- I've already reduced my health insurance costs by shopping for a new plan. Last year I did not take advantage of the new plans being offered under the Affordable Care Act. I spent Monday afternoon evaluating my eligibility and my options. While I will have to change doctors, I found an HMO plan that has a lower deductible and lower out of pocket fees for things like doctor visits and prescriptions. I qualify for a voucher that gets me this better plan for $105/month less than I paid in 2014.
- In 2014 I reduced auto expenses by replacing the S-10 with an Aveo. Another, unanticipated, savings came from moving to a new house a few miles away. I'm in a more central location, so I drive less. In 2015 I will save money by reducing the amount I drive. Between the bicycle and my 2012 Piaggio Fly 50 scooter, my driving will mostly be limited to income-generating activities including mystery shopping, hospitality work, and tending to my rental properties.
- While it isn't included in monthly spending, and I don't regularly post the expenses associated with my rental properties, I plan to shop my property insurance needs for the first time. I spent over $7,000 on insurance in 2014, and that's with $5,000 deductibles on every property and no claims history. It's time to find savings and I am confident that investing some effort here will be worthwhile.
- Finally, there's food. While eating out is a simple pleasure, it costs so much more than cooking at home, which is also usually healthier. I think one of the reasons we eat out is because we don't have food available at the house that appeals to me. By spending a bit more on groceries to add variety, I hope to reduce the amount we spend in restaurants. Overall, this should reduce the amount we spend on food.
Wednesday, December 31
Ways I am Reducing Expenses (my Personal Burn Rate) in 2015
One of my 2015 goals is to reduce monthly spending, net of vacation and home repairs, to $1,250. In order to do this, I need to look at costs I can control (such as eating out) as well as those that are relatively fixed (like insurance). Some thoughts: