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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 6:47 am 
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chuckvanderbilt wrote:
Just yesterday I called Direct TV and told them I was considering switching to the Roku box and just using internet options for TV like Hulu Plus. I was given about $50 in discounts for six months and which goes to $45 in discounts for the remaining year. I was also told if I called back in a year when my bill would go back to normal that they would be more than willing to work with me.

What they didn't know was that I had looked into the Roku and purchasing MLB TV. However I found out that I would be blacked out from all Astros and Rangers games. Therefore I was not going to make the switch. Just the "threat" will save me almost $700 in a year.


Thanks for sharing! Something similar happened to us. We have AT&T internet. Unfortunately it is the best provider in our area and the alternative (cable company) is usually double or triple the cost of AT&T. I used leverage that we have a family cell phone ($100+ a month) to get a 6 month 50% discount on our Internet bill. We went from paying $43 a month to $21.50. All I did was call the provider and mention we were thinking of cancelling the service to go with a competitor. I was very nice and cordial to the people I spoke to (a representative in Billing and another in Customer Retention) yet very firm - give me a deal or I'm walking. Help me help you retain me as a customer. I also used the reps first names, thanked them at every turn, listened carefully to what they said, and was patient with their ridiculously slow system. That's $129.00 saved! For about 30 or 40 minutes of my time… A penny saved is a penny earned.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 7:37 am 

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For television, I looked at our monthly cable bill and tallied up the amount of time we spent watching TV. We have never been big TV watchers, we don't have time for it, and we were mainly watching during the winter. By the end of the year my notes indicated that we had watched a grand total of 8 hours total all year and we were paying $35/month for cable. That's $420/year divided by 8 hours, or $52.50 an hour to watch television. Once I did that calculation it took me about 3 seconds to decide to cancel cable. Now if we want to watch TV we buy and download individual shows from iTunes (I'd rent them if I could but TV show rentals aren't available here yet through iTunes...I could do Netflix but we don't watch enough TV to justify a subscription service). I spent $30 total on downloaded TV shows last year.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 7:47 am 

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Eagle: I am going to do the same thing with AT&T this week. We have a LAN line that is only used for internet, two cellphone lines, and a business line with them. I am definitely looking for ways to cut costs as I leave me current job and transition to self employment.

Brad: My wife and I aren't huge on TV either. There are certain shows we really like. My hiccup to the ditching Direct TV was baseball. I am huge fan of the game.

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Entrepreneur, life long Astros fan and collector of baseball cards and memorabilia. I also write for the following sites:

www.cardboardconnection.com
www.thefuturists.mlblogs.com
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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 7:52 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
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Location: Illinois
Baseball is the main thing preventing me from cancelling cable as well.

Stupid MLB blackout rules.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:00 am 

Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 8:06 am
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bpgui wrote:
Baseball is the main thing preventing me from cancelling cable as well.

Stupid MLB blackout rules.


Amen! I live in north east Texas and MLB TV blackouts both the Astros and Rangers. I expected a Rangers blackout, but live over 4 hours away from Minute Maid Park.

_________________
Entrepreneur, life long Astros fan and collector of baseball cards and memorabilia. I also write for the following sites:

www.cardboardconnection.com
www.thefuturists.mlblogs.com
www.varsitycollectibles.com


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:15 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
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Location: Illinois
I have the cardinals (my favorite) and both Chicago teams blacked out.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:46 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:29 pm
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I also love baseball and have subscribed to MLB.tv which is great. I live in the the Denver area so on most devices the Rockies games are blacked out (computer, ipad, iphone) but I also have an apple tv box and I can watch all the Rockies games on that. I don't know how they get around the blackout restrictions but it has been like this for the last few years. It's great.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 11:00 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:39 am
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Quick note on insurance - military (active/reserve/former/retired), their immediate families, and DoD civilian employees are eligible for USAA insurance, which in my own experience and many of my friends is as good as you can get from both a rates and a service standpoint.

And, throwing this one out there: credit unions, rather than banks?


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:30 pm 
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chuckvanderbilt wrote:
Eagle: I am going to do the same thing with AT&T this week. We have a LAN line that is only used for internet, two cellphone lines, and a business line with them. I am definitely looking for ways to cut costs as I leave me current job and transition to self employment.

Brad: My wife and I aren't huge on TV either. There are certain shows we really like. My hiccup to the ditching Direct TV was baseball. I am huge fan of the game.


So how did it go chuckvanderbilt? Did they lower your costs?

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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:32 pm 
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brad wrote:
For television, I looked at our monthly cable bill and tallied up the amount of time we spent watching TV. We have never been big TV watchers, we don't have time for it, and we were mainly watching during the winter. By the end of the year my notes indicated that we had watched a grand total of 8 hours total all year and we were paying $35/month for cable. That's $420/year divided by 8 hours, or $52.50 an hour to watch television. Once I did that calculation it took me about 3 seconds to decide to cancel cable. Now if we want to watch TV we buy and download individual shows from iTunes (I'd rent them if I could but TV show rentals aren't available here yet through iTunes...I could do Netflix but we don't watch enough TV to justify a subscription service). I spent $30 total on downloaded TV shows last year.


Good job brad! Amazing how spending a little time looking at ways to cut your expenses (especially on stuff you don't use) can save a ton!

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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:24 am 
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Some great advice in this thread.

I especially second the idea of ditching cable/satellite TV -- we did just that 10 years ago when our son was born, and haven't regretted it (except occasionally during college football season). We still have a 27" tube TV and a digital converter box for antenna TV, and then we also have Netflix streaming through our Wii (which we won in a drawing) and our computers.

Being an audio geek (borderline audiophile), I would love to have a bigger, flatter, screen to go along with the big sound of my audio system (for movies), but I made a vow that until the 12-y.o. $299 Toshiba tube gives out, I'm not buying a new TV. Besides, the current entertainment center is maxed out with the 27", so any increase in size would just create a domino effect of other things to replace. So far it's like the Energizer Bunny...

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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:50 am 
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Jethro wrote:
Some great advice in this thread.

I especially second the idea of ditching cable/satellite TV -- we did just that 10 years ago when our son was born, and haven't regretted it (except occasionally during college football season). We still have a 27" tube TV and a digital converter box for antenna TV, and then we also have Netflix streaming through our Wii (which we won in a drawing) and our computers.

Being an audio geek (borderline audiophile), I would love to have a bigger screen, flatter, screen to go along with the big sound of my audio system (for movies), but I made a vow that until the 12-y.o. $299 Toshiba tube gives out, I'm not buying a new TV. Besides, the current entertainment center is maxed out with the 27", so any increase in size would just create a domino effect of other things to replace. So far it's like the Energizer Bunny...


Thanks for the encouragement! We love netflix. No commercials and tv on demand. We don't even own a TV. We use our laptops to watch anything that interests us. Plus we have Redbox which we can rent any movies available for less than $1.50 a night. We have a newborn and we're considering not getting a TV for the first few years of his life.

Can you expound a little on your experience in raising your son with just having free TV? (We didn't have satelite in my family until I was in high school)

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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:34 am 
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------------------- Edited & Added To List June 2, 2012 --------------------------

Also would like to add to the list:

17) Buy a Used Car

17a) The value of vehicles depreciates the greatest during the first two years of ownership. Let someone else take the hit and buy a used vehicle. Always get the Carfax report for any vehicle you buy.

18) Go Out to the Movie Theatre for Matinees/Weekdays & Don’t Get Snacks.

18a) A Matinee can be anywhere from half the price or a couple bucks off the regular price. Avoid 3D (except on a rare occasion) especially for prime time. 2D is still great. Also always take your student ID for a student discount for movies during the week.

18b) Eat a good meal before you go to the movies and don’t buy any concessions.

19) Amazon Mom (also for Dad’s)

19a) For people with newborns… We found that saving 20% extra (about $5 to $10 per box) on diapers saves a ton of money. You can sign up for a year and get free shipping as long as you purchase $25 worth of product every month. That’s like one purchase of 200 diapers a month – so easy to use and save!

20) Free Babysitting

20a) If you have family that lives around you they often will jump at the suggestion of the opportunity to take the kids for an evening or weekend. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, & sisters are a good place to start.

21) Don’t Own A Car

21a) If you live in cities like NYC, Boston, Washington D.C., etc. public transportation is often cheaper than gas/insurance/maintenance plus you don’t have to battle every time you need to find a parking space.

22) Cancel your Magazine Subscriptions/Newspaper

22a) Last year we made it a point to go to Barnes & Noble and the local library about twice a month. We were able to save a ton by getting our news online and reading free magazines at these locations. Not to mention getting a good book and reading at B&N is a great date night if you’re into that thing 

23) Cancel Your Gym Membership For A Few Months

23a) There are lots of Fitness DVD’s out there. Amazon has plenty to choose from for $20 or less.

23b) Another option is to exercise outside. We tried it last spring for a couple of months. It was actually very romantic, fun, and saved us $70 a month on memberships.

24) Christmas Gift Giving

24a) Assuming you celbrate this holiday save tissue paper & re-use gift bags. We stopped using wrapping paper a few years back. Tissue and bags are a lot easier (especially for us guys) to use. Plus they can be recycled/re-used as long as the bag is in good condition!

24b) Have a contest to see who can buy the nicest gifts (including brand name stuff) for the best (lowest) price. A friend of ours does this every year with his family. There is voting by each family member. The winner of the contest gets a great prize!

25) Buy Gift Cards at discounts

25a) Times are tough. Often at the end of the year companies will have promotions: Subway had $5.00 off your next sub with the purchase of a gift card. We bought two gift cards ($25 each) and each had a free sub. Plus we had enough for going out on very inexpensive date for the next couple of months.

26) Haircuts

26a) For guys a simple home hair cutting kit ($20-30 usually) can save a ton over time. I bought a kit last summer to buzz my hair and saved an average of $15 every two weeks for four months. We saved about $100 over the course of that time. Plus anytime I want an inexpensive haircut it can be convenient.

26b) For women try going to a cosmetology school (In the Dallas are there are several Ogle Beauty Schools). Instead of paying $30 you might pay $10 for a good (hopefully) haircut. Plan on spending double the time at the hair stylist as they are just learning! My wife did this our first year of marriage and we saved about $100 for the year.

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Last edited by Eagle on Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:05 pm 
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Eagle wrote:
Can you expound a little on your experience in raising your son with just having free TV? (We didn't have satelite in my family until I was in high school)
It really made it easy for us to put some constraints on what he watched, since the "kid" options were limited. My experience with Cartoon Network, etc. was that there were a lot of violent, mindless shows on, and I didn't think my son needed to be watching them. The end result is that, at ten years of age, his favorite TV shows are often on PBS, with "Ask This Old House" being his #1 -- I don't think I'll complain about that.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:24 pm 
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Jethro wrote:
Eagle wrote:
Can you expound a little on your experience in raising your son with just having free TV? (We didn't have satelite in my family until I was in high school)
It really made it easy for us to put some constraints on what he watched, since the "kid" options were limited. My experience with Cartoon Network, etc. was that there were a lot of violent, mindless shows on, and I didn't think my son needed to be watching them. The end result is that, at ten years of age, his favorite TV shows are often on PBS, with "Ask This Old House" being his #1 -- I don't think I'll complain about that.


That's great! My wife didn't have a TV in their family until she was a teenager. We've resisted the urge even though our agreement was not to have a TV for just the first year of marriage (we've been married 2.5 years now). It's good to know there are other people out there who think a lot of "child friendly" TV is just garbage.

Who would I ask to move this topic to the "Tips, Tricks, Links, Pointers" forum? After review I think I should've posted this there... My apologies.

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