We do use CFL lightbulbs. They are great.
I have turned the air down- it is at 74, but if i set it higher my little ones get sweaty and cranky- all 4 of them! they are 1, 3, 4, 6- my oldest is almost 13. And we keep the fans on all the time too. The humidity if FL is bad esp this time of year. The a/c is new- we had to replace the whole sys last year, so it is a 13 seer, etc. Not sure what else to do there.
The kids bathe everyday, but not in much water and the little ones all share a bath. or if they take turns in and out, then they use the same water. Our water bill is actually mostly sewer – only about 25-30$$ is water. They raised the sewer rates as the hurricanes of 04 flooded the sewer plant and they have to move it now. That is an expensive venture so the tax payers and customers have to pay some of the cost.
Car ins- we have 3 vehicles- one we have been trying to sell for ages. we thought we had is sold, so we bought the scooter for 700. It has liability only, but as the other 2 are financed, they have to carry full coverage. Our rates just went down – they dropped rates across the board, and when the suv sells, it will save us a bunch too. Our state does have mandatory ins requirements. We carry the least we can by law.
I have worked with our bank and deffered the two car payments once already – a bit before christmas last year. I have to wait 2 yrs to do it again. That bank is the only one that seems to give a rats behind. But, USAA is a great bank!
i have called the other creditors and talked over and over and explained that my hours got cut and that we have always had a good history, no late payments, etc, but now we are short. I have job apps out and am trying to make it up, but…. I have to say that citibank, which owns our home depot cards, has dropped late fees for me more than once. But, the payments were only a week late- never more than 30 days. Maybe they were nice since we work for Home Depot, they are home depot cards, and it is that co that cut my hours…lol.
Anyway, we took the consolidation loan – payed off teh credit cards- all but one anyway, which we will take a few thousand off of. We are paying a huge chunk off of the SUV so that we can drop the price and sell it. I know we will take a huge hit, but I have to get out of it. Selling that and being able to drop the insurance on it will save us the amount of the payment on the consolidation loan. Plus now the credit cards are gone. They are cut up- but not cancelled as we were advised to leave them open as it shows a long credit history even if you never use them. All in all, it has saved us about 215 a month.
But at the rate I am going now, I still don’t think we can make all the bills. I am trying to change our cell phone plans to drop that some, but our plans are pretty cheap, so I am not sure we can do much better. We don’t have a land line, cable, etc at home. The computer is really the only other thing we can cut. I can’t do that since I do all the finances this way and more importantly than that, half of DHs family is overseas. This is how we talk- skype- to New Zealand, Australia, UK, Germany, Bulgaria, Afghanistan, Iraq….
So, hubby is prob going to Iraq or Afghanistan to work for a year or two. It is sad – this time apart in a war zone is why we got out of the military. but, i don’t see another way. I could file ch 7. But it would be so easy to be back in the same spot and only puts you even again, not ahead. Iraq would put us ahead at over 100K a year, most o which is tax free. BUt the possible price is high- we have 5 kids to think about to. I battle with what do I tell them if daddy gets killed over there…. ‘we did it to save our credit?” But, then everyone has to work, and at the end of the day is is not just our credit score. We have 5 kids to feed and care for. I want to be home with them again. I want to have a sound financial future not just for us but for them. That is more than a credit score. Sigh…..