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Verizon - Reducing Costs!

October 1st, 2015 at 11:22 am

I don't think I have ever blogged twice in one day!

Anyway, Verizon has this their new "Verizon" cell phone plans that are cheaper than out "Share More Everything" plans. My phone is no longer in contract, been that way for quite a bit. DW's phone is still in contract, so I'll explain savings below.

Share More Everything Plan
Line Access Me: $40
Line Access DW: $40
19% Line Access Discount: ($15.20)
4GB Data: $60
Verizon and Gov't Taxes Surcharges: $17.33

Total: $142.13

Verizon Plan

Line Access Me: $20
Line Access DW: $40*
19% Line Access Discount: ($11.40)
3GB Data: $45
Verizon and Gov't Taxes and Surcharges (Est.): $13.00

Total: ~$106.60

DW is still in contract on her phone until 6/2016, so in June, the Line Access for that phone will further be reduced to $20 as well, and the cell portion of the bill should be under $100. This was completed yesterday. Good! Saving now = ~35/ mo. Savings in June 2016 = $55/ mo.

Our Verizon FiOS contract for our double play is up this Saturday. I'll be calling them tonight to see if we can get the new customer price again. We got it last time too. If not, I will cancel and DW will call back to get the new rate, as she is not on our current bill as a new customer. Current is Fios Double Play: 15/15 FiOS Internet and FiOS TV Select (190+ channels, 30+HD) for $79.99 + 16.99 DVR + $6.45 Taxes and Surcharges = $103.43.

The two options are:

1. FiOS 50/50 Internet only for $44.95/ mo. for 2 years. No DVR, or TV. We alternate between Netflix and Hulu Plus. Everything we watch is available. Savings = ~$52/ mo.

2. FiOs Double Play: 50/50 FiOS Internet + FiOS TV Local (70 channels, 15 HD) + HBO Free for $50 for the year. Will still need to pay DVR. Savings = ~$35/ mo.

Expensive Weekend (Partially by Choice)

February 24th, 2014 at 06:37 am

This post isn't the most frugal post, something that I was hoping to put off for a bit longer, but was eventually going to do in the near future.

Our kitchen appliances, I've blogged slightly regarding these aging relics (a couple of them anyway) in the past, are being replaced.

Stove (Electric): Circa 1985, has been giving us issues since we purchased the home in 2010. We put some money in it to keep it going (replaced a few of the exposed burners), but when you are down to 3 out of 4 burners, things can get annoying. When you use the oven and the smoke detector goes off, things get annoying. I did a massive cleaning on it last year, but no avail to mitigate the issues. We are going to have delivery haul away.

Fridge: Circa 1998, has been making a funny loud noise at times for the past 3 years, cools and freezes well, not the most energy efficient, does not maximize and utilize the space well. We are going to attempt to sell on craigslist for around $150. If no go, our electric company will recycle and pay us $50 for it, as well as haul it away.

Dishwaher: Circa 1998, not the quietest model, cleans satisfactory if you rinse most food off dishes before placing them in. Will attempt to sell for $50 on craigslist.

Microwave (Over-the-Range): Circa 2008, not really anything wrong with it, obviously the newest appliance in the kitchen, but we will attempt to sell to family (a couple people interested) for $100.

Well that's the back story, the new story is expensive, and we only got mid-grade items.

Fridge: Samsung, Stainless Steel, we only had two options for the style we wanted for the space requirements. We ended up with a french door, bottom freezer model. Cost: $1,619.00!! Oh my!! Really!? Get this, it was the same cost as the next size up, only in America.

Stove (Electric): Samsung, Stainless Steel, nice 5 burner, flat top, convection. Lets see how the "steam clean" feature actually works, pretty skeptical. Cost: $967. Eh, not bad, but still pricey.

Dishwasher: Samsung, Stainless Steel, 6 cycles, hard food disposer (no filter to clean!), quiet 47dBs, stainless steel tub. Cost: $599.

Microwave: Samsung, typical over-the-range style, controls low on door for easier access, ceramic interior (same inside material as oven). Cost $319.

Total after before discounts and tax: $4,607.84
Total after tax and discounts: $3,857.84
- $220 Chase rewards
- $385 Reimbursement from work
- $300 C.U. Rewards
- $250 NYS Tax Refund
- $532 FED Tax Refund

= out-of-pocket $2,170.84

Not horrible considering, but $329.16 under budget ($2,500 budget) that we wanted to spend on them.

Saving Money

January 12th, 2014 at 04:50 pm

DW surprised me the other day and mentioned she signed up for a a Chase Freedom card with $200 bonus after spending $500! I had mentioned it two months ago to her, but thought she forgot, but she surprised me! How the spend went down in one weekend:

1. $110 in medical expenses. 100% reimbursed from employer, already received the checks and deposited.

2. $55 auto maintenance. Oil change and NYS yearly inspection for DW's car.

3. $210 for a book for one of my classes. The other class book was purchased last semester and is used again. 100% reimbursable from my employer under tuition reimbursement.

4. Now we came across an App a couple weeks ago called Boxed. It is very similar to our Sam's Club, BJ's, but we never renewed our Sam's club membership as we only went twice a year for bulk paper goods, and I hated how you had to pay a membership fee and could not use a our Visa Card as credit, only debit. Well Boxed doesn't have everything as the Sam's Club, prices are pretty much identical, but has everything we need or would buy, plus it is a new App, adding items almost daily. We figured we were really low on all those items so we gave it a try. We figured we had no other large regular expenses coming up to use the card, so we put together a $200.05 order. With that being said, we effectively paid $0.05 for the whole order, most likely none as the other items above will equal more than $0.05 in rewards! In addition, it was free shipping on orders over $75, and will be arriving in two business days!

Of course once the statement closes and points are awarded, we will take the $200 statement credit and pay the remainder in full!

November 2012 Update

November 26th, 2012 at 09:48 am

So November 24 the auto loan hit and was at about $8,080. I could not stand to see it that close to being under $8K, so I transferred an additional $115 to bring it to about $7,965! Even with December interest it will not be above $8K ever again! So 44% paid off in 11 months!

Last post I wanted to be 50% paid in 12 months, but may be at 48%. We also wanted $6K in the EF by December 31. We can't have both though.

We have $600 budgeted for Christmas spending this year. We are on budget so far on that.

We did rescue a dog three weeks ago, our first dog at that. We have a cat we adopted 2 years ago as well. The dog is a 2.5 year old Pomeranian mix. She came spayed, micro chipped, up-to-date on shots. The donation was $250 and spend about $250 on supplies etc. That we did not budget for, main reason we can't have both $6 in EF and 50% auto loan payoff in 12 months. She is a cutie though.

The Phase 4 of 5 windows are installed and look great! Just the basement left for some time in 2013.

Only random (hopefully) expenses remaining this year is NYS auto inspection for $21 on my wife's car and NYS registration renewal on my car for about $120.

I expect the cc bill to be about $4K from all the above, so when I get it, funds will be transferred to pay it in full.

Spending Money and Saving Money

August 13th, 2012 at 09:32 am

I haven't created an entry since the end of May 2012! I'll keep it short and sweet as not much has really happened since.

Current Mortgage and Car Loan balances are on my side bar. The car loan for August doesn't happen until the 24th, so I won't unpdate that until. Those two things have been on auto pilot since May 2012.

We have a FL vacation (12 nights) that includes Disney World and Universal Studios coming up at the end of September. We are going down with another couple and split the cost of the rental house. Being the theme park tickets and the rental house was within $30 of each other, we picked up the tab for tickets and they picked up the rental house. $1,850 for tickets, including taxes and a 4% discount! We purchased our flights from Southwest back in June when it was $99/ person, so $396 (round trip for 2) for flights wasn't bad at all. We will split the rental car which I booked for $260, for a full size vehicle. I put those on my Chase Freedom Card so I get a few bucks back, which will be paid in full as usual.

Went clothing shopping and did some at Sears with DW and we had $39 of items and they asked if we would like to sign up for their credit card for instant $35 savings. I did that, but I didn't know it would be between 3 different credit cards! The cashier asked my wife if she wanted the same, so she signed up and they put $35 on a gift card! Best part was, I did not need to put the remaining $4 balance on their credit card, so I used cash for that. I am still suprised on how they just "gave" between the two of us $25,000 in credit in 15 mins. I guess we earned it with great credit, but all 6 of those cards will be cancelled even before they are activated. We got free $70 out of Sears.

The second to last (Phase IV) of replacement windows will be ordered by the end of this month. The total on them will be about $3,800. I just applied for the Chase Sapphire card that is offering $400 bonus cash if I spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Hoping I get approved between signing up for their Chase Freedom $300 bonus cash back after $500 in purchases earlier in the year and the Sears cards. I used the Chase Freedom $300 cash back on $500 spent on Phase II windows.