Not sure if you realized, but… uh… it’s the holidays.
For a lot of people the holidays mean family and food and gifts and togetherness. For me it means a steady disappearance of dollars.
Over the last few days I’ve realized how much all this travel and gift-buying is eating away at the non-existent money I have. What to do?! I can’t refund my flights back home (nor do I want to), and I won’t be returning any gifts I got people (that’s not the spirit!). But what I could do is find a way to save money throughout the year so that I’m not in this position next year.
First Target: Car Insurance
I called up my insurance company today. Because of an accident I got into 2.9 years ago (so close to getting that off my record!!), my insurance rates have SKYROCKETED. Seriously – from about $150 a month to $250 a month. That’s not ok. I know my rates will come back down once the accident is cleared, but even then, do I need to pay $150 a month? I called around to find out. I called 2 other insurance agencies and got some estimates and then called my insurance agency. I told them that I had gotten some other quotes and was thinking of changes insurers and sure enough – the best quote I got from another agency was met. $129/month. That’s $240 a year! That’s half a plane ticket in savings for next December!
Second Target: Gym Membership
I belong to a fantastic gym. It’s a crossfitty type place that has a lovely sense of community. I would be 500 lbs without it. That said… before I joined this gym, I still managed to keep my weight under 2-hundy by running and taking free classes when I found offers online. I pay about $150 a month at my gym under a promotion I signed up for last year that is set to expire in January. The full rate is something like $300/year. I think I’d rather be 500 lbs.
So I called the manager of the gym and told her – point blank – “I fucking love your gym, but….” and then I explained that if my monthly rate went up, I’d have to quit. She weighed the pros and cons of me paying $150 over me not paying at all, and, voila! My $150/month rate has been extended through next June. By then it will be warm enough to run outside again. BAM. I am on a fucking roll!
Third Target: Credit Card Interest Rate
I’ll be honest – this is something I did prior to my holiday-causing bankruptcy. It’s something we can all do at any time of the year, and I highly recommend it. It just requires you to grow some balls and make a phone call. It’ll go like this,
You: “Hi. I want to discuss my 12.99% APR on your credit card”
Midwestern housewife who is getting paid to answer calls from her office in an attic: “I see your account and can offer you 8.99% for the next year”
You: “Thank you, but I actually got an offer in the mail that if I transfer my balance to XXXX Card, they’ll offer 0% for the year, so I think I’m going to do that…”
MHWIGPTACFHOIAA: “NO! WAIT! STOP! How about 2.99% for the next 3 years?”
You: “Now that’s what I’m talking about, bitch**!”
**Don’t call her a bitch, that’s rude. She just helped you out majorly.
Now, listen. I know this isn’t fun to do. I’m the kinda girl that hates returning clothes that I don’t want because I feel bad about it. I felt AWFUL about making these calls. In the past I would have tried to do it over email, and if you have the patience for a lot of back and forth, you can do that too! Worse comes to worse, just pretend you’re someone else – a hard nosed lady cop who doesn’t take no for an answer! You’ll save cash and practice your acting skills. You’re being a double threat before our very eyes.