Mind The Little Things... They Bite Hard if You Don't
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much..." Luke 16:10
Have you ever had an epiphany?
Are all epiphanies so simple you wonder why you could't see it before? That's the way mine was. It went something like this: You know how your bank account seems to leak? Just $20.00 here, and $35.00 there, and the next thing you know a hundred dollars has vanished?
Well, if that's true, then it has to work both ways. Just $20.00 here and $35.00 there, and the next thing you know a hundred dollars has accumulated. Genius -- I know.
Ok, so one man's epiphany is another man's "Well duh."
The bottom line is that the little things really do matter. The old adage "Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves" kept coming to mind this week. Although I plugged most of the holes, at least one of my money saving strategies backfired and it cost more rather than saved.
Here's what happened and how I fixed it.
In the beginning of 13 Weeks to Family Financial Freedom, I wrote in week 2 "Where to Start When Your Finacial Ship is Sinking" that I would reevaluate my cellphone plan in an effort to lower our cost of living. I did. This month was our first month going back to sharing minutes rather than data.
I blew the minutes and Mike blew the data. This is not a good thing.
I concede there are some financial safety nets that do help. Especially when you are trying to establish new habits and set new boundaries. Training wheels, safety net-- whatever you want to call it -- I had to put something in place while we learn to be more self-disciplined on a couple of little things like cell phone minutes.
My safety net, or maybe a better word is supplement is the "Talkatone" app. Talkatone uses wifi, and lets you call or text any US or Canadian phone. It's google based, so you need a gmail account. You have the option of using your own phone number, or using a completely new number. I chose a new number, but have since regretted that decision. It would be better, me thinks, to have it on the same number so you can get no-cost incoming calls. That way there's no problem with letting everyone know a new number that you might not use all the time.
The call quality is not quite as clear as we're used to. Sort of reminds me of the early days of cell phones, only without the call getting dropped. My plan is to use it when I'm home for all calls that are not in network.
So far, I've enjoyed the freedom knowing the call is unlimited and I feel like I'm saving money each time I use it. Normally, I hate advertising on my apps-- but this time I'll give it a pass.
After finding this I went after my car insurance again. This time I cut it down by $30.00 a month without cutting coverage-- with the potential of saving more.
Here's what I found.
The first $30.00 (per month) came off when we no longer needed to use the car for daily driving to and from work. So, if you have a vehicle that is not being driven on a daily basis, it's a good idea to check to see if you can have the premium lowered.
Our agent suggested we try "Drive Safe and Save" it's a State Farm offer, but she claimed most of the companies are going to this. State Farm offers to pay for the first year of this service, after that it's $7.00 a month. I suppose if you're not saving well over that you won't be continuing the service.
From the State Farm website:
You’re a good driver. With our Drive Safe & Save™ program, being a good driver actually gives you more control over how much you can save on your auto insurance.
Here’s how it works: Using your vehicle’s OnStar, In-Drive or SYNC communication service, we collect basic information about your driving. We then use the information to calculate your discount. The safer you drive, the more you save–it’s that easy.
Ok, I admit that tracking me on my OnStar to monitor how well I'm driving is a little disconcerting. However, saving up to 50 percent each month is dangling a pretty plump worm...
Would you bite? Or do you think that worm has a hook in it?
Photo Credits Shutterstock, Julien Tromeur