We looked at areas we couldn't change such as our utilities, mortgage, tithes and cell phone plans. We have a set payment plan with our utilities company (that Josh refers to as the "po' folks plan"), we certainly aren't going to downsize our house and we have a pretty decent cell plan, nor are we going to deny the Lord money that belongs to him. We then looked at some areas where we could possibly make some changes.
- Takeout/Fast Food
Solution: We made a grocery list of lunch and breakfast foods and decided those little trips have to stop. We also set an "allowance" for the nights we both have meetings and have to make quick drive thru stops. I realize we could technically pack dinner on those nights too, which we will do some times but a little wiggle room for when we don't is nice.
- Hospital Bills
Problem: We don't have any control over how much we owe nor over the probability of one of us ending up in the hospital again, but we decided to try to do something about how often/much we pay. Our hospital sends us five separate bills a month just for Sawyer on top of the ones we get from the radiologist and ENT.
Solution: I gave the customer service number a call and had a rather stern conversation (to put it nicely) about the way our account is handled. I finally got the representative to combine three of the bills into one so we can send one payment to the Greenville location, one to the Tarboro location and one to the Surgicenter verses five separate payments. One thing you may or may not know about a hospital, they can not send a collections agency after you over your bill as long as you make some amount of payment on time each month. We talked over taking out a personal loan to cover our hospital bills, but since the hospital cannot charge interest and can't get us when we can only pay them $10 instead of $30 a month, we decided to just leave them the same.
Solution: We thought about canceling the service in all rooms but the living room and just letting Sawyer watch his shows on the iPad and then streaming Hulu to our TV in the bedroom but then realized that with our bundle it wasn't going to save us that much money. So, we haven't quite solved this issue yet.
Stop by tomorrow to see how we tackled our next biggest financial issues: our love for Pirate football (and how much it costs us) and the need for a car with better mileage and a lower payment!