Thursday, March 12, 2015

Some Recent Smart Decisions In the Buff Millionaire House

Recently, the husband unit and I have been going through things and making changes that eliminate waste or will save us money, or both. (Well, mostly me and he just goes along with it, because try as he does, when it comes to finances, his eyes glaze over and he cannot focus/absorb it. But he does other things to help.) Here are some things that have been changed around or refocused to help cut things down, in no particular order:

-I set up a non tax-tax advantaged joint investment account for us in addition to the Roth IRAs I had set up previously, so that our money can start to grow for us.  I funded this with $25 just to start because I have not yet decided from which of our savings account this will be funded. But, as with anything, the most important part is getting started since things can always be tweaked or streamlined later.

-We ditched our Hulu Plus account. We realized (or rather, re-realized as we had come to the conclusion before but didn't do anything about it) that we watched MAYBE three shows through Hulu Plus, and those shows were available through the free version so we could just use the HDMI Cable to watch them when available.  So long, $8/month wastefulness! I currently have this amount auto-transferred to our main savings account on the day of the month that it usually debited from.  After all, what is the point of saving an expense if you are not actually Saving the money?

-I realized that since the car is paid off, and it was only the lien holder that required comprehensive and collision coverage, I went online and changed coverage to eliminate those, which will save us approximately $15/month, starting on the April 20th billing. (I assume it's so far from now because of the renewal cycle...) And, like above, once it starts deducting less, I will have the savings auto-transferred on the day the bill hits. The next thing will be to call up the insurance company for renter's insurance (since changes can't be made online) and see what changes can be made there, if any.

[Related Side Note: Changing your insurance coverage or deductibles is a very easy way to save money, and one I would recommend very highly. If, for example, you have a $250 deductible for car insurance, bumping it to $500 or $1000 could help save you some serious money over the long term. And this can apply to all insurance that you carry. As you save more money and have enough in savings to cover those eventual (and usually unlikely) deductibles, change as many as you can and the savings should start to add up.]

-Not yet implemented, but I had the idea that instead of depositing checks into checking and transferring things to savings, that I would instead reverse it and deposit every thing into the main savings account and then once a month, transfer the monthly bill/expense budget to checking.  The Other Half worried that since his unemployment checks get direct deposited, and they were not exactly speedy in getting it right the first time, that it would mess that up.  I initially agreed with this sentiment, but I think it may be worth looking into again.  Especially since, as it currently stands, a certain amount is direct deposited into checking for bills and what's left over gets deposited to savings, but because the way bill cycles work, some things have to come from savings as a debit and then when the weekly check that covers it comes through the money gets transferred back to savings. By changing everything to savings and then just a flat amount once a month to checking, it should help eliminate the confusion and time spent transferring money BACK to savings, and allow me to see at a glance where things stand and less math involved. (What can I say? I am lazy and anything over 5 minutes a month spent balancing numbers is excessive.) So we'll have to see what we can do on that. Worst case scenario is that we just deal with the weird back and forth for a bit longer and just start fresh when he gets a new job.

So those were some small changes and reductions in wastefulness we made recently. For the two service changes, we'll save at least $22/month, for less than 15 minutes total work. Now THAT is a nice return on investment.

Have you made any "small" changes recently that will turn into big results, or any other smart decisions for your finances lately? Comment below with your experiences!

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