Wednesday, March 14, 2007


This post really struck a chord with me.

How to stop nickel and diming yourself into the poorhouse!

Found at Kirby on Finance

After looking at my monthly expenses there are only 2 that could possibly be considered "unnecessary"--DirecTV and Earthlink. But can they be eliminated??

Currently our DTV bill is about $90/month; we do subscribe to Showtime and I do have "insurance" on our equipment. Regretfully the only other alternatives to DTV is either Dish Network (similar in price) or Zito Media (formerly Adelphia). Both have major drawback so DTV was our only choice. The sole purpose for Showtime--the L Word. So after the season is over Showtime will be canceled for the remainder of the year. That will save us about $75/yr.

As for Earthlink. The only way I could save a little bit of money is to pay full year up front, which at this point in time is not feasible. Some would say get rid of internet, but being that it is my only form of entertainment, it is not something that is so easily parted with.

Other than DTV and Earthlink, the remainder of my "big" monthly expenses (ie. living expenses) are necessary.

"While those big expenses were hurting me, I found it was the little expenses that were killing me. Eating out a couple of times a week, even though it was at cheap places, began adding up. All of the times I’d stop to get a Red Bull during the week were adding up too. Basically, at $2 to $3 per expense, I was nickel and diming myself into the poorhouse."
Now this I can definitely relate to and I believe this is where a majority of my problems are. If it's not soda, its cigarettes. If not those two, it's "fast" food items. Or a quick run into the store and I come out with $50 worth of stuff. Oh it's stuff we can use, but not necessarily stuff we need.

Steps I need to follow:

1] Get real with yourself! Before you can even begin to do anything seriously with your finances (or really life in general), you have to “get real” with yourself and be honest and somewhat critical with the financial choices you’ve made.

For me it is time to seriously consider the smoking habit. I am giving it serious consideration, I just ordered a freebie of Nicorette gum to try. If this is successful I could eliminate $23/wk ($1183/yr) of unnecessary expense. I am crossing my fingers and toes.

2] Identify where you’re nickel and diming yourself.

I think I have a good idea of where I am nickel and diming myself (see above), but it is something to definitely keep tabs on. One thing I have changed prior to this blog is taking my lunch (including snacks and enough soda for an 8 hour shift) to work. Just the soda saving alone has been enormous-- $8/day vs $1.23/day.

3] Once you realize you’ve got a “problem,” promise yourself you’re not going to make the same mistake twice.

One way I have helped myself is by not taking any more than $2 to work with me. then I make a "game" of it by seeing if I can go without spending it. I have done very well with this. It works the best when I pack enough in my lunch bag that I have no need to look at the vending machines.

4] Stay “real” and hold yourself accountable. Just making decisions like these are only half of the solution. Action is often meaningless if you’re not going to set out to hold yourself accountable in the end.

As the saying goes "actions speak louder than words." Something I need to keep in mind.

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