It’s official: We have a reverse osmosis system! We still have a few jugs of the delivered water to get through, so I haven’t tried too much out of the tap. But the few sips I’ve taken seem to be good. Not quite as good as the stuff that gets delivered, but if we can save $80 a month, I’ll make do!
The system plus installation was $378, which isn’t that bad. Within five months, it’ll have paid for itself.
It turned out that the plumber visit was well-timed. Sunday night, I found out that the tub in the main bathroom wouldn’t drain. Not with baking soda and vinegar. Not with Draino. The water level barely budged even overnight.
After installing the water system, the plumbers went in to inspect the problem. They came out less than two minutes later announcing it was fixed.
Turns out, the tub’s switch had gotten flipped so that it was, for lack of a technical term, set to bath mode. Still not sure how because we have our own bathroom, and none of our guests has ever taken a bath.
Point being, it was very obvious, and we missed it.
But that’s a good reminder, isn’t it? That you can miss the simplest things. That we need to review the basics. (And that we need to rationalize really, really stupid mistakes by relating it to personal finance, thereby salvaging a smidge of dignity.)
So, when’s the last time you reviewed all of your basics? We probably all know that J. Money does it from time to time. That means checking around for lower rates on TV (or, like us, saving thousands of dollars by cutting the cord), reviewing your cell phone options, seeing where your grocery money is going, and lots of others so obvious that I’m forgetting them.
Last month, we got rid of the Netflix DVDs options and went down to just streaming.
And this was the first month of our new, $20-less Internet bill. They actually called us with that, but I had planned to call them the next week. So I still pretend it’s my victory.
Those three changes alone are saving us $66 a month.
Getting rid of water delivery, of course, will be a ridiculous $80 a month saved.
We’re also starting to review our Costco membership. Now that we have a more gas efficient car, cheaper gas prices don’t pay for the membership. I need to compare cat litter prices, since the savings there could make the membership worthwhile; but it’s something that needs to be inspected.
And we’re in the process of retraining ourselves to stock up on sales. Tim’s stomach meant that he cereal hopped too often to really safely stock up on any one brand. But he seems pretty gung ho about the latest one. So I’m determined to start buying the store out whenever the things are on sale for $2.50.
I want to make sure we always have at least three boxes in abeyance. It means that he won’t run out if we both have a bad spell. After medical costs, one of the biggest expenses for people with chronic conditions is convenience tax.
I guess it’s always good to review the fundamentals — though it’s better when not prompted by a face-palm worthy mistake.
When’s the last time you went over your basic expenses? Did you find any good places to save?