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Trimming the Fat

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Not from your waistline, but from your monthly bills.

Twenty five years ago when I helped people plan for retirement, we didn’t even factor in monthly cell phone, internet and cable or satellite expenses.  Now they easily run over $500 combined every month.

We tend to set up our phone and TV packages once and forget about them unless the service goes down.  This week I took some time looking into the latest packages and ended up saving over $1,500 year!

I started by calling Direct TV, now owned by AT&T.  My monthly bill with them was $125. After chatting with them I removed my movie channels (we already pay for Netflix) and saved a quick $25 per month. I could have saved more, but I was unwilling to give up the B10 Network for my U. of Iowa sporting events.

Now that I was actually doing this with AT&T (now owns Direct TV), I decided to double down and see what I could do with my outrageous cell phone bill.

With three teenagers and five family members with iphones, my bill was typically in the $375 per month range with AT&T.  Even though our package includes loads of gigabytes of data, it seems like my family is always pushing the data limit, and for every extra gigabyte we go over our limit  it costs me $15.  We use a gigabyte in a couple days.  I decided to see what I could do to trim some fat off this bill.  I checked in with AT&T (better to do a live chat online than wait 10 minutes on hold to talk with someone) and I found out they have a new package with UNLIMITED data for about $80 a month less than I was paying!  Pretty nice return on investment for the twenty minutes I spent live chatting to make this change.

Next I went after my $85 a month home Comcast internet bill.  I called AT&T and they offered the internet for $55. The other good news is that AT&T has new faster, dedicated fiber optic lines that are not shared with other AT&T users.

The downside was that I spent 15-30 minutes on each call, much of it on hold which can be quite annoying which I minimized by having them on speaker phone.

Most of my business focuses on growing people’s net worth by a combination of investing more money, growing at a higher return (not guaranteed) or being more tax efficient.  In this case, I think it’s worth the effort to explore if there is a better deal waiting for you.  I am very happy I took the time to make these calls.

The happy savings totals:

Direct TV $25/month                    $300/year

Cell Phone $80/month                 $960/year

Home Internet  $28/month          $336/year

Total =$133/month or $1,596 every year!

What are you waiting for?

Related Blog Posts:

Spend Money or Save It? Daily Decisions

How to Save Money While Getting Healthy

How Much is Enough?

 

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