Building An Earthship In Darfield, B.C.

We are a family of five living in Darfield, BC.
Our house is six hundred square feet in total and we are feeling cramped.

We have decided to build an earthship!

So starts the adventure ...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

More paring...

Every fall (and some points in between) Chris and I sit down and examine our monthly expenses and try to figure out where we can conserve our cash. As Chris says, "the low hanging fruit is almost all picked"!

Last year we decided that it was somewhat wasteful to have four phone lines. When my cell phone contract expired we cancelled the service and moved my number to Chris' cell phone account. The last few days will see us at the end of that contract and we have decided to cancel the Telus account ($33) per month and move to a Koodoo account ($15 per month).

Last year we cancelled our home phone number and have been using the business line. Chris wanted to kill the business line last year but I was still concerned about continuity for the business, despite the fact that we have far fewer calls on it.

The business line costs us $100.71 per month and a personal lines cost about $40. We sat down last week and examined our list of customers (former, current) and our vendors and decided that giving up the business line was probably a good idea.

We originally thought that we might change the business line to a cell phone (Koodoo) and save money there (we were told we could transfer the business line to a cell phone account). However, I happened to try to make a call on our existing cell phone a few weeks ago and it was long distance to Kamloops! Last time we needed to call Kamloops from this location on the cell phone it was NOT long distance. So this changed things, since the bulk of our calls are to Barriere and Kamloops.

After going in circles (including a full stop by me on Chris' idea to have just a residential line and NO cell phone) I decided to do a bit of a cost comparison. Here it is:

Business 100.71
Talk & Save (long distance plan) 15
Current Cell 33
Total 148.71

No Business line
New Cell (750 min/long distance pack) 77
Long distance (estimate) 20
Total 97

Cost savings over now: 51.71

No business line
New cell 77
Long distance estimated 20
Old cell 15
Total 112

Cost savings over now: 36.71

No bus 0
Old cell 15
Home phone 40
Long distance 15
Total 70

Cost savings over now 78.71

It was pretty difficult to argue with the numbers: With a monthly savings of about $80, we would save $960 per year.

My next area of scrutiny is to get the Royal Bank to stop charging us $15 per month for having a (hefty) business line of credit, which we have not accessed in two years. We are loathe to give up access to it because it took us seven years to acquire and we may need to use it again in the future when we may expand the business once more. We also don't think we should pay for it even though it isn't being used. I see it as having to pay a fee for a pre-approved mortgage, even though it might not be used. We are prepared to move the business accounts to another bank, if necessary!

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