Overcoming Laziness: How I Saved Money Last Week

Can't......get........up

Can’t……get……..up

I have a confession to make: working from home is making me woefully sloth-like.  Since I have more time at my disposal, I’ve been using that time to do fun things that make me happy such as:

  • having hour long conversations with my brother on Facebook
  • reading
  • planning future vacations and daydreaming about them
  • going on long walks with my dog Pablo, the freeloading genius
  • reading vacation reviews on Trip Advisor (and laughing hysterically at how ridiculous some of them are)

I actually just stared at the wall for at least fifteen minutes. 

On the other hand, having extra time has made me a much saner person, a better wife, and a much better mother.  In addition to those awesome changes, having free time has also allowed me to think of some ways that I should be saving money.  So, without further adieu, here are some of the ways that I’ve saved money last week:

Car Insurance

As you all know, we have a second vehicle that is rarely driven.  Unfortunately, my own stupidity and laziness created a situation where I was still paying for full coverage on the thing despite the fact that its old, paid-off, and only driven once a week.  So, I finally did it.  I called my insurance provider and reduced the coverage on my beloved periwinkle minivan.  Doing so saved  $150 off of the upcoming biannual premium that is due on July 15th.  After talking with my agent, I also realized that I could save an additional 8 percent just by switching to electronic statements.  Furthermore, I could save an additional small amount by signing up for an online account with them.

Obviously, I did all of those things and saved a bunch of money in the process.  If you’re happy with the company that you have, it’s always worth it to give them a call and see what you can work out.

Greg’s New Cell Phone

Greg’s new job doesn’t come with the perk of having an employer-provided cell phone.  However, we’re still happy about the transition.  We started cell phone shopping and looked around online to see what was available first.  Although I love my Republic Wireless cell phone, Greg decided that he wanted a phone on the Verizon network.  He also wanted a different phone than the one I have since he never shuts up  he will be using the phone quite a bit.  Our first stop was at the Verizon store where I felt like a bloody carcass being circled by vultures.  They tried to sell us several phones ranging from free to $300.  The crazy thing was that the monthly service plans started at $80 per month!!!  Making matters worse was that Verizon expected us to make a two year commitment.  As a commitment-phobe, I found this completely unreasonable and decided to keep looking.  Luckily, we stumbled upon a local discount wireless provider.  They offered cell phones that run on Verizon’s network but at a fraction of the cost.  We bought a used phone and chose a plan with unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data for $55 per month.  The plan also didn’t require a contract which meant that we wouldn’t be stuck if something changed with our employment or phone situation.  We’re going to see how much data Greg uses and if he doesn’t need as much as our plan offers we might be able to downgrade to a plan that only costs $39.99 per month.  We’ll see.

Selling my Old Stuff

Now that I work at home, I no longer need my huge business wardrobe.  I set aside about ten of my favorite business outfits and prepared to sell the rest.  A second-hand business clothing retailer bought about $50 of stuff from me and I put the rest on ebay.  I also sold some jewelry online that I knew I would never wear again.  In addition, I’m also determined to have a garage sale this summer.  Hopefully, I get around to it.

How did you save money last week?

 

 

 

About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.

Comments

  1. After writing about it over two weeks ago, I finally cut the XM in my car. I love XM but really don’t need that payment because except for long cross country trips we rarely drive.

  2. I definitely wish I had more time to sell our stuff. We literally could have 100 eBay listings if we had time. Unfortunately with working in corporate America plus doing the blog time isn’t on my side. I switched to the T-mobile no contract phone through Walmart Family Mobile and so far I’m happy with it. $40/month unlimited everything (tho data throttling after 1G so that should be interesting…I have it on wifi at home so we’ll see how much that helps).

  3. I am planning (and paying for) my wedding this August, so saving money for me is as ironic as Kanye West wanting people to take him seriously and then naming his baby “North”. Maybe in the fall!

  4. The only money saved last week was from being too sick to leave the house and do things like grocery shop. =P Not the kind of savings that I’m really all about.

  5. We usually call around to our various insurances, cell etc. once every 1-2 years to ask for discounts. We’re probably about due for that again.

    Sometime after DH sends the LLC paperwork in… I should add it to his list of things to do (under “kiss wife”).

  6. can you share the name of the company on the Verizon network? I only know about ones that use Sprint (MetroPCS, Virgin, Boost, etc). I am not a fan of Verizon. They screwed over long time customers who were grandfathered into their unlimited data so I can’t wait until I can get off my family plan with my brother this July. I get that Verizon has a lot of cell coverage (only provider that worked in Yellowstone) though so I’d be open to a carrier that uses their antennas.

    • In my area (Indianapolis), its called Page Plus Cellular. You could probably check with any discount provider in your area to see which small companies run on the Verizon network!

  7. Dog walking and reading are always good uses of your time :) I called my car insurance company and got a discount for being 25 and one for driving just 5000 miles per year!

  8. It definitely be tough to find the time to do all these little things when you’ve got the typical 9-5. I’ve been wanting to ditch cable and change cell phone providers for a few months now, and just haven’t found the time. It’s there, it just sometimes feels like it isn’t.

    • PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE cancel your cable television. I just wrote about how we did it for Get Rich Slowly but the story won’t run until mid-July.

  9. I have so much stuff to sell but I’m so lazy! I can’t justify taking pictures and setting up the product on Ebay for 20 minutes for 1 item worth $5. Plus shipping. I need to get over it and just do it but it’s so much work!

  10. Well done! I need to overcome procrastination too but…tomorrow?

  11. Ahhh… You’ve finally convinced me to put my guitar up on eBay. I haven’t played it in forever. Even though I almost never use it, it did get a big scratch on it, so I worry if I can get what its worth, but hey anything is better than nothing!

    • Will you please talk my husband into selling his high school trombone? I don’t think that pulling it out to play “When the Saints go Marching in” every few years justifies the space its taking up in the attic.

      • Shirley says:

        Please ask him to consider donating to the school. There are parents who can not purchase instruments for their children. That way he will know it will serve someone else.
        Shirley

  12. Lmao! at ‘just stared at the wall for the last fifteen minutes’… we’ve all been there!

    Yes, working from home is most definitely walking a tight-rope and having ‘complete freedom’ to work… or, not, work as much as you like, or don’t like, is iffy…

    The good thing is, if you are an addictive sort then you can make up lost or wasted time with doubly OTT overtime and obsessive work habits… which overall leaves your life a bit messy and imbalanced; it’s certainly an on-going process which takes time to master and even the most seasoned self-employed, struggle with it.

  13. I use a similar phone service plan. I use NET10 and pay $45/month for unlimited text and talk. My phone is inexpensive but suits my needs just fine and I don’t have to have a contract. Sweet!

    I saved a lot of money by staying home last week until we headed for our mini vacation where money was just blown!

  14. I think I’ve done about everything I can to try and save money, so I’m actually working on things to make more money.

  15. Called the cable internet company and threatened to cancel…they gave me a discounted price. I called my cell phone provided that added some hidden fees recently…they took them off for the term of my contract. I might have to check out Republic wireless in the future.

  16. Being on summer vacation, I allowed myself to do very little productive things my first week, but last week, I made some significant changes. I expect it will payoff later.

    A few months ago, I called my auto insurance company to tell them my annual driving was significantly reduced. It made a $2-300 difference annually!

  17. Great job on all your cost savings – I totally know what you mean about the Verizon vultures. They tried to sell me a $300 phone a few months ago, so I just high tailed it out of there and got a phone on Amazon for a penny (I was an existing customer, though).

  18. Ever month I try to figure out how to influence my expenses by lowering them. This month I tackled car insurance. I joined the safe driving program with State Farm, in hopes, I can get additional discounts.

  19. I sold some stuff on Craigslist last week and made about $110. A lot of it was hand me down stuff I received from friends when they moved. I guess it’s not technically “saving” money but anytime I don’t have to dig into my own pocket for spending money is a plus!

  20. I’ve negotiated my insurance down in the past, but your post has me thinking it might be time to shop around or discuss further discounts.

  21. I didn’t really do anything last week, but this week I am dropping cable for DirectTV. That is going to save us $70/month for the next two years.

  22. I have been doing a lot more working from home recently and it too has been making me a bit lazy! Really need to kick out of that one….

    I have been saving money by drinking lots of water!

  23. Well done! That’s a big problem with me too. There is always little bits (sometimes bigger bits) of money that can be saved with taking a little effort, but it’s sometimes very hard to do. Thanks for adding a little bit more motivation to the pile :)

  24. Holly, what is the discount store that you got the phone and plan from with no contract? I am looking for my wife and would love to see if I can find something here. Thanks!

  25. These are all great ideas. A side note on the car insurance (and house as well), did you look into how much you could save by raising your deductible? We did that a few months ago because we would’ve had to have a claim once every 2 years in order to make the lower deductible cheaper. Being that we haven’t had a claim in longer than that, we decided to lower our monthly payment.

  26. Was the jewelry selling at a fair price so that you didn’t regret it? It seems that many places will try to rip you off.

  27. I didn’t really do anything last week that saved me money sadly. I did make an extra payment on my student loans though. I never knew you could get a discount going paperless for insurance until I had to get on my own plan last month. So simple and awesome! Once I moved off my moms plan her premium went down as well, so now we are both saving money. Win win.

  28. I am trying to sell my car before I move to a place where I’ll try to get by without one. If I can’t, I’ll buy one in cash once I have the money saved. Unfortunately I paid off an IRS bill by raising the car loan balance and refinancing at a low rate. I have not been able to get the balance back down so I am upside down now and have to take out a loan on the remaining balance and pay it off. I found a 1.75% rate but it’s my #1 priority! I’ll save by not paying interest on the car, insurance, gas, maintenance, and parking – $250 a month! It’s a big win overall. I’m shooting for a 9 month payoff, but it could be sooner.

  29. We are in the middle of a major flood so we’ve been stuck at home since Thursday. We are very fortunate to not be in the flood zone and didn’t receive any damage to our home. Since we have been at home so we haven’t been using gas or spending any unplanned money. We went out for groceries once and we used cash so we stuck to our list pretty well. We’ve also had the time to go through our stuff and get ready for a garage sale next weekend! On the other hand, being stuck at home, I think I’ve spent way more time online than I should have.

  30. Kudos to you! I’m especially impressed with your car insurance savings. And man, I wish I could convince M to switch to no-contract phones. We have a provider here (may be the same one) that also runs on Verizon’s network.

    I saved money last week by using Ebates in combination with two promo codes when I bought my sister’s birthday gifts online last week. I didn’t save much, but it was something! I also resisted all temptations to stop for breakfast on the way to work. Woop woop!

  31. It started to get really hot where we live. I think we saved money by keeping the house a little warmer and just running a ceiling fan.

  32. I saved about $89.99 plus tax by going for a walk with my wife and dog. I found a mint condition hedge trimmer at the end of my neighbours yard for FREE. I plugged it in when I got home and it works like a charm. The next day I trimmed our tree and it was smiles all the way.

  33. I’m finally switching my internet service provider to a cheaper option. It’s taken me a few months of being offered better deals, but it’s time to go for better service at a cheaper price!

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