Friday, August 17, 2007

Bills Out of Control

I do not know what has been going on this past month but the bills hit me like a ton of bricks! This weekend I will go through each bill and see what can be done to reduce the amount owed next month.

Wow! All that goes on inside the house is far more expensive than the house on a monthly basis! Does this mean after 30 years the house will be all mine and I will own all the utility companies too?

Now for the strategy to get things back to normal

House Gas ($250) - Get on the monthly plan BEFORE winter hits again. (heating & cooking still paying for winter use)

Electric ($71.23) - Maybe go around and unplug everything except the microwave, computer and my alarm clock. But I love my air fresheners so I will keep the fresheners in the bathrooms and the kitchen plugged in.

Phone ($187.29 ) - Apparently I forgot to pay last month's bill and there is a $30 late fee. Make sure never to be late with a payment again. $30 late fee on a $75 bill? That is almost HALF the cost! Go over phone plan to see what can be changed. I still want the "long distance any time, any where plan." What is the deal with Local Long Distance? Shouldn't it be either Local or Long Distance? Not with this area. Apparently you pay for Local, Local Long Distance and Long Distance.

Cable ($154.23) - Will sit the children (teens) down for a long talk about the use of Movies On Demand. There is a channel for FREE Movies On Demand, we have a vast variety of movies on tape and DVD if they get bored with the FMOD channel. We do have cable for-crying-out-loud. There must be SOMETHING on TV to watch, if you must watch TV, with all those bazillion channels we get. If not there are always the board games to play or work around the house to be done.

Cell Phone ($71.23) - I have the everything, everywhere, bells and whistles, tons of minutes, unlimited super-duper plan. My sister and I talk almost every day for two hours or more. I need my cell phone with it's blue tooth capabilities. This allows me to chat with her and continue with the housework, craft project, shopping, yard work or whatever I happen to have planned at that time. I can take my cell phone anywhere with me so our conversations are not interrupted by what activity I am doing at the time. I really should review my plan. Although I use my cell phone to great extent with my sister and family I lost around 2,000 minutes after rolling them over for more than 2 years.

Daycare ($468) - Yeah, school will start and Daycare will go down to $388 due to part time care instead of full time. That will save me $80 per month.

Car Payment ($349) - I am actually going to increase this to at least $600 per month. I will send in a separate check for $251 with "Towards Principal Only" written in the memo section on the check. This should lower the amount of interest owed each month and will pay the car off a lot sooner which will rid me of this monthly bill.

Car Gas ($120) - It is what it is. Last weekend the price of gas went from $2.95 to $2.75 per gallon for Regular Unleaded. This week it dropped down to $2.65 per gallon. It still feels like it costs the same to fill up my tank $51.54 for one tank full. I remember the good old days of 2003 when I could fill up my Lincoln Town Car for only $20. Oh well, at least it isn’t $3.00 per gallon.

Food ($600) - I could clip coupons but that has never really been my thing. I would either leave them on the kitchen counter top at home or in the car. Most of the really good coupons in the Sunday paper are for items I would not normally buy so this does not save me money. I think $600 to feed a family of four with two teenagers is pretty decent.

Well, this is my plan to attack the bills. Are your bills getting the best of you? What do you do to keep them under control?


The Curmudgeon said...

I call my bill paying sessions "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."

That'll give you some idea....

MommasWorld said...

Hey there Curmudgeon!

Funny! Love the way you put it. I know how that feels.

pinks & blues girls said...

This happened to us this month, too... everything came in at once... and then hubby's car needed $300 worth of work!! Fun times!

Jane, P&B Girls

pinks & blues girls said...

Oh! P.S. - You won our "Gotta Go" contest!! Congrats!

I'm about to email you right now...

Jane, P&B Girls

Butrfly4404 said...

Wow. My car gas is about $450/mo. (with The Man's share, too). I want my hybrid SOOOO bad. Hahah.

Food is one I'm never able to cut down, either. I have to get the good bread and our soda consumption is ridiculous.

My worst bill is my water. My city charges outrageous rates to begin with, but they send us the bill with a week to get it in. And the due date always falls in between my house payment check and the check I use to pay all the other bills. So they ALWAYS charge us late fees. And they're expensive.

MommasWorld said...

Acutally I thought about the electric and I have to say it is hundreds less than we paid in a similar sized house before. Over 2800 squar feet and under a $100 for electric has to be considered a good deal.

Pinks & Blues - Jane? I WON?! REALLY? I startled Snow White when I said I WON?!

Amy - I only have to pay for gas in one car and so thankful I no longer have the same commute you do. I really feel for you, the amount of time on the road and the cost to drive there. My water bill comes once every 6 months and so far it has not been under $400. It is water, sewer and trash pick up. Oh and it only took me 6 months to find out why they would not take all of my garbage when I first moved in. No card board boxes, all items must be secured in a trash container AND you are only allowed TWO trash containers per household. It has been almost a year now and we only have need for the two containers twice a week.