Psych: I decreased our Discover Credit Card Bill

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Our Discover Card Credit bill’s statement balance in the past couple of months:

Jan 20, 2013 – February 19, 2013: $2,110.73

February 20, 2013 – March 19, 2013: $1,686.30

March 20, 2013 – April 19, 2013: $1,531.33

Bam! Did you see that decrease?

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At the beginning of the 2013, I set out to decrease our bills. Most of our purchases go on our Discover Credit Card, and we only charge car and renter’s insurance on our other credit card ($220).

I, honestly, feel bad knowing we were spending over $3,000 a month on expenses, once you included rent, plus car payment, and any other expenses we paid with cash.

So, how did I cut $500 of expenses from our budget:

  1. Stop eating out – I am ashamed to report the amount of money we were spending on eating out. It probably came to $20-$30 a day. Gasp!!!
  2. Eat At Home – Cook lunches and dinner. We are now eating healthier, and the food is even pretty yummy. :) I actually am disappointed when I eat out because it makes me feel terrible afterwards. I still love me some Pei Wei.
  3. Cut cable – We never watch cable because we are just too busy. I get all my shows on Netflix and Hulu, and my husband now gets baseball from MLB.tv. Cable is not really a necessity anymore when you can find shows online for much cheaper. Our Netflix and Hulu monthly subscriptions add up to less than $20 per month. Savings $60 per month.
  4. Decrease our insurance bill – I took a defensive driving course that will decrease our monthly insurance cost by $10 over the next three years. Initial investment $25 for a course through I Drive Safely. I still need to negotiate better rates with my insurance company. I keep saying I will compare rates, but I still haven’t done it.
  5. Pay off debt- We paid off our car loan when we received our tax refund this year, which means we don’t have a car payment anymore.

So, there it is! Five simple ways to decrease your monthly expenses. My ideal budget is to spend $2,500 a month. Is it doable? I can try. Right now, our fixed expenses are below:

– Rent + water = $920  ( I can’t really decrease this amount. I kind of wished now we would have shopped for a lower monthly rent. Oh wait, we did, but I decided I wanted this apartment and location.)

Car Insurance = $210 ( Greatest possibility for decrease! If I could negotiate a lower rate….if I could even save $50 a month, it would be $50 bucks more a month I could have for discretionary spending.)

– Electricity – $60 (This is the average, but it can be lower or higher)

– Internet – $50 (Stuck with U-Verse. I cannot have any other internet provider in my apartment).

– Braces – $126 (This will be an expense until the end of 2014).

– THE REST…Food, gasoline, fun, miscellaneous expenses. $1,134 left. This should be more than enough. Let’s see if we can make the next Discover bill less than the one before.

Yes, I’m frugal. So what? If you are interested in reading more frugal stories check out Mr. MMM’s post “Why Should I Be Frugal, Even When I’m Rich.”

You can, also, check out Tonya’s “Frugality: My New Normal.”

Are you looking at your monthly expenses? Are there bills you can decrease?

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