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A reminder on the importance of eliminating recurring expenses
Old 04-21-2018, 07:43 PM   #1
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A reminder on the importance of eliminating recurring expenses

I was just on my ooma homepage to check a voicemail, when I noticed a 'estimated savings' section that estimated how much money I have saved by using ooma instead of traditional landline since I started using the service.

The amount was about $4000! This seemed crazy to me, so I punched it in myself - I had the service for about 8 years. My landline service before I switched to ooma was about $45/month - which is in fact about $4300!

This isn't meant to be an advert for ooma, there are various other services like this, as well other categories of similar expenses like cable fees, cell phone contracts, gym fees, etc. that may have viable lower cost alternatives.

Weed out those recurring expenses. It's amazing how much it adds up to over time...
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:51 PM   #2
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Yep. It's also one of the reasons where having too much house costs more than just the real estate price. Heating, cooling, insurance, taxes --- all are more with a larger home.

I really need to work on phone / internet / cable expenses. it's the one item I've just not had the energy to tackle even though I know it will save me a bundle.
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by skyline View Post
The amount was about $4000! This seemed crazy to me, so I punched it in myself - I had the service for about 8 years. My landline service before I switched to ooma was about $45/month - which is in fact about $4300!.
You made me look at my Ooma account. I've had it for just about four years and my savings are $1,800. I'd almost pay that just for the Nomorobo service bundled with the Ooma subscription.
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Old 04-21-2018, 10:22 PM   #4
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I can't even begin to calculate how much I have saved by selling my car 8 years ago and renting out my parking spot! Rent/insurance/gas/maintenance/car washes/parking fees/etc,etc,
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:29 AM   #5
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Don't forget to buy your toilet paper on sale.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:49 AM   #6
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I think that way all the time. My joke is that the road to hell is paved with "easy monthly payments". I've saved thousands of dollars by using Ting for my phone, MagicJack for my landline, getting rid of cable and subscribing to Netflix, keeping the same car for years, having only one credit card with an annual fee ($45).... it adds up.

I do have a gym membership- got really extravagant and upgraded to the @22/month version that lets me use others in the chain, and I do. I'm in one of them nearly every day, so for me that's cheap prevention.
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:24 AM   #7
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No landline, using Sling for Cable TV at $45 monthly and Cricket for cell phone at an avg of $25 per line for 4 lines.
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:12 AM   #8
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The joke at my house is that I want to be in a business where folks pay me monthly forever. In Atlanta they are now advertising renting your hot water heater and HVAC (Mnt. included) for a low monthly payment.

We dropped cable and use OTA, Amazon Prime video, Hulu and Netflix. Saved over $800 per year and that includes adding Amazon Music Unlimited.
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:22 AM   #9
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I've had Google voice for many years now, which is completely free. Maybe they should show me a reminder of how much I saved by cancelling Ooma and replacing it with their service.
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:39 AM   #10
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I've had Google voice for many years now, which is completely free. Maybe they should show me a reminder of how much I saved by cancelling Ooma and replacing it with their service.
Good idea! I was able to sign up for Sprint unlimited for "free" last July (although there is a $3.89 month tax fee) that is pretty sweet (only for a year). Saves a chunk of money even over Republic or Ting.

I like using the math showing how much cash you would need to pay a recurring expense. If I had a $150 cable bill and my SWR was 3.5%, then I would have to save "only" $51,000. When I share that example with folks that aren't very conscious about the real cost of stuff, they look at me like I am crazy.
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:59 AM   #11
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Don't forget to buy your toilet paper on sale.
+1. The only place I get a 50% return or better on my money is stockpiling consumables when they are on loss leader or close out specials for half price or less.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:15 AM   #12
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I got flak on a frugal forum once for not doing my own electrical work. Really? There is a reason trade people in fields like that have classes, apprenticeships and need licenses to do their work. It makes no sense to me to learn to do that kind of one time work myself when we average a few hundred dollars at most each decade on electrician bills.

I'd rather spend my time on recurring expenses like lowering the grocery bill $50 a month. That means saving $6K every decade with the added bonus of not having to worry about getting electrocuted if I make a mistake.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:23 AM   #13
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Hmmm......I don't buy my toilet paper when on sale. Perhaps I should look into that or, even better, think about getting one of those low-priced (<$100) bidets that have been coming onto the market in recent years, so that my TP costs go way down.

I don't really enjoy having to search around on a regular basis for the cheapest deals. Minimizing the number of recurring expenses and then searching for deals on the ones you just have to have, is a good way for frugal behavior to have the maximum effect, I think.

My housing cost is low (cheap rent deal)
Cheap DSL ($34/month inc landline cost and all fees)
Cheap cell phone ($12/month inc all fees)
No paid streaming services/satellite or cable TV (I find enough to watch on YouTube)
A bicycle for transport, so no monthly payments, car insurance or repair fees on that
$10/month for my subscription to Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop (important to me)

That's it, really. I do have the Starbucks app. It's my one little luxury. My SO and I like to go on "coffee dates" about once a week. We usually take it in turns to pay, but she's been out of work recently, and struggling, so I've been picking up the tab. A true tightwad would decry the cost of purchasing coffee outside the home, but it's not about the coffee at all. It's an enjoyable 45 minutes spent people-watching and chatting with each other during our strolls around the neighborhood and, as such, money well spent.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:39 AM   #14
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For cable tv+internet, along with cell phone connection plus data, and landline. I was paying a ton of money in 2014. But I didn't feel that this was the best use of my money because it wasn't adding to my happiness in life.

So, I eliminated or reduced most of these recurring expenses by not paying for services I really don't care about or care very little about. By doing so, I am saving $2064/year.

I do not have any regrets at all about reducing/eliminating these services, even though I haven't yet figured out how to spend that money most effectively. I must admit that I don't feel too guilty about frittering it away on Amazon these days since it is essentially "found money" as far as I'm concerned. I may also donate some of it to our local food bank.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:53 AM   #15
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Don't forget to buy your toilet paper on sale.
People still buy toilet paper? I use the weekly free ad papers thrown in my driveway.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:56 AM   #16
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An outlay of about $700 - $800 for weights, a bench, and a squat rack have saved me from paying monthly gym fees for 20 years which would have added up to $6,000 - 10,000.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:57 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
I got flak on a frugal forum once for not doing my own electrical work. Really? There is a reason trade people in fields like that have classes, apprenticeships and need licenses to do their work. It makes no sense to me to learn to do that kind of one time work myself when we average a few hundred dollars at most each decade on electrician bills.

I'd rather spend my time on recurring expenses like lowering the grocery bill $50 a month. That means saving $6K every decade with the added bonus of not having to worry about getting electrocuted if I make a mistake.
I just finished a kitchen gut remodel, saved close to 10k doing my own electrical and another 3k on plumbing. So it does pay to learn something sometimes.
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
Hmmm......I don't buy my toilet paper when on sale. Perhaps I should look into that or, even better, think about getting one of those low-priced (<$100) bidets that have been coming onto the market in recent years, so that my TP costs go way down.

I don't really enjoy having to search around on a regular basis for the cheapest deals. Minimizing the number of recurring expenses and then searching for deals on the ones you just have to have, is a good way for frugal behavior to have the maximum effect, I think.

My housing cost is low (cheap rent deal)
Cheap DSL ($34/month inc landline cost and all fees)
Cheap cell phone ($12/month inc all fees)
No paid streaming services/satellite or cable TV (I find enough to watch on YouTube)
A bicycle for transport, so no monthly payments, car insurance or repair fees on that
$10/month for my subscription to Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop (important to me)

That's it, really. I do have the Starbucks app. It's my one little luxury. My SO and I like to go on "coffee dates" about once a week. We usually take it in turns to pay, but she's been out of work recently, and struggling, so I've been picking up the tab. A true tightwad would decry the cost of purchasing coffee outside the home, but it's not about the coffee at all. It's an enjoyable 45 minutes spent people-watching and chatting with each other during our strolls around the neighborhood and, as such, money well spent.


I bought Starbucks stock about ten years ago when my son first got a job working as a barista for them. Since then my stock had far more than paid for any coffee or breakfast sandwiches Iíve had there. My son managed several Starbucks stores and now works in their HQ in Seattle. Itís done well for him too. His DW is a store manager now.
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:37 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
People still buy toilet paper? I use the weekly free ad papers thrown in my driveway.
You have a driveway? You spendthrift.
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:46 PM   #20
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I thought you guys used the recycled dryer sheets
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