Saturday, November 8, 2008

Day 5, Part 1- Saving Cash, By Not Spending Any

With no free wireless internet at the doctor's office waiting room, I watched the bleak job stories on CNN. I think they said something like 1.7 million jobs were lost since the beginning of 2008. We have seen our retirement savings drop, like everyone I guess, and have watched the rising prices of food in our neighborhood grocery stores. It seems almost fortuitous that we decided to stop spending money for two weeks. We're only on Day 5, and so far it hasn't been too hard. Though we live in a small house, with a small kitchen, we still manage to have a stash of food throughout the house. I'm realizing now we were better prepared for a hurricane, major snowstorm or terrorist attack than I had previously imagined. And today, we plan to have friends over for lunch and for dinner, using what we had on hand. No special purchases for guests!

Ok, so this is not impossible, eating our way through the food we have on hand. But in a sense our "experiment" is made much easier by all the automated costs we already have in place. Beyond utilities and our mortgage, we have automated payments for all kinds of discretionary expenses. Our gym membership at the YMCA is charged automatically each month. We pay for the Washington Post two months at a time. Most of our magazine subscriptions were earned through frequent flier miles about to expire on an airline we never use any more. There are a few other subscriptions we pay for, but once you pay for the year, it's easily forgotten. What about the other miscellaneous monthly or even the more hidden yearly expenses that we should examine? I guess this will be our next big project in the weeks to come.

Must Admit: I spent about $26 today on 90 days worth of a necessary prescription.

Savings Surprise: The routine physical exams with our internist doctor were free for my husband and me: no co-pay! I also got a free flu shot at the office. Despite getting a prescription filled, the generic for 3 months was $26, vs $60 or $90 for the brand. The parking garage at the doctor's was free.

Note: This was the morning of Day 5, Friday November 7. The afternoon and evening created some challenges which I'll write about for my next post…

1 comment:

Candi said...

An idea on how you could have not spent that $26. When you transfer a new prescription to a pharmacy, you can often get a discount, or gift card. Sometimes you have to look in flyers or online. I just moved one to CVS and got a $25 gift card, which I will use to save on future refills.