Saturday, September 02, 2006

Negative Balance

The savings rate in this country has been negative for over a year now. This is one of the many things that will lead to the economic ruin of our country. The savings rate in China and Japan is over 40%! That's my goal and I don't think I'm even close to that yet.

It's not really hard to save, you don't have to be a severe cheap-ass like me. Just cut out some of the extra crap in your life. The following are some tips that don't even require you to change your lifestyle one bit:

1. Call your internet provider and tell them that you are going to switch (from dsl to cable or cable to dsl, whichever may apply. You will be transferred to their customer retention department who will ususally give you a low introductory teaser rate for the next three months. I go through this procedure every couple of months with Comcast now and it saves me about a hundred bucks per phone call.

2. Call your trash service provider and do the same thing. My trash bill is $43 every two months. If I call they'll drop it to an introductory rate of $25 for about four months. Then I repeat the process every four months just like with the Comcast.

3. Call your insurance company and raise the deductables on your car, renter, homeowner's and/or motorcycle insurance. This will save you some big bucks. Besides, when was the last time you made a claim? It's probably been a while. If an increase in your auto deductable of $500 decreases your annual premium by a $200 bucks, it'll save you money as long as you don't make a claim more than every 2.5 years. (I double checked my math this time Liz) By the way, the deductable on my B2300 is $2,500 and I only have liability coverage on my Jeep and Honda Shadow.

Most Americans have way too much insurance because they're broke and don't think they can risk having a lower premium. If something happens I'm sure you'll be able to find the extra $500 anyway.

Those are some tips to save some bucks. You could save a few hundred extra dollars per year if you put these into action. If you spend the money you save on more stupid crap you'll be no further ahead. In some future posts I'll cover some of the interesting income tax dodges I've learned over the past year.

Here is some fun anecdotal evidence of the current state of affairs. I had a good laugh reading this thread of discussion. The following thread began on by a user named SelfAggrandizedTrader, several responses from other users follow:


"Twice, recently, the person in line in front of me at the drive-through ATM has accidentally left his receipt hanging out of the, "money-machine." Both of them were driving large SUV's: one an Escalade, the other an Explorer. The guy in the Escalade had a total of $12 left in his bank account, the guy in the Explorer, $19."

AlphaMaleProphetOfDoom: (this is Matt Savinar who runs

"oh god I wish you could have photographed the guy getting into his escalade with your camera phone and then I would have scanned the photo and his receipt on to the net! Absolute hilarity!"


"For an autocentric perspective:
Escalade 13 / 17: @$3/gal, $12 in bank account...roughly 52 miles city and 68 miles highway left in bank account
Explorer 16 / 21: @$3/gal, $19 in bank account...roughly 101 miles city and 133 miles highway left in bank account."


"But how many miles left on the credit card is the real question. The good news is that I believe that many Americans may dump there McMansions and downsize into a new line of ultra tiny homes. Escalades and Explorers may just become the new american McMansions."


Blogger Insurgent said...

The content of your post angers me!

"Sit down, sit down, sit down you're rocking the boat."

7:41 AM  
Blogger Insurgent said...

Ron refuses to login to Blogger, so he told me to make this comment:

"Tell Rex that another way to save money is to move to New Hampshire, so that you don't have to pay state income or sales taxes."

5:56 PM  
Blogger Rex said...

Tell Ron that I don't pay taxes anymore. I've learned the tax game and use every legal advantage I have. I've turned my whole life into a tax deduction! Moving to New Hampshire will cause me to pay MORE taxes, not less!

1:41 AM  
Blogger J_x_2 said...

I've got to talk to my tax guy this week. The wife and I signed the State paperwork when we got now I need to figure out what that means for our taxes.

Actually, there is a pretty decent back story to getting my State license to marry...I'll share that another day.

Gots to run,


5:13 AM  
Blogger Luke said...

Remember Rex, New Hampshire will solve any problem.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Insurgent said...

New Hampshire is the latest WD-40

6:24 PM  
Blogger adam smith said...

Be business/tax savvy and letting the companies fight for your money and time - key to getting ahead and at some point surviving.

Being a cheap-ass helps too (NH a very close 2nd though) ;)


10:25 AM  
Blogger J_x_2 said...

I question if calling your current provider and saying you're going to switch simply to get a deal is ethical. When you signed on to the service you agreed to a monthly price...if you are not willing to live-up to your end of the obligation, then maybe you really should leave that provider.

However, if there truly is a competitive offer on the table, then it is in the best interest of your current provider to make a retention offer.

I'm cheap by nature...but when I sign a contract, I intend to keep my end of the deal.


4:09 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Yea...what a bunch of stingy anals. There is nothin' I love more than paying my cable bill!

10:07 PM  
Blogger Insurgent said...

I wish that we didn't have cable; we gotta to have the internets, though. Cable is an excuse to never leave the couch.

3:57 AM  
Blogger J_x_2 said...

It's not luv for my cable's doing what I say I will do.


4:21 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

What you say you'll do for major media conglomerates Comcast or AOL Time Warner?

4:37 PM  
Blogger Rex said...

When I first signed up for cable tv, internet and digital phone they said it would be $99 per month for all three. Actually they put the phone on a seperate bill and it's $125 per month. So screw Komkast! My trash service was also cheaper when I first set that up. They said it was their normal rate, not a special, then one day six months later it went WAY up. Screw BFI too! They are allowed to say no to my rate cuts as well. Until they say no I will contiune on my path.

1:25 AM  
Blogger Rex said...

Besides, the whole world is made up of slick people who's greatest skill is getting you to willingly hand over your money. The insurance companies and banks are the best at this but the telecommunications and trash industries are pretty good too.

1:27 AM  
Blogger J_x_2 said...

I get it...I like to have a few extra bucks / oz in my pocket. Speaking of oz...hit the skids today. There may be pretty good buying soon.


7:06 PM  
Blogger Rex said...

Jx2: Good buying soon? Hell, I bought an ounce of the good stuff today!

7:20 PM  
Blogger Insurgent said...

Are you guys buying weed?

9:22 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Weed? You damn country-folk.

9:48 PM  

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