For the most part, I feel as though I have already started cleaning up my expenses. My reorganizing and economizing I have been able to squeeze a few things out of our monthly income that were previously coming out of our savings account.
One of the quick suggestions made on The Simple Dollar is to save on your energy bills by installing CFLs. I have heard this suggestion many times before. I really can’t stand CFLs. We have bought them in the past, and even tried newer “natural light” versions, but I find that they don’t produce enough light for tasks and have a harsh quality that makes my skin crawl. We actually have CFLs sitting unused in our closet. Feeling comfortable in my own home is something I take seriously. I adjust my thermostat to slightly warmer in the summer and colder in the winter than I would typically be comfortable with, but I can’t stand not being able to see properly. The ensuing headaches just aren’t worth it. I have used CFLs in places where they bother me less, such has our porch light and hallway lights, though the long delay between flipping the switch and the actual lighting of the bulb is tiresome. As a compromise, I try to use daylight as much as possible to even avoid needing to turn on my indoor house lights during the daytime and early evening. Maybe eventually CFLs will improve, but for now they have mostly been a waste of our money
As for the other suggestions made for Day 9, we virtually never buy books or music anymore, unless someone gives us money or gift cards as a present; we also rarely buy clothes except for our daughter who is growing constantly and I try to buy good quality clothes on consignment or get hand-me-downs when I can; we eat out maybe 4 or 5 times a year; and we have no bank fees, credit card debt, cable service or car payments. The only possible savings I can see is looking to raise the deductible on our insurance.