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Trying to cut bills is harder thatn I thought it would be

4831 Views 54 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  nodmicks
So we looked at our bills and tried to change them into our favor.

It was harder than I thought. We researched before getting them the extras like cable internet and cell phones to get what we wanted at a good deal.

So trying to lower them today was not very fruitful.

Take cable and internet for one. We could lower them by about 8 dollars a month. We had a old plan and the new plans were way more expensive and come with contracts. So for that 8 a month we would lose the DVR have to rent their modem have limited internet and lose most of our tv channels.

Cell phone was similar.

Electric, gas, water, and trash there is no choice you get what you you get. To lower your bills you just have to watch how much you use.

Man, we were just to good from the get go and can't lower the bills now.

Have yet to figure out how we will lower the monthly out go.
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Yep, I agree.

I cancelled our garbage service & choose to recycle everything possible (free) & take one bag of trash a week to either my mom's house, my MIL's house, or toss it in my hubby's dump trailer (work) - so maybe you have that option if you have a recycling center near by?? And a friend or family member that will let you toss in a bag a week??
Nope trash is through the city and every house is required to have service. No alternative. Everyone gets the same size can and assigned a curb side pick up day all the same price no matter what, you use it or not.
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It can be hard and I've been working on it.

Dropped the Dish down 2 packages. A few whines. (never thought I would do this!)
Cut down AT&T net/land line service about 30 bucks a month just by calling.
Cut 2 cell phone plans insurance. 10 bucks a month.
Liability on one car. (hope that wasn't a stupid move)

That's about all I can do for now. :)
We just cut the cell phone bill by $20 cut the insurance part Like you did
we are thinking about cutting the home phone and use just the cell phone a bit nervous about that but would save $34 a month as long as it does not make us go over our cell phone mins.
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Any chance you can cut the phone down to just basic service. No bells or whistles?

Hang in there. I am sure you will think of something.
Have already been at no bells or whistles for a long while. We can receive calls and make local calls and we live in a very small local calling area.

You would also be surprised how many people assume you have caller ID you should know they called, you should know who they are, you should know their number sorry no caller I'd here you will have to tell me who you are when I pick up. Want me to know your number you will have to tell me. Want me to know you called leave a message on the answering machine or I will have no idea you called
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Our biggest saver was getting rid of a cell phone plan and getting a TracPhone. But otherwise, you're right, it's hard to make big changes when you didn't go overboard to begin with.
What is a trac phone? Can you text with it?

Just looked it up on the net looks like coverage is iffy where I live
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We don't miss the house phone. I left a corded phone in the kitchen for emergency 911 use - even without service, it can still call 911. (I think that's neat)
I had not heard this with landlines so I checked the net and it says that if you can call 911 from a no service landline varies by state and the state law. The way to check is if you plug in the corded phone if get a soft dial tone you can call 911 with it if you hear nothing then you can not call 911 with it.

I bet I live in a state that you can not I have a friend that just cut her home phone I will see if she gets a soft dial tone.
So far we have canceled cable and use Netflix on demand only. We were lucky to have an XBOX 360 that was given to us for Christmas for the kids one year by Grandma that we can use to play Netflix on our tv. We canceled the newspaper to save $36.00. We also recently switched from Sprint to Virgin Moble for our cell phones. We have android phones we had to buy upfront, but they have already paid for themselves. We pay $55.00 per month on a month to month basis to have unlimited talk, text, email, and web. It is nice to have all the features I use without being stuck in a contract.
I thought about Netflix instead of cable ( Hubby not so much)
The problem we have run into is that in our area unlimited internet service is no longer available. So if we change things up we would have to go to limited and that I hear would not be good if you wanted to use netflix in place of tv ( we can not get regular tv hear at all. We are luckier than some around here they can not get/or have a hard time getting internet at their house.

One friend has tried to get internet as the the kids has access to the text book from school on line. She has had no luck getting any reliable service. She gave up and heads to the library for internet and waits her turn.
Uggh, I hear you. DD's 2 mornings a week preschool went up $5 a week- no big deal, except they also cut hours on it. Will be cutting back dumpster service from e.o week to once a month and save $20 a month- will make up for the extra $20 a month preschool now costs. But can only do this 1/2 a year- not only emptying the dumpster 1x a month is the warm months!

Little irritated- used to be $5.50ish last year, with new rate and hour cut, it's up about $2 an hour...I find that to be a big jump hourly!
I do not feel so bad for our trash cost now we pay $14.50 a month. they give/lend us the trash cart, pick up once a week, we have access to the recycling center, can drop off grass and limbs (yard waste) for free, and we can go to the dump for free two weekends a month (one in spring one in fall)
Thanks everyone for the ideas. Keep them coming please. Hopefully, I can find some that work here.

I think part of the reason we are having a hard time lowering our bills is because of limited options (maybe due to location?)

You all were naming cell phone companies I had never heard of here. After looking at the coverage maps I understand why we have never heard of them here. No coverage or poor coverage.

Also noticed the coverage on pre-paids was different on some companies. one company would put us in a romaning area quite often.

Who would have thought trying to lower your bills would be so hard
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For the land line phone issue - are you able to use VoIP? (phone through your internet) and/or the MagicJack - not really sure how that works but it does go through your computer.

For tv - if you were to pay to get an antennae (think modern day rabbit ears) would you be able to receive a few local channels?
Everyone hear says magic jack doesn't work. I have not tried it. We are leaning toward just cutting the land line and using my cell as our main number. I don't think it will go over minutes as long as I don't chat on the phone but instead remember if a friend wants to talk suggest a get together (come over for tea sort of thing) Of course I can talk to my mom all I want as she is a free long distance number no minutes used as she is on that same plan so I call her on the cell as it is now)

TV- no the special antennas don't work. We are suppose to get one channel with the digital convertor and special digital antennas. We bought all those and we did not and do not get any stations in our house. So the only way to get local channels is cable (dish works here but everyone I know complains about it)
Have you called them up to ask? I have switched to the absolute smallest trash can mine offers and I now only pay $2.75 for a can instead of the $13 one they had me on. Then I gave up my Yard Waste cart and mulch everything myself. That saved me $9 a month.

Mine has lots of options.
Ours is one flat rate for everyone. It is a you get what you get, No options city plan. By city plan I mean it is run through the city and they do not allow competitor trash companies to come in.
Everyone here says magic jack doesn't work. I have not tried it.
Hubby corrected me. People didn't say it doesn't work. They say it doesn't work well and isn't worth the cost.
Put utilities on the average payment plan.

Turn down/up the thermostat two degrees.

Try the Dollar store brands of greeting cards, cleaning stuff, toiletries, etc. You won't know if this will work until you try it. It can be 1/3 of the price of name brands.

Try purchasing store brands for cooking ingredients. You won't even notice a difference.

No dryer, wash full loads in cold.

Only wash full loads in dishwasher without using the heated drying.

No eating out, junk food stops or coffees out.
Thanks for the ideas

What is the advantage of average placement plan? Seems to me to be better to pay what you actually use?
It is amazing the difference from place to place, isn't it?
I'm not sure the "deal" (this is put into quote because they want us to believe we are getting a real deal) you are getting and I do not have cable tv. Seems like where I live the deal you get for the first year you are with them is $30 apiece. I am in the situation right now to call and change companies. Why do they keep doing this. I can't think of any other company that makes us keep changing back and forth to keep a reasonable rate!!!
Our rate is reasonable be because it has not changed. It is the same "deal" we got when we signed up 7 years ago.Yes we have the same service and pay the same monthly amount we did 7 years ago

My friend had a great cell phone bill because she kept the same contract after it expired.

I do not understand what you mean by" keep changing back and forth to keep reasonable rates"
I would also suggest using the computer to watch your shows. Lap tops can be hooked up to the computer so everyone can watch a show. Hulu also has a feature that you pay for monthly to watch more shows and movies. Might be something to look into. Then you could cancel the tv service.
I so wish we had a laptop that would be cool. We so want one for when Buddy needs to be online accessing his textbook for school. As is we all have to let him have access during that time. There is always someone waiting their turn for the computer. I think we should have a take a number sign. LOL

I'm afraid with limited internet service that would interfere with Hulu watching or Netflix watching. I have heard to many local stories of people that went over their limit and had huge bills because of it.
I hope you see this because I missed your reply earlier

Where I live you get basic cable, phone, and high speed internet; usually for 1 year. Then they raise the price (after the year) and then we (if we want to keep the lower rate) have to call them up and ask for another year or we go back to the other company. For me with only 2 services it is a $10 difference; but $10 is $10. I thought in the past it was raised more so maybe the companies are trying to fix this?

I also have an inexpensive cell phone plan because I've kept it for a long, long time after contract expired. I probably won't give it up because of it. I don't have internet, don't want texting and we also don't have unlimited. We pay $50 for 2 phones.
So our cable is like your cell phone plan we locked into a really good rate and if we change anything we then we go on a contract and would lose our good deal (they don't offer unlimited internet anymore). Then like you we would have to reconfigure every time the contract was up.
I recently went to the in-person service center for my cable to inquire about the cost of internet only without cable. They asked why, I explained that we need to save money. They gave us a lower rate - about the same as just internet plus Hulu plus and Netflix online would have been.

I think you need to go in person though, I don't think the call center employees care / know enough economics that less revenue in-house > any revenue to someone else.
I did go in person.
We are trying to tighten up the budget also. The only thing left to really cut is Dishnetwork.

We already have no home phone.

Our verizon is $62.94 for 500 min and 250 text split between 2 phones. That uses dh's work discount

We can't reduce garbage further.

I 99% have dh talked into letting me turn off the dish in favor of hulu plus. He freaked about no ESPN. The kids lave an xbox 360 that streams it free. If we go with the Hulu plus it will save about $30 a month :)

It is hard to cut when you haven't been going overboard in the 1st place.
I thought you had to have an internet connection for Xbox to stream. Do you have unlimited internet amount. WE have several people here that ended up with a huge internet bill because of streaming Nextlix and hulu plus and not having unlimited internet..
I do have unlimited dsl with centurylink. To be honest I didnt know some areas had limited internet. We got a rate of of right under $40 including the taxes.
Glad to hear that!

We currently have unlimited at our house but if we touch any part of our "plan" then we have to have limited as they no longer offer unlimited in our area. Said it had something about expense due to many people down loading from hulu and netflix. So many stories of people that have had huge internet bills from it. Netflix and hulu are becoming unpopular choices in my neck of the woods

We decided to stay with our outdated unlimited plan.
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