Wasteful, reckless spending... you might as well burn that money every month!

David, Emily and I live very comfortably on one income, even in this recession because we have always been conscious of living within our means and, most times, below our means: we don't have credit cards because we think if you can't afford it, you shouldn't buy it and unless you pay your credit card off in full each month, you can't afford it! However, in my opinion, we still spend a bit recklessly at times and some of it, I have recently discovered, is downright wasteful and there is nothing in life that I despise more than waste!

So, I thought I'd document my wasteful, reckless spending and the ways I found the savings in an attempt to spread some good information and a few suggestions on to you, my readers, who are looking for ways to trim your budgets and to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.

Cable - $26 per month saved!
We have true HD televisions and thus, must have the special HD Programming through DirecTV (the MOST HD channels at the best price, when we did our research back in 2007) which has run us $102.98 every month for the past year. Upon looking closely at our monthly statement, I realized $26 of that was extra, OPTIONAL movie channels that we don't even watch!!! Well, you can imagine how quickly I logged in to our account online and deleted that option!

AT&T Wireless - $50 per month saved!
David and I have had IPhones since the day they were released, nearly 2 years ago... the "old" version so, we must have the data plan that costs us $20 each, for a total of $40 per month. This data plan has unlimited internet usage and unlimited texting, which is how we keep in touch with 80% of our friends and family. Ontop of this, we have the Family Plan with 1,400 Anytime minutes, rollover, FREE mobile-to-mobile and unlimited nights & weekends. My mom, my sister, two of my closest friends that live out of state and David's best friend are all AT&T customers so, we can always talk to them within the FREE mobile-to-mobile option on our plan and 99% of all our friends out here in CA call us on our home phone so, we literally only use about 50-75 minutes per month. I logged in to our account today and realized:

* We have 12,871 roll over minutes that only expire at a rate of 1,000 per quarter
* Over the last 6 months of statements, we use, on average 38 minutes per month... out of 1,400!
* We pay $147.89 per month

Yikes!!! What a waste! :(
I immediately reduced our wireless plan to the Family Talk Nationwide 550 Plan with 550 Anytime Minutes with rollover, unlimited mobile-to-mobile and unlimited nights & weekends for only $59.99 per month... the exact same plan we have now just about 1/3 of the minutes and our new monthly cost is $98.21.

Meal Planning, eating leftovers and only purchasing what we need each week - $400 per month saved:
If you have been following along with me in my Meal Planning Challenge, you'll realize I have made it through our first month and have spent a total of only $408.02, which is half what we have spent on average for the past year!!!

Come back to read about more money saving discoveries we make throughout this year!


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