Sometimes it is a little too easy to sign on to a financial commitment. Whether it be a phone contract, pay TV contract or a home phone and internet deal. I personally find myself saying yes to a number of items that I believe I need which have a long-term impact over the year to my overall finances.
This means that each fortnight/month I have an array of debits from my account that seem small in isolation, though when added all together has a big effect on my overall cash flow and budget.
This article will show you the regular expenses I incur and my plan to eliminate and reduce the majority of them. Hoping to free myself some extra money, which to me is as good as getting a pay rise. In honesty, I don’t know how I afford them, which is probably the reason I find myself occasionally turning to credit which is sinking my finances terribly.
What commitments do I currently have?
Here is a list of my current commitments/liabilities that are costing me:
- Telstra mobile plan w/handset repayment cost = $79 per month
- Fitness First membership (x2) = $60 per fortnight
- Foxtel subscription = $102 per month
- Optus home phone/internet = $99 per month
- Private health insurance = $50 per month
- Cleaner = $50 per fortnight
This means that each fortnight I am spending around $262 on my agreed upon commitments. This is a huge drain on my cash flow and in complete honesty is unsustainable.
How can I reduce these financial commitments?
I knew this contract was expensive when I signed up for it, though I was over Optus and their lack of reception. I can’t do much with this as I am on contract for 24months with little room to move. However, I have vowed to next time avoid a length contract and opt for a pay as you go or prepaid sim. I am overpaying such high rates for mobiles so until the Australian telcos learn to make better deals – I am out of the game.
Fitness First membership
Previously I have written about how to get a cheap Fitness First membership which works a treat. However, this year I am going to start walking the dogs more and opt for my own exercise instead of a gym membership I rarely use.
I am going to cancel the two gym memberships immediately.
I admit it, I got sold. I opted for the IQ2 or HD version of Foxtel so that I could record shows. This means that I am paying a premium to have convenience, which is something I rather like. Instead of cancelling Foxtel, I intend to reduce the package slightly by around $20. I don’t really need 24/7 sports channels like I thought I did.
Optus home phone & internet
At $99 a month, I basically get unlimited local phone calls and unlimited internet. This does sound appealing at first, though when I checked my usage I realised that I not only spent around $5 on calls, I used barely any downloads either. Instead, I am opting to pay $50 to lower my plan and go from $99 per month to $60 per month. It sucks that I have to pay a cancellation/lowering my plan fee but what else would you expect from a telco?
Private health insurance with NIB
I currently pay for just my own health insurance which works out to be around $50 per month. It seems like a good deal after shopping around. In fact, I took my own advice on getting cheap health insurance which helped.
Don’t judge me! We hired a once a fortnight cleaner to help keep on top of the house. Nothing overly fancy, though they come in and clean the bathrooms and do a big vacuum and mop of our floorboards. It all started because of our two dogs which shed an unbelievable amount of her. Combine that with a few back problems and we decided to try a cleaner.
After trialling this for a few months, I have decided to cancel. I can’t afford it and it really is too lazy of me.
How much have I saved myself each fortnight?
Of my $262 of original commitments, I have managed to shave off $169 and reduce my fortnightly commitments to only $93.
This means I have $169 extra in my pocket per fortnight. I intend to put this money on my home loan while rates are low. Hoping it will allow me to build a nice little buffer in the coming year.
What are some of your frequent expenses?
Tell us a frequent expense below and how you intend on getting rid of it.