My 20 Minute Workout

By RAYT721 Latest Reply 2018-12-18 21:19:06 -0600
Started 2018-09-19 00:52:27 -0500

The twenty minutes a day that I have spent working out my financial problems have paid off. I highly recommend it to everyone. By focusing on one topic every day, I immediately began to put hundreds of wasted dollars back into my budget to accomplish more important goals. I'm not talking about nickels and dimes. To date, the wife and I have cut over $1,000 a month of unnecessary expenses that we were totally oblivious to.

I was mind-blowing when I came to the realization of just how much money we had been wasting for so many years… like those $5 to $8 a day lunches with office friends, not including the $2 or $3 a day going into the vending machines… and that was each of the two of us. What about keeping two cars after we retired? Was paying almost $200 a month for cable, phones and internet really necessary when we have it all for around $60 a month today? Even the most recent discovery that going from Keurig pods back to ground coffee is returning $25 a month to our savings total.

We dropped $100 a month of prescription costs and I cannot count the dollars of interest when we were able to consolidate debt into one payment that we attacked like pit bulls to pay off. And it took less than twenty minutes to pick a new electric energy supplier (can be done in certain states) to put another $20 a month to better use. The wife and I use several time and money-saving tools, apps and web sites and we have several receipts that show 60% savings with coupons and sales.

Of course, everyone's mileage may vary but if this post starts a discussion about personal finance, perhaps we can all exchange tips on ways to have more by paying less.

Do YOU have any 20-minute tips on how you are taming your budgets?

15 replies

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2018-09-22 20:22:20 -0500 Report

Hey Ray, congratulations! What you accomplished is amazing. I am inspired to take a look at what I am spending, I am sure I have a few wasted expenditures I could also be cutting. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

KetoMama 2018-09-20 18:57:22 -0500 Report

I have a Medicare Advantage plan that includes a free health club membership with LA Fitness. My three-month prescriptions are $4 each because I use the generics. I switched internet service providers and am saving over $20 a month with better service. My cellphone through Consumer Cellular just costs about $30 a month, but that includes unlimited minutes and lots of texting and internet searching. That's a savings of about $50 a month from AT&T. I use a flat panel antenna rather than pay for cable — sometimes I lose channels due to weather but I still have lots of others to watch. And I subscribe to a streaming news channel for $10/mo. which gives me options for the news coverage I watch. And now that I'm a senior my public transportation is half price. If I want to watch a movie, I rent it on Amazon Prime for a couple of bucks. And lots of free events with our parks and recreation department. My electricity is pay-as-you go and the fates are very favorable. I'm also able to track my usage online daily, and I've learned how much it costs me based on the temperature highs for the day. And now I'm brewing my own kombucha which costs a song — next is homemade sauerkraut for the probiotics. Lots of things we can do, as you and your wife are doing, to have a good life and save money!

2018-09-20 08:59:59 -0500 Report

Cash envelope for food each week helps me…plus losing my credit card somewhere in the house this week…

KetoMama 2018-09-21 11:57:31 -0500 Report

I think I'm going to try that — I tend to overspend the beginning of the month and end up eating eggs and beans and rice the last week of the month, if it's a t-week stretch til my SS is deposited.

RAYT721 2018-09-19 14:35:40 -0500 Report

I recently ran across a post from Gabby that shared the links to Good Rx and LowerMeds, two apps that we've used to get 60-80% off prescription medications when not covered by our plan. The tools may also help with those who have prescription co-pays that could be reduced and also for some people paying more for over the counter items that would be less expensive with doctor's prescriptions.

RAYT721 2018-09-19 14:18:26 -0500 Report

One of the biggest obstacles that we face is being a hairline over the ability to get SNAP, medicaid, housing and/or energy assistance. That little bit is costing us hundreds of dollars out of pocket. There will be a few resources opening when we hit 65 years old but, sadly, not enough.

suecsdy 2018-09-19 14:07:23 -0500 Report

I apparently don't have the kind of income you do. Lol. I did cut the cable when I started paying for Medicare, and recently had a conversation with my Dr about cutting out some meds. My goal is to cut back to the minimums: rent, utilities and ins, Unfortunately, things keep breaking.

RAYT721 2018-09-19 14:32:04 -0500 Report

Our Social Security incomes are not all that high but we are just a little over the benefits that just a hundred a month less would qualify us for. Who knew that the government would describe me as "wealthy" (LOL) … Our plan now is to pay off our mortgage so that the wife or myself will be able to live on my Social Security alone at some point in the future. Now THAT is a challenge!

RAYT721 2018-09-19 14:24:15 -0500 Report

I can totally relate and the wife and I endured two sewer floods that caused extensive damage to our condo, not covered by insurance, about $20k. Without question, rent is going to be tricky to tweak unless your income qualifies you for assistance programs. Are you familiar with Aunt Bertha's web site, a local zip code based search engine for community service agencies. There are other benefit finders and they are not all related to age and/or income. I have found tweaks to the electric bill and insurance costs as part of my 20 minute work outs. I found also $20 a month on my electric bill with a competitive electric supplier and while our insurance is down only a little bit, we now have a policy on things we didn't have so that's a score in my books.

suecsdy 2018-09-21 11:20:06 -0500 Report

Like you, I am just over the limit to qualify for any assistance. fortunately, my late husband spent years in the military, both active and reserve. He set up survivor's benefits for me and between the annuity and filing against his SS, I'm OK. Tricare for Life is my secondary ins, I paid off the mobile home when he died so rent is minimal. I won't have my current debt forever so I'm keeping pretty positive about things. I'd really like to get some savings built up.

haoleboy 2018-09-19 12:01:02 -0500 Report

I "cured" my financial problems by having a stroke (when I had no health insurance), going bankrupt, and losing everything I had.
I now live with my son and his family and get by on social security.
no bills, no financial worries.
☮ Steve

2018-09-20 08:57:41 -0500 Report

It's sad in this country that medical problems are exacerbated by financial problems. Sorry you got caught in that.

RAYT721 2018-09-19 14:14:58 -0500 Report

Hi Steve. I'm really sorry to hear about the medical situations and I can surely understand medical bills. The whole health care nightmare is a ridiculous situation where no amount of savings or spending can cushion the blows. So sorry to hear that your situation was one of them.

haoleboy 2018-09-19 15:46:34 -0500 Report

we didn't have a whole lot but until it was all gone there was no help coming from the state. once it was all gone everything was taken care of (for which I am most grateful).
the bills related to the care immediately after my stroke (3 day hospital stay) and for the 3 weeks of inpatient rehab and 9 months outpatient were staggering.
but no worries Ray. with the help of friends and family, I get (got) by. while it is not quite the retirement I envisioned, I do get to be live in grandpa to my three wonderful grandchildren (ages 3, 6, and 9).
you know … the whole silver lining thing.