing to do all of this to save a buck, realizing that loyalty from companies is a thing of the past. As long as I get what I want in the end, then it’s worth the headaches for now. And that would be the cheapest amounts for the best possible service (signal).
Since companies are generally only loyal to new customers since they always offer them a better deal, I am only loyal to a company as long as they offer me the best rate. I believe in a you get what you give (when it comes to big companies).
And I can’t complain of the service (reception) from PC mobile, the reception is great. And billing online is pretty simple (so far). So I will be transferring the last two phones. No doubt I will run into some more fun since I owe on both those phones, but I will try nonetheless.
I want to continue on this path because it’s more important to me to get my days back. Less giving to work and more free time and these savings will get us there.
Since we have started saving last year, we have literally put thousands of dollars back into our pockets (accounts). Not a few hundred here and there. About $15,000 to be exact. And about $13,500 of that has been to decrease our debt so far.
I can literally feel my chest cavity breathe in more deeply with every milestone event (another debt disappearing). As early as next summer, we might only have a small mortgage payment every month (that will eventually be going away as well). And it’s all because we are committed to making sure we definitely bring in a lot more than we spend. There is wiggle room at the end of the month and it’s without too much sacrifice that this happens as in the changes we made still provided us with most of what we had before.
The secret to it now is to keep on top of it. So on the anniversary of my savings every year, I plan to go into the bills again and see if there is more to be saved. It’s already happened with the cell phones, so why would I ever slack off of this mission. Especially when there is so much to gain.
It’s also good in another way that it keeps you on top of all new things. The world is changing so quickly and new technologies are developing all around us that works in our favor (to save us money and be efficient), so why would we ever stop looking around to see if we could be more independent and debt free.
Just because every one you know does it, does not mean it’s the right thing to do. They could be stuck in a loop of comfort that I was talking about. I keep that in mind when I look to save more money. And I especially like when someone tells me it can’t be done, because then I don’t stop looking until I can find an alternative.
Sometimes it’s can’t be done right now. Does not mean it won’t change at some point? I’ve even realized that sometimes the answers have to be found and there are ways around some situations. You just need to be determined.
I’m hoping to do an update soon on our Savings YouTube Channel ” A Decade to Freedom”.