When The Going Got Tough, The Tough Cut Costs

by Katy on June 5, 2008 · 3 comments

Last year, the hospital where I work as an RN had a slow period that lasted approximately two months. I have a non-staff position, which meant that I lost all work for this time period. A number of my wonderful co-workers were not able to weather the storm and had to find new jobs.

I took this situation as an opportunity to tighten our belts. I had thought our expenses were already in check, and was surprised by how much extra fat we were able to trim.

  • Insurance. I called our agent and had her go over our homeowners and auto policies. She gave us a new discount for having bachelor’s degrees and raised the deductible on our home owner’s insurance, which we’ve never had to make a claim on. 
  • Telephone. Since our cells phones include free long distance, I cancelled long distance service on our land line and was able to switch to a simpler, cheaper plan.
  • Electricity. Changed over to a “Time-Of-Use” plan which charges different amounts at different times of day. I only used the clothes dryer after 10:00 p.m. and on Sundays when it’s cheapest. I also discovered that my dishwasher has a timer, so I could set it to begin after 10 p.m. 
  • Netflix. Cancelled this and started getting movies exclusively from the library.
  • Natural Gas. (Furnace, stove, hot water heater) I reset the automatic thermostat for 63 degrees during the day and 57 degrees at night. If we’re cold, we turn it up, but mostly we’re fine. The hot water heater was already set low.
  • Water Bill. Disconnected our downspouts, for which we received a discount.
  • Credit Cards. Called customer service at Visa and got them to lower the interest rate by doing this.
  • Costco. (Warehouse Club) Cancelled this.
  • Garbage. Went to a smaller size can that we still can’t fill.

None of these changes required any actual sacrifice, yet they saved us more than a thousand dollars per year.

I still had no work for these few months, but was able to recognize a bonus vacation when I saw it- and did so with a library book in hand and a smile on my face.

-Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

janice June 5, 2008 at 2:02 pm

This is very educating information. Thanks.


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