So, I have previously rambled on a bit about how we manage our budget, living simply and making sure that we put our money to best use. Here – Simple living but not the simple life, and also here, in Frugal by design Part 2.
Something that you always need to remember about a budget is that it’s a living breathing creature. It’s constantly growing and changing as your needs change. An increase (or decrease) in interest rates, in power bills, even in a weekly expense like the cost of bus tickets going up. You always have to be monitoring how it’s going, and therefore, how you are going.
My DH wisely suggested to me this week that we might want to revisit our mobile phone plans. At the time we last changed our plan, we were getting the best deal possible for our situation, at $39 each per month for as much data and calls as we were ever going to use (not big callers), and because we are both with the same company, we could call and text each other, and DS1, for free. So, obviously still happy with that as a bonus, and with no complaints about the service, we had a look to see what was new in plans.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a new range of plans had been implemented, and we could get even more call value, and a bonus data value, for, a whopping $19 each. 5 minutes later, we had both called up our provider and switched plans. And just like that with a little digging on their website and a quick phone call, and we were saving $40 a month.
Yes, we could have instead upgraded our phones for about what we were still paying, however we have never liked being locked into contracts and tend to buy our phones out-right for just this reason – you can switch your plan around when a better offer comes along. YOU are in control. And really, we didn’t NEED new phones. The old ones (older model iPhones) are doing just fine for what we need for now. And we will be $480 a year better off for our time and trouble. Remember, that was our money in the first place, and we should always make sure it’s doing the best possible work for us.
Changing our electricity plan or provider is next on the agenda. Time for some in-depth research.
So, what have you managed to save on lately? How do you keep watch on these charges that are so regular, they become almost invisible?
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I definitely agree about the “living and breathing thing” attitude to budget and to changing it as becomes relevant. I’ve never managed a to-the-penny budget, but more ball park amounts. I supplement the budget with a detailed listing of expenses and occasionally compare the two, take averages, and amend either the budget or the lifestyle.
I reevaluated my cell phone use recently and realized I wasn’t getting my money’s worth out of the data transfer part and changed back to “just” a phone. There’s $40.00 a month to shift elsewhere.
Sounds like you’ve got a really healthy budget there – congrats on saving so much just on your phone!!