Monthly Archives: February 2009

2009 Goals Update

Wow, its hard to believe its already March! After two months, I’m pretty happy with our progress towards our 2009 Goals. Here is where we are at now:

1. Increase Emergency Fund to $15,000 by March 1st

Progress: Done, February 2nd ūüôā

2. Payoff Volvo

Progress: We made the first extra payment of $1,000 today. Yay!

3. Save $5,000 for replacement vehicle for our other car (its 15 years old)

Progress: None yet, we are prioritizing # 2 first

4. Invest in a retirement plan (IRA or 403(b) for my husband

Progress: None yet, he is not eligible to join at his employer until April

5. Move savings into higher interest account

Progress: Done! In February we moved our E-Fund to ING. The rate still isn’t great, but it is a lot better than what we had.

6. Explore taking property taxes and insurance out of mortgage company escrow

Progress: None yet, but I need to get working on this one.

Posting our goals on my blog is really helping me stay accountable. How is everyone else doing on their goals this year?

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Calling Comcast Pays Off

After reading this blog post¬†over at Around the Sun, I was inspired to call Comcast to see if I could lower our monthly bill. We had Verizon for internet and cable, but it was too spendy so we switched to Comcast about six months ago. My husband found a great promotion online so we are getting a pretty good deal already, but I wanted to see if we could get anything better.¬† I’ve successfully done this in the past so it was a great reminder to try again.

I told the customer service rep that I saw a deal from Verizon for $29.99 and wanted to see if they would match it. Our rate is $46.95 for cable, but it is $33 for cable and another $13.95 for the HD/DVR combo ( I love DVR!). So really it was only a $4 difference, but the guy would not budge. He was pretty unprofessional telling me how great my deal was (they don’t even offer such a good deal anymore)¬†and saying that was the best I could get in a really exasperated tone.

“Well what about our internet then?” I asked. We are paying $36.95 for high speed internet and I quoted a rate I saw recently from Qwest for $24.99. “Can you match that?” No again. Apparently Comcast’s internet is much faster and we are getting a great deal (that they no longer offer) already.

At this point, the guy was getting annoyed with me, but I asked if there was anyone else I could talk to about getting a better rate. He sighed with annoyance saying, “Fine, but they will not give you anything better,” and put me on hold.

After a minute, a much nicer girl picked up and again I asked for a better rate. No, on the cable because this is a better deal than they are even offering now (again!! they certainly have their schpeals down). I mentioned that Verizon Fios is supposedly a better product and she went into her explanation about Comcast offering more On Demand and more HD. Also, she told me that they are based locally, supporting the local economy, while Verizon is on the East Coast.

¬†“So how about the internet?” I asked. She offered me a lower rate for a much lower speed of internet that I was not interested in, but wait. She could waive the $3/month modem fee for a year. Ok, that is only a few bucks a month, but over a year that is $36 saved!

I pushed one last time, “Well what about the DVR? $13.95 is a lot per month just for the DVR.. can you lower that?” Surprise, yes she can give it to me free for three months! Nice, that’s $41.85 over the next three months.

So, just like that, in about ten minutes on the phone, I saved us $77.85!  I will for sure be calling back in three months to ask them to renew the free DVR and again a few months after that just to see what I can save.

Have you had any success at doing this before? In this economy it seems like companies are willing to negotiate (and Comcast doesn’t have a monopoly anymore).

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Frugal Quote of the Day

Here is a frugal quote from my life today:

A¬†friend scored very high on her LSATs and¬†is debating whether to go to a high ranked law school without a scholarship or to go to a school ranked well, but not as high, that gave her a full ride. I told my husband (who graduated from the full ride law school) about this dilema and he said, “take the full ride, debt sucks.”

He does not beat around the bush and is a tad bitter about his student loan debt.

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Freebies and Deals

There are lots of deals flying around this week:

– Use the code DINE to get 80% off at Restaraunt.com. Just make sure to read the fine print about the restrictions on the gift certificate.

РPrint out this coupon for a free 1 oz. lotion at Victorias Secret, thru March 2nd.

– Request a free sample of Crest Whitestrips here.

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Menu-Planning Monday

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Big news this week: I’m skipping all grocery shopping! I stocked up a bit extra last week knowing that I probably would not have time to make it to the store on Sunday to do my weekly shopping (we had a jam-packed long weekend with family in town). So here is my “no-shopping” week menu:

Monday: leftovers

Tuesday: scallops (from frozen) and pasta

Wednesday: skillet lasagna

Thursday: turkey burgers

Friday: spaghetti and meatballs, salad

Saturday: steak fajitas

Sunday: pork chops and sweet potatoes

I’ll post an update at the end of the week on how I did with my “no-shopping” week.

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Freebies and Deals

Request a free sample of Emergen-C Рthis stuff is full of Vitamin C and B vitamins too!  (Thanks Money Saving Mom!)

Sign up here to get a free o.b. sample and carrying case. (Thanks ThriftyMama!)

Check out this great list of organic coupon sources. If your like me and buy organics, this is a great wealth of information.

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Coupon Thiefs

Warning: this is a rant.

While grocery shopping at Fred Meyer this weekend, I grabbed a Sunday newspaper so I could take advantage of the coupons. I didn’t pay attention to the fact that the papers were a bit disheveled.

I sat down at home later that day with my scissors, ready to cut out the good coupons and all the coupon inserts were missing!¬† Thinking back, I’m pretty sure someone took the coupon inserts out of several papers, inserted them into one paper and only paid for one paper.

This makes me so annoyed! I have¬† learned my lesson and will make sure to flip through my paper and check for the coupons before buying it. I know I shouldn’t be surprised. I guess the economy really is bad when people start stealing coupon inserts!

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