I bet you were all thinking "Man she saves so much money, I bet she puts it all in savings and never wastes a dime." Ummm, NOT.
You see, I like to save money so that I can spend money. The more money I save via coupons, sales, turning the thermostat up (or down) and making Lee cut his own hair, the more money I can SPEND.
I used to spend money on Coach purses, Marc Jacobs sunglasses and mani/pedi's (ok, I still like those things). But ever since 108 came into my life, my spending has taken a different direction. I crave all things Pottery Barn, West Elm and Crate & Barrel.
Unfortunately, I don't make a Pottery Barn-esque salary, so I can't have Pottery Barn in my life without being cost conscious elsewhere.
I haven't paid for a pedicure in over a year, because I've found that I can do it myself (pretty decently) and save enough money for a throw pillow(!) or a vase(!) or a new doormat(!). (I know, I'm a geek.)
So, enough clarification on that. Now, onto the savings:
Last week, with ONE phone call, I saved us $420 over the next year!
How is that possible you ask? Well, when we moved into our house a year ago and signed up with Time Warner Cable, we got a 12-month promotional deal on both our digital cable and high-speed Internet services. We've been dreading the end of that 12-month period for months now. Our bill came this month and it was almost $50 higher than what we'd been paying -- up from $93 to $142.
So I hopped on the horn and got a TWC rep on the phone. It went a little something like this*:
Me: Anything you can do to lower my bill?
TWC: Well, no.
Me: Hmmm, that's too bad. Times are tight and I'm not paying $150 every month for TV and Internet. And DirecTV and Verizon sure have been sending me some enticing offers.
TWC: Umm, let me transfer you to our retention team.
Me: Hello retention lady. If you want to "retent" me you can lower my bill.
TWC Retention Lady: Ok, let's see what we can do.
She proceeded to get our bill down to $98 a month, just $5 more than what we were paying. I was most appreciative and felt a little surge of victory.
*Actual conversation may have varied slightly.
HOWEVER, the next part of the story is very un-tightwad-ish. I had to call Time Warner back a few days later to get our balance for July (instead of paying the $142, they prorated this month's balance). After the rep gave me the balance, she said "WAIT -- we're running a deal right now -- Showtime and Cinemax for only $5/month for 2 years." Now normally I wouldn't have even considered this but I happened to remember that Big Brother After Dark comes on Showtime and since BB is my summertime obsession, I caved. "Yes, sign me up."
Damn it! They suckered me in for a little more each month. BUT, I figure if we watch just one Showtime or Cinemax movie a month instead of renting one, then it will pay for itself. And, I can always cancel if we end up not using it (after Big Brother is over of course).