Saturday, July 30, 2016

Whittling away at monthly expenses


I continue to seek areas to cut in my monthly living expenses. June was our transition month, with housing costs for 2 residences. Electric, I discovered, carried over for 8 days into a second (July) bill, causing yet another larger than I'd care for electric bill ($30 worth of electricity with an additional $60 for the service provider, Grrr). I had raised over $3600 selling stuff in preoaration for our move. These additional electric charges are covered by those monies.

Another area to cut is our cell phone service. I cut the land line years ago. When married, we had a 5 cell phone bundle, with the 5th phone acting as the "house phone" or the phone for either of the youngest to take with them, if going out after school.

Fast forward, divorce brought my cell plan down to 4 phones; then DD picked up the costs to reimburse me for her added line, eventually pulling her line off of my account, getting a separate account on her own, special needs DS has had a phone but I get reimbursement for that one. I was down to 3 phones: me, older DS, one twin.

Next, older DS was asked to reimburse me for the costs for his bundled phone line. I was down to 2 phones.

Youngest twin decided to move in with Dad, once he turned 18, and he has Dad covering his added phone line, buying him an I phone (which I refused to do, although he did recently get a Droid thru me at an awesome promo). Time to drop his line.

Yesterday found us physically back at Verizon. I pulled special needs boy off of my account, so he now has a separate one (I had to wait until he was 18 to do so); an opportunity to build credit in his name. Additionally, I pulled the other twin off of my bundled plan, the only charge being to pay off the balance ($5) of his phone, which he will have to reimburse me for.

Additionally, since it's now just me and older DS (who has a flip phone w/ no data capabilities), I was able to drop the additional charge for an expanded data plan (saving $15/month) and was able to drop (saving another $10/month) my cell plan under a new promo, where in any unused data from 1 month will carry over into the next, saved for 30 days of roll over. An easy $45 plus taxes and fees saved as well as an end to having to submit DS with special needs's portion for reimbursement.

Our cell plan was "hacked" back in May when someone from NYC tried moving our numbers onto I phones, which we do not own. Not sure how this happened, but I contacted Verizon immediately when our phones stopped working. A fraud alert is up permenantly on my account as  well. I updated Verizon with our new address, we then moved. I recently received a text from Verizon, stating that my account was past due by 2 months. I checked my check book-no payments sent. Hmmm . .I called Verizon the other day and again explained the fraud situation, asked that bills be sent to me, meanwhile I had sent an electronic payment. The bill copies arrived, along with a $5 late fee, and $10 copying fee. I challenged that as Verizon failed to bill me to my address, instead continuing to send my bills to the NYC address of the person(s) who hacked my account. @@  A $15 credit has been applied to my account.

I await a folow up call tonight (another error on the part of Verizon  that they can't fix until 24 hours has passed) and will ask for a new total for my next bill. I anticipate saving approx $50/month as a result of these efforts.


mikemax said...

Now that you are down to one phone, would a prepaid phone work for you?

Linda said...

Good job!

If you actually want a house phone, Magic Jack no longer requires a person have a computer. The cost is $70 for little box that plugs into the electric outlet and one year's service. The cost per month is something under $2.

Next month, I will be saving $50/month on internet. It feels good.

CTMOM said...

Max, I checked. Prepaid 2 line bundled plan is $5 more than what I have moved to, as well as offers more data that I'd need/use.

mikemax said...

OK, another thought. Living where I do--where there are few red spots on the coverage map--I NEED Verizon. Sprint and T-mobile are advertising much cheaper contracts. Living where you do, their coverage should be 1,000%. If you haven't signed a contract (or are within 3 days of signing), look into other providers.

CTMOM said...

Max, thanks for the suggestion. Been very happy with Verizon's service. T mobil and Sprint were both problematic for friends/colleagues.

meme said...

Hi - I wanted to also toss out a suggestion. Not sure if your special needs son receives SSI, but if he does, here is Massachusetts, we have a program called Safe Link. You get a cell phone and 250 minutes a month for free - there is no charge for the phone, nothing, it is all free. Perhaps there is a similar program in CT.


Belinda said...

Great savings on your cell phone bill!

thyme2save said...

Good decision, Carol.