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Places we could cut spending

January 23rd, 2008 at 11:55 am

Even though I'm pretty good at giving financial advice and talking about what we all "should" be doing, I'm often as guilty as the next guy about not actually taking action and doing those things we talk about.

This has been on my mind a lot recently. DW isn't thrilled with her job and may decide to go back to SAHM status at some point. Even though most of her income goes to savings, some of it still comes home and gets spent. We already took a big cut when she went from her last job to this one without really changing much but losing the current income will eventually have some impact.

A year or so ago, I met with my insurance broker and he ran quotes for me and showed that we could lower our life insurance premiums by switching companies, but I never followed through so have maintained the more expensive policies.

Then a couple of months ago, I got an online quote from another auto insurance company that would have saved us about $36/month, but never did anything with that either.

Now, we've had the discussions in the forum about mortgage rates falling and we will probably benefit from refinancing again if rates fall a bit more in the coming months. Maybe by summertime, it will make sense and save us somewhere around $50/month.

Add to that the fact that the last payment on DD's braces is in May and we'll have an extra $150/month free from that.

So if I get off my butt and redo the life and auto insurance, refi the mortgage and add in the braces money, we could see over $200/month extra in our budget. So I guess that's my goal for this year.

9 Responses to “Places we could cut spending”

  1. littlemama Says:

    Wow, that's a geat savings. You have me thinking I need to recheck my policies as well.

  2. mom-from-missouri Says:

    Do you really gain from your wife working? I can't remember the age of your daughter-does she use any childcare?

    For our family, we would loose money if I worked and earned more than $7,000 a year. It would knock us up to the next tax bracket, so we would be paying taxes on what I would be earning. However, it would take most of what I earn to pay for childcare. Plus my fuel to get to and from work, possible uniforms, union dues, more meals out, wear on the car, and my auto insurance would go up due to the extra miles.

    Our tax person ran the numbers and said forget it. Stay home, and work less than $7000 (adjusted yearly as DH gets raises).

  3. Ima saver Says:

    Steve's daughter is about 13, so I doubt if they need child care.

  4. scfr Says:

    Those sound like great ideas. When you re-do your auto insurance, you may want to look in to whether you can get a discount for taking a defensive driving course (if you haven't done so already). After much nagging ... er, I mean ENCOURAGING ... from me, my husband is finally taking his course. He is taking it on-line, whenever it's convenient for him. As soon as he has completed the course, we'll get an automatic 10% discount on our insurance for the next 3 years.

  5. Broken Arrow Says:

    That's quite big of you to admit that in public. For that, you have respect. Smile

  6. disneysteve Says:

    mom - As Ima pointed out, our DD is 12. No daycare issues. And DW only works during hours when DD is in school. She's home anytime DD is home with very few exceptions. She made it very clear when she took the job that she needed the flexibility to take off based on DD's schedule. For example, she didn't work on Monday since DD was off from school.

    We don't NEED her income but every little bit helps. 50% of her gross goes into her 401K so, as I always remind her, the longer she works, the sooner I can retire.

    BA - I think it is important for all of us to admit our failings. It is easy for someone to sound perfect in an anonymous environment like this. There was just an article in MONEY, I think, about how investment advisors invest their own money. They make all the same mistakes that the rest of us make, even if what they do personally is what they advise their clients not to do.

  7. Broken Arrow Says:

    Indeed, I absolutely agree! No one I know of is perfect... especially myself Big Grin, and the more accurately we can address our current limitations as well as our capabilities, the better our lives can be.

    But this kind of practice is... not easy it seems, for us men. It's certainly much easier said than done, especially if you're hard-headed like me. Big Grin

    But... being better than before is certainly more important that trying to be "right" all the time. The latter never really works out anyway.

    I'm just rambling, but this is such an important point. It really is, especially for us men. Sometimes, guys have too much ego and pride getting in the way, and we really do suffer in the end for it.

  8. Dingobiscuit Says:

    mom-from-missouri,

    You know, when you enter a new (higher) tax bracket, it is only the money in the higher tax bracket that is taxed at the higher rate. So, you can make all you want above $7000. You will just be taxed a bit higher for all dollars over the $7000 mark.

  9. mom-from-missouri Says:

    But when you take out the cost involved--fuel, wear on car, childcare for 3 children, clothing...I would only clear around $50 a week. Not worth working 40 hours away from home.

    We ran the numbers based on my old job and the pay I had there. We were trying to decide if I should keep it and drive or stay home. And, that was before the fuel shot up!

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