I like saving money. I like spending it too. Two days ago my accountant called to discuss my taxes. [Read more...]
One of my rules this year is to cut back on buying dresses. That doesn’t mean I can’t make some money off of them once I’m not longer wearing them. Take this dress in the photo: It’s a gorgeous colour and a great cut. I love it but no longer wear it, mostly because I have to Spanx myself up and I hate wearing Spanx. Still, it’s in great condition so I’m consigning it so it can be sold on.
No, the money will not go to buy another dress, thank you very much.
I’m with Rogers and yes, yes, we all know the Big Three are varying shades of evil depending on what day ends in “y.” Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of competition in Canada when it comes to phones and we pay one of the highest rates in the world. That means there isn’t a lot of leeway on phone plans but sometimes you can cut your bill.
Once a year I look at my phone usage. I should do it more often but at least I look at it. I have a Blackberry so this involves looking at my data usage and my text usage. Here’s what I found out:
I used an average of 35 per cent of my data. That’s 35 per cent of 500 MB.
I also used maybe 10 per cent of my text allowance. I have 2,500 allowed texts per month.
I barely use my long distance and don’t use up my daytime minutes.
Yet I was paying for all of that with a monthly average of $100. Ouch. So I call Rogers and explain my findings to the customer service rep and ask if she can do something about this in a way that will benefit me, aka, make me happy. She gives me nothing. I ask to be put to customer retention and she immediately tells me that she can’t do that as that is only for people who are looking to cancel their contracts.
“I’m perfectly happy to consider that,” I tell her happily and politely. I get put on hold and am connected to the customer retention rep. Once again I explain my situation – don’t use all my data, don’t use all my text, don’t use this, don’t use that, don’t want to pay for it, etc. etc. Can you do something about it, please? – and then I point out that a competitor has this deal that gives me what I want for about $40 less.
We talk and by the end of it I ended up reducing my monthly phone and internet costs from an average of $147 to $102.
So how was it done?
I looked at what I was paying versus what I was using. Then I noted how I use my phone: mostly for email, texting, Twitter and Blackberry Messenger.
Once I knew how I was using my phone I looked at the available plans, found a few that I liked and had them open on my laptop when I made the call.
I was willing to cancel my contract, pay the fines and switch. It would have been an initial outlay but it was one I was willing to make.
I’ve never found customer service useful when trying to change my plan. Knowing I was willing to cancel, I immediately asked to be put through to retention after customer service couldn’t help.
Seriously. I was nice and polite to the customer retention rep even though my first instinct is to be hostile. It was a great experience for both of us and I even left a message with his manager commending his service at the end of the call. On a side note, I don’t think that affected my new plan since I mentioned it to the customer retention rep. after I got the new plan.
So with that I’ll be saving an average of $490 a year. Not too bad.
One of these days I’ll tell you how I got out of paying $400 in fees to Bell thanks to an apartment building.
See those? I want them. I want them badly but I haven’t bought them. I’m trying to be good but it’s really, really hard. I’m trying to keep my goals in mind to keep me from buying shoes I don’t really need and dresses I also don’t need. [Read more...]
I was going to call this blog “Cheap Date” but no. Anyway, so going out. As part of my saving money scheme, I’m looking at how I go out.
Not cutting back on going out. I’m not giving it up entirely as I don’t think that’s a good idea. You end up staying home and that can have a negative effect on you. You can get depressed and I don’t know about you but there’s only so many times I can rearrange the furniture before I start texting/bbming people and going, “I need to get out of my house! Argh!”
So yes, I believe you need to get out and socialize sometimes.
You can have friends over but not all the time. I don’t know about you but sometimes I just don’t want people in my home. That leaves going out. Prior to now I’d go out, spend money then wonder where it all went. Now I’m looking at ways to still go out, still have a good time but not empty my wallet or overheat the debit card.
I started thinking about this earlier this week. I met up with Kate and we ended up having drinks and sharing an appetizer. The bill came up to $31 between the two of us. Cheapish night out but I could have gone without the beer.
A friend of mine, Gail McInnes, owner of Magnet Creative Management, goes out as part of her business so she’s an expert. Sometimes the bar is an open bar, sometimes it’s not. What she likes to do when she doesn’t want to spend a lot of money is get a beer and nurse it for most of the night.
That makes sense. You can do the same with a glass of wine but keep in mind that a glass of wine is often the cost of the entire bottle. Then again, I should just not have a drink when I go out but I don’t think that’s realistic (see above). What I’m going to do is this:
If I’m going to eat, then no alcohol. If it’s drinks, then one. If it’s horrible wine and really expensive (it has happened) then water. That $10 for a glass of blah wine buys a bottle of decent red at the LCBO.
I reorganized my cupboards. The results show that I have a lot of tea. The left is all tea, except for that dip. Of course I’m drinking tea while I write this. [Read more...]
A little austerity chic is happening in my wardrobe right now. I have a weakness for dresses and did buy quite a few last year (didn’t blow my budget and paid cash, fyi) but this year I decided to cut back on my clothing budget and wear what I have in my closet. That includes remixing outfits and repairing anything damaged.
I am drawing the line at drawing on stockings though. [Read more...]
I can cook. I’m not a gourmet chef but I can cook even though I haven’t mastered bread yet. Thanks to my mother, grandmother and two years of cooking class in high school with Miss Sooden, I can pretty much do anything, even make a white sauce. [Read more...]