Saturday, December 06, 2008

Cutting Costs

It has been a challenging year financially. When the year started I was riding a very small, very manageable amount of credit card debt.

And then the rat problem. When one leaves a very old house sitting empty as long as my house sat empty (with only a few weeks of exception that was October 1 2007 - June 1 2008) critters tend to move in as squatters and I did have some critters in the attic and crawl space and this had to be taken care of. To the tune of almost $3000.00. Which went on credit card.

Then came the dental problems. I had a root canal/crown. Then another root canal. Then I found out I had met my maximum dental coverage but I needed to have the first root canal tooth pulled and have a bridge. Which had to all be paid out of pocket. To the tune of almost $3000. Which went on credit card.

So now I'm carrying about 4 times the debt I feel comfortable carrying. I can and do make payments in excess of the minimum and I haven't touched my emergency savings which, at this point, amounts to about 4 - 5 months of living expenses but I just simply don't feel comfortable. So I am working on ways of cutting back, even if it is only a few bucks here and there.

Last month I negotiated a deal with my landline/DSL carrier and cut my monthly bill by $30. This morning I cut back my personal cell phone, which I rarely use but don't want to give up entirely. I shaved another $20 from that monthly bill. I have weather stripped every window and door in the house but got my gas bill this week and in a month where the weather was warm enough several days to have the windows open it was still too high. So I got out the socks and sweaters and turned the heat down about 8 degrees. In the past I would regularly throw away spoled veggies and left overs but now I make a huge effort to make sure I do not waste anything. I've been clipping coupons and printing them off the internet. Christmas will be scaled back a little this year. Normally I go all out but this year I'm cutting back just a bit and I took advantage of deep discounts and free shipping on Cyber Monday to do a lot of my shopping. I'm looking for an online work from home part time job that I can work nights and weekends.

I'm not complaining mind you. I have a great job and a roof over my head and my bills are paid and there is food on my table. I'm just saying that I've come a long way. Instead of pulling a pillow over my head I'm very realistic about things. I've educated myself and opened up my ears. It makes all the difference in the world.

Life is good.

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