What a phone call will do!

The last two days, my lunch hours have been busy with making phone calls trying to get some information and trying to save us some money.  Ok, that’s an overstatement, my lunches really were not that busy, but I got a lot done!

Let me give you a little bit of history about our financial situation between me and my wife.  When we were married (20 years ago next month!), I took care of our finances.  Well, let me say I was in charge of our finances and I did a TERRIBLE job.  Think about the worst case scenario, and I was about 2 months away from that.  At that point, in comes my savior, my wife!  She took over the finances at that point (just over 15 years ago) and we have been good ever since.  Now if you ask my wife if we’ve been good ever since she will say “NO!”.  I just say we were good because I stopped worrying about money and let my wife take over everything.  She would talk about money and I would hear the words, but really didn’t understand.  It was causing her stress and I could see that but she was doing better than I ever did, so no need to worry.

Now, over the last 15 years, we’ve purchased three different homes (because of moves), we have a rental, we run a small farm, our bills are paid, and she has done an amazing job with keeping us going every month.  Yes, we have debt, but we thought that is what we were suppose to have.  Take out the mortgages, our debt is big but it isn’t HUGE (but BIG).  Last year my wife asked me to take over the finances again and I said sure, then ignored it.  Well, she helped me to not ignore it in June.  She told me that in July, I was taking over with her helping me and we’d do it together (which I should have been doing for the last 15 years).  We’ve decided to fight this debt together, we’ve both read Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” and we agree with most of what he states and are on a path to getting there.

So, with our new found drive, I’ve been making some phone calls  to see how I can save us some money each month.  Here’s a list of some of the ways we are going to save with about 30 minutes worth of phone calls over the last two lunches.

  1. a 5 min phone call that lowered our CenturyLink bill from over $100/month to $65/month and we are getting better internet with it and have more phone features than we did before.
  2. a 3 min phone call to one of our credit cards to have our interest rate lowered 2% points.
  3. a 3 min phone call to the hospital (where I had surgery this summer) to get bill and found out our bill is around $150 instead of the $29,000!  (thanks insurance!)
  4. 5 min call and 2 min online form to have extra money stopped from being taken out of my check for retirement (still have employer money going in each month) to put towards our debt snowball and then once that is paid off it will go back to our retirement monthly.
  5. Two 5 min calls (had to find info and call back) to credit union and we have a 3.99% interest rate on a new card for transfers.  Will be paying off 18.99% Discover card and have it in a $3.99% rate with a CU we trust.
  6. 5 min call to MetLife to close out an old account that we are not using (and haven’t done anything with in 9 years) so we can control it better where we want it.

So, six (ok, 7 since I didn’t have all the info needed when I call the CU) phone calls and I’ve save us well over $500/month on payments or lowering our debt.  I think it’s been a pretty productive two days of lunches.

How have you saved money with a phone call?

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