Host Gator

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cutting costs - Round 1

To save as much of my income as possible I need to spend as little as possible. So I am going to be seriously looking at ways of cutting costs. None of them are likely to be very huge lifestyle changes, as I don't live an extravagant lifestyle as it is. So you aren't going to see me sell my car anytime soon. Maybe one day, but not yet.

First of all, my car is paid off so I don't have a payment hanging around my neck. Secondly, I have a monthly military obligation 140 miles away, so I have to drive. I could theoretically rent  each month, but that cost would be the same or more as my monthly vehicle charges, since I don't have a payment. I have a couple years left of that obligation, and maybe I will sell my car then.

But every little bit helps, and there are still a lot of ways I am stupidly wasting money. I aim to get rid of almost all of them. Here are a few ways I am going to try to save some money:

1. Mortgage refinance: I am not sold on this, and I need to do more calculations. But it looks like my current 4.85% loan could be refinanced to around 3.77% which could save me up to 20K in interest over the life of the loan, all for about $1500 in fees up front. Now I don't intend to let my loan take all 30 years to pay off, but it can't hurt to be paying less in interest in case it does.

The rest are much less dramatic:

2. Stop using disposable dishware/utensils.
Right now I almost exclusively use paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic utensils, simply because I eat often and I hate doing dishes. It is not a big expenditure, but it is an unnecessary one.

SAVINGS: $5 a month

3. I am going to look into buying (or making) an insulating sleeve for my hot water heater. I will have to do the calculations to see if the savings really justify the cost, but from what I have heard it does.I am also going to look into getting a timer for it, and a programmable thermostat. No point in running these things when I am away from the house all day.


4.  Stop buying UFC PPVs

MMA is a passion of mine, and it is very hard for me to miss the fights. for the past couple years I have been watching every single Pay Per View. I don't have cable, so I usually go to a friends house and split it, but that still ends up as basically a monthly bill. It's gonna hurt, and I doubt I will go cold turkey, but I am not going to keep paying for every single one. It just costs too much money.

SAVINGS: $20 a month

I will be constantly searching for ways to cut the budget, and there will definitely be more. These are just a few right off the top of my head.

-The Money Monk


  1. Nice blog Money Monk. What is your thermostat set at right now? I'm not sure where you live. We live in NC and we have it at 67 upstairs and 65 downstairs. Also when we leave for work we manually turn off all heat. At night we turn off upstairs and close doors to rooms keeping the downstairs at 61. Programmable thermostats can actually waste money by turning on the heat too early before you come back and by people just generally getting lazy about monitoring temperature. In the summer we keep the AC at about 76 upstairs and 75 downstairs.

  2. Yeah I live in Florida, so heating is not normally an issue at all. Personally, I would just layer up and not even turn it on at all, but the girlfriend is a little less tolerant, but I can usually still keep it at 65 or lower. But I can't complain too much, her 'rent' is paying half my mortgage!

    I definitely turn it off when leaving for work though. Same with AC during the summer. I keep it about the same in the summer(76) although when it's 95 degrees outside that can still take a lot of energy!

    Thanks for the comment.