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100 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year – Part 2


As we talked about in Part 1 of this series, not all of these different ideas of ways to save $100 per year will work for everyone in every situation. I just share these as things which have worked for our family and allowed us to live through some very lean years without going into debt.

My hope in sharing these is not to make you feel you must also follow in our footsteps or adopt all of these practices, but I hope to inspire you to consider ways you might also cut expenses in order to stretch your hard-earned dollars further so you can pay off debt, live within your means, save money, and most importantly, give to others.

For us, that is our ultimate reason for saving money–so we can have more to share with others. We see money as something God has entrusted to us and we want to be wise stewards of what He has given us so we can not only take care of the needs of our own family, but so we can also effectively help and reach out to those in need.

And it's been so exciting for us to see our hard work and frugality pay off in the last few years as we've not only been able to have more wiggle room in our budget and the ability to save more for our future, but we're also able to share much more with others. Truly, "it is more blessed to give than to receive."

If you've been feeling like there's no way you are able to give and bless others in need in your current financial situation, perhaps some of these 100 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year will inspire you to creatively cut your living expenses so you can share with others as well!

With that said, here are some more things we did during our law school years which saved us at least $100 or more per year:

11) Cut out cell phones or ditch your land lines. For many people, a cell phone is considered a "necessity". I was there, too. I'd had a cell phone ever since I was 15 and had become accustomed to the convenience and sort of security it was. But when my husband and I sat down and mapped out our budget before we got married, I realized that cutting out my cell phone plan would save us a nice chunk of change each month.

And so we dropped it and I survived just fine. In fact, even in an unfamiliar town with unreliable vehicles for those first few years of our marriage, I never found myself stranded on the side of the road. Believe it or not, I only remember one time I ended up having to use a pay phone!

Now, for your situation, having a cell phone might truly be a necessity due to your job or other circumstances, however, I'd encourage you to consider how much of a necessity it is and whether you might be able to live without it or at least go with a pay-per-use plan instead of a monthly contract.

If you can't ditch the cell phone, consider ditching the land line, if you haven't already. Either way, it's almost assuredly gong to save you at least $100 per year.

12) Only have one vehicle. Once again, like cell phones, two (or more) vehicles is very much considered a "necessity" these days. However, I think it's all about perspective: if down-sizing to one vehicle meant you were able to save more money, stay out of debt, live on one income, etc. would you be willing to do it?

Early on in our marriage, our second vehicle died permanently and we couldn't afford to replace it, so we just made do with one vehicle for the next three years.

Honestly, we didn't really miss having two vehicles. I learned to love staying home and making my home a haven for my family. I learned to be creative and make the most of what we did have. Since we didn't have transportation during the day while Jesse was at work, I often hosted play dates or get-togethers at our house or we'd take long walks around our neighborhood, to the park, or to the library.

By only having one vehicle, we saved quite a bit of money–not only on gas, upkeep of a vehicle, and insurance costs, but we also saved money because we did a lot less running around. And, let me tell you, staying home most of the time is one very easy way to spend less money!

Have you ditched your cell phone(s) or landlines or cut back to only having one vehicle? If so, I'd love to hear about your experiences in this regard and how it has worked for your family.

photo by Refracted Moments

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  • Priscilla says:

    We need to have 2 vehicles as my husband’s job varies so much…he is a flight attendant. He comes home & goes to work at various times of the day or night & days of the week. The airport he flies out of is more than hour from our home…so, it isn’t practical for us to cut back to 1. If he ever does retire, I hope we could then cut back to 1.

    Once our 2 yr contract was up, we did not renew our cell phone contract. We went with a prepaid phone $20 every 3 months instead of $50 every month. We use a cell very little…the main reason to have it is (work related) for the times my husband is ‘on-call’ or we go out on a date/nice to know we can be reached in an emergency. I just can’t do away with the land-line yet…we have DSL & I can’t see leaving the computer turned on at all times for the other cheaper phone options to work.

  • Trixie says:


    I’ve always had a land-line for dsl access for our online businesses, but have never had a cell phone until 2 weeks ago. Getting a cell phone was something I had put off for years because I didn’t want to spend the money or deal with the hassle of researching the best plan.

    A couple of weeks ago I finally gave in and bought a prepaid cell phone. The one I got turned out to be much cheaper than I expected to pay. In case anybody is doing research on cell phones, you can take a peek at mine here:

    Take Care,


  • Ruthanne says:

    We are cell-phone only people – we got rid of the land-line about five years ago and have never missed it! That has saved us atleast $75 a month!

    We also just lowered our minutes on our cell phone plan because we had a huge pile of roll-over minutes that were never being used. When we use up those roll-over minutes, we plan to switch back for one month, acquire some more roll-over minutes and then down-grade again until those roll-over minutes are used up. The surprising thing is we’ve actually come under our current minute limit for the past two months, so we are adding more roll-over minutes with our lower plan!

    Making that little change is saving us $20 a month!

  • Megan says:

    My husband has to have a cell phone for work. So I have one on his plan. About 5 months ago, we ditched our land line and have NOT missed it one bit! We don’t talk on the phone a ton so we don’t go over on cell minutes.

    It has worked really well so far and I doubt we will add the land line back in!

  • Candace says:

    A few years ago, we switched from regular cellular service to prepaid with T-mobile to Go. We were paying around $60-70 a month for 2 cell phones – around $700+ a year.

    After switching we were only paying less than $200 a year (.10 cents a minute) for cellular service. It took awhile to learn to only use them for quick calls to keep the minutes down. We viewed them as emergency phones only.

    We just added 2 lines to my parents cell phone service and dropped the prepaid. It will cost us about $350 for the year for the 2 phones. This is a bit more than the prepaid, but we can now call each other and our family as much as we want on the cell phones.

    Also, our old and I mean OLD phones had to be replaced so this was also a low cost way to do that.

    We have a land line and only pay $20 for unlimited long distance. SInce we live 10 hours from our families, this is a good deal!


  • Jolanthe says:

    We ditched out landline recently, but took the number with us and transferred it to our cellphone. My biggest fear was losing just one little phone. We found a great gadget called the XLink that makes your cell phone a ‘landline’ of sorts.

    I just posted about it last week on one of my blogs:

    We are loving it and it is saving us money since we have unlimited long distance on our plan and unlimited call time (we use a more local cell phone carrier and the prices are cheaper than some of the nationwide carriers, plus we have local service).

  • Kacie says:

    We’re a one-car family now, and it’s working well. We had two, but in Feb 08, the second car got in a small wreck and it just wasn’t worth repairing.

    My husband takes a bus to work anyway (he’d have to pay $15/day for parking otherwise!!) and the bus stop is less than a half of a mile from our apartment. He actually likes walking to the stop — free exercise! On really cold or rainy days, I drop him off at the bus park n’ ride or he drives to the park n’ ride lot.

    During the weekends, we’re together and we don’t typically have separate plans that would necessitate having two vehicles.

    Though I think we could afford a second car if we really wanted it, it’s nice not to have that expense. We’re avoiding paying for the car, insurance, registration fees, state emissions inspections, gas, oil and other maintenance, a second car seat … the list just goes on and on!

    We might see the need for a second car on down the road, but not today!

  • Elizabeth says:

    We switched to a prepaid cell phone service. We each buy 100 minutes a year and it is just 10 cents a minute. It works for us and I do use it when I need it. Or even if I just want to. We went from between $80-90 a month to about two hundred a year. So we went from a round 960 a year to 200. We happy with that.

  • jillbert says:

    I cancelled my cell phone a few months ago. I am fine without it even with a busy life and three kids at school and different activities. The few times I’ve needed to reach someone RIGHT NOW (like when basketball practice was cancelled and needed to revise car pool plans), someone else around me always had one to use. The school has been able to reach me when necessary (I stay home mostly so I’m easy to reach and if I’m not here my DH is since he works from home). My reasons for canceling it were not financial but more lifestyle related. The extra money is a bonus. 🙂

    We’ve also been a one-car family in the past. Buying a second car was a luxury purchase but due to our frugal ways (and going without 2 working cars for years) we were able to pay cash for it. Now that second car allows us to drive our aging mini-van less (8 yrs old) so we can save it for the big trips. For errands and local driving we use the smaller hybrid car.

  • Amy Peca says:

    We ditched our house phone. When Tmobile came out with their Hot spot at Home – now called Talk Forever, we upgraded our phones and now talk for “free” using our wireless connection. We do also pay for the 5 faves (talk to those 5 people for free) We were able to lower our monthly minutes, b/c we had these other ways to talk for free. I can talk for “free” when I am out on the town too. Just by picking up other free wifi (McD’s, Starbucks. Sonic, etc) I am able to talk without using minutes. This is helpful if one person in the household travels and is in hotels frequently–just be sure to check into one that offers free wifi – who doesn’t these days. Having this option does require a special phone but we hadn’t upgraded in @ 4 years so we were due for new phones anyways…One last thing – we do have a 17 yo family member living with us,,,so we do pay for unlimited texting …this is great for me since I can text someone to ask a simple question–and not be on the phone for a long conversation (like when I am out shopping and I’d otherwise be burning minutes) –Hope this helps!! amy

  • Tricia says:

    We only use cell phones in our home. My husband is self employed so he really needs a cell phone when he is out and about to respond to customers. I am on his plan and it works just fine. We do not miss the land line at all. I like keeping things simple and it helps that there is only one number where people can reach me.

  • Crista Quinn says:

    We switched our cell phones to pay as you go phones, because we really only use them for emergencies. That has saved so much money. As for the 2nd car….sigh… you are so right. We went for the first 15 years of our marriage on only one car, and I loved that; loved telling people we only had one car; kind of like a status symbol of how frugal we could be. haha Alas, my husband’s company was bought by a company about an hour from here, and so, instead of walking (literally) across the street to work, he now drives an hour to and from work each day. We knew that driving our minivan all that way each day wouldnt’ get good mileage, and I’d never have a car. So, we took cash and bought a much smaller, reliable car that would get him back and forth to work each day. Two years later, it still seems strange to look out and see two vehicles!! I miss how we only had one for so long. Also, I feel like having only one car forces you more to do things together. I see so many families splitting up to drive to church, run different errands, etc… Only having one car forced us into habits of doing all those things together for 15 years, and we still do that today. Just my opinion. Thanks for your great blog!

  • Renee says:

    We’ve been cell-phone only for our entire marriage, and it’s worked very well. I think there’s only been a couple of times where it would have been nice to have a regular phone at home, and that certainly isn’t enough for us to want the regular monthly phone bill that would go along with it! I know it’s saved us a ton of money over the years.

    As we prepare for our first baby’s arrival, the need for two cars will disappear (I’ll be staying home with him). It would have been incredibly difficult to share just one car previously with our work schedules and locations. I don’t see us getting rid of either of our paid-for vehicles, even though it would save on insurance/registration fees. We’d have to cut a lot of other things out of the budget first and still need to cut more before my husband would want to go to one car.

    I think there were some issues when he was growing up with his family only having one and there being lots of difficulties with it. For whatever reason, having the two vehicles is a *really* big deal to him, so unless our situation changed so we needed to make some deeper & more painful cuts (to him), we’ll stay a two-car family.

    If we lived in a location that had workable public transportation he’d probably feel much differently, and we’d most likely discuss going down to one. Although having two does make it much simpler when we have to get work done on one of the vehicles so I especially appreciate it then.

    I think it’ll help that I’m very much a homebody, so I still don’t see that I’ll be doing a lot of running around during the day anyway, even though I could.

  • Paula says:

    We just got rid of our land line this month. Our bill was $42.88 a month so we will have a yearly savings of $538.56. WOW, now that I’ve actually sat down and figured it out, that is a lot. So far, the cell phone has been working out just fine.

  • Roxanne says:

    Good tips. 🙂

    If you ask my husband, however, having 2 vehicles is a must. Whenever one of our cars is in the shop, he makes me drop him off at work & pick him up. He feels it’s very unsafe for his wife and two babies to be home alone without a car.

    As it turns out, the one and only time in life one of our children had an accident that required emergency care – we were home carless. So hubby was proven right.

    I guess if you can rely on one of your neighbors to always be home and willing to drive you somewhere in the case of an emergency you can manage on one car.

  • laura says:

    We have not had a land line for 4-5 years now. We do however have cell phones, me, my husband, 2 kids and my dad are all on the same account. My dad just pays us his part every month and it’s cheaper on us all. We divide the base rate by 5, plus his 9.99 monthly fee and it’s a huge savings for him not paying the base rate of 79.95 each month he pays 1/5 that amount. I’m not sure how many people can be on one account but this is a great way to save money.

  • Stephanie S. says:

    Speaking of ways to save money, I just put up a post on my blog about shopping at local bread outlets. Thought it might be something you and your readers would be interested in! Thanks so much for all your great information–your blog is my favorite!

  • jessica says:

    We had only 1 vehicle for the first 6 years of marriage. Then, that car (10 years old and paid off) began running poorly, no a/c, and with all of our family a 300+ mile trip away, we decided to buy a second, used car and paid cash for it. We still have the old car since it is paid off and usually runs okay.

    This works for us for now. We know we could donate or trade the older car if need be. But we did need that newer car in order to have a safe means of travel, especially with a little one you cannot not have a/c!

  • Renee says:

    We got rid of our landline about three years ago and haven’t missed it. For our cell phone plan, we go together with my parents and sister and split the cost of a plan five ways. Our portion is $35 a month. We don’t any extras on our plan (like texting). It has worked out great and saves us a nice chunk of change.

  • When we moved into our current home about 18 months ago, we decided to try going without our telephone landline and just use our cell phones. It has worked well for us. Even with family out of state, we have put their phone numbers into our “circle” and still talk with them as much as we want. We have not gone over our monthly minutes and, by not paying the bill for a landline, have easily saved more than $100 a year.

  • Tammy L says:

    Yep! 🙂

    1 vehicle and no cell phones (just the most basic land line for ~$23/mo.; used a phone card for long distance)… it’s just part of living within our means. 🙂

    Although, I feel kinda guilty saying that since I’m writing a cookware review right now! We did splurge on nice cookware last year… 😛 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    We haven’t ditched one vehicle, but we have one that is a 1993 Mercury Topaz. It was my grandfather’s. When he died, no one wanted the car. We took it as our second car, and it only has 50,000 miles on it! I drive 90 miles round trip for work 3 days a week, so we’re putting the miles on this car. It gets 30 miles per gallon, so we’re saving money on gas and insurance (because it’s old) and don’t have a car payment! We’re actually saving for a second car but loving the savings we get with this one in the meantime!

  • KC in KS says:

    We’ve been living without a landline phone for three years now. At first, I was concerned about “official” forms and such that would insist we need to provide a “real” phone number, but haven’t run into one yet. In fact, more and more clerk-types are commenting “we see a lot of that these days.”

    DH nearly signed us up for a landline one day when he couldn’t reach me during the day – I’m home with three small kids. I eventually convinced him that it doesn’t matter what KIND of phone we have, if I’ve got a kid in the bath/on the changing table/cuddled up for a story, I’m NOT going to answer the phone!

  • Courtney says:

    We only had one car for the first 8 years of our marriage, and both of us were working outside of the home. We worked out our schedules so that we could carpool together every day. The great thing was that it really helped our communication. I came to treasure our time together in the car, talking about our days and everything else going on in life. I was sad to finally have to get another car when we moved. I would love to go back to being a one-car family someday soon!

  • Donna says:

    We have not ditched our phones all together, but we have downgraded. We went to vongage (parents are a long distance this makes those the same as local)
    As for cell phones we did renew our old contract. I simply have a Go phone. We bought a $100 phone card—that is good for 1 year. At the end of the year if I have not used all my minutes, I can buy another $100 card and my minutes will roll over. Three months into the year and I have only spent $16.00–so I think $100.00 will be dooable for the year! That is a huge savings. considering our cell phone contract was $80.00 a month for 2 phones.. or $960 a year to just $200 a year. That is a savings of $760.

    We feel we need a land line because of our children..I want them to be able to call 911 without hunting for a cell phone. If I had no children..I would ditch the land lines 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    We got rid of my cell phone last year. I was trying to cut our monthly expenses. So I invested $50 in a trac phone with minutes and have been using that every since. It saved me way more than $100 in the past year. I don’t use it much, but I have it for emergencies. The best of both worlds I guess.

  • Darla says:

    My husband and I have been married 11 years and have only ever had 1 car. Has it always been easy, NO but God always managed to work out our jobs so that we were working close to each other (even after living in 3 states). I think 2 cars is a luxury that unfortunately most people have deemed a necessity.

  • Emily says:


    We ditched the land line – but I think I would prefer keeping the land line and ditching the cell phone if it wasn’t for all of the telemarketers (even though we are on the no call list!)

    You have been a great inspiration to us – we have decided to pay off our mortgage in the next 10 years. It will take us awhile because we live in the Boston area so our mortgage alone is twice the cost of an average house in your area (YIKES!). We think that it’s definitely worth it though in the long run.

  • Amanda says:

    When I was pregnant, my husband and I thought I was going to have to go back to work after our daughter was born to be able to make it. After she arrived I just couldn’t bear the thought of going back so we made drastic cut backs. One of which included going to one car. I thought this was going to be a VERY hard thing but it actually was a lot easier than expected. We’ve been without a car now for 15 months and going strong! 🙂 We somehow work everything out and it does save a TREMENDOUS amount of money – cost of car, insurance, gas, maintenance expenses, etc. My husband just got a new job and we have talked about the fact that we could fit a second probably in to our budget if we really wanted but it’s worked so well that we’d rather just stay with 1 car for now and put that money towards other good uses.

  • Suzanne says:

    About 2 years ago my office required us to change to a treo phone which could be a pager and cell phone. They pay for the service and I use that as my only cell phone. I have phone service bundled with my cable and like to have a home phone number to give so that I don’t get solicitations on my cell.

  • Sara says:

    Hi! Yes. We’ve ditched our landline and we are a 1 car family. Most of the time it’s fine to be a 1 car family. Sometimes it is very inconvenient, but not often enough to pay for a car payment. Thanks!

  • Jessica says:

    We’ve taken steps in this direction. Instead of both driving to work everyday, we carpool in one car. We’ve ditched the landline for cellphones on a family plan that share minutes. I’ve held out from getting a newer smartphone with an info plan till I have the money to pay in cash.

  • Erika says:

    I agree with the previous poster–and I’m keeping my landline.

    911 calls can be directly, immediately linked to your home address in the event of an emergency. (From what I understand this is not the case with cellphones; it takes longer to pinpoint location.)

    I’m home alone all day in a rural area with 2 small children and the peace of mind of having a landline is worth the cost to me.

  • I don’t have a land line for talking – I have DSL for my internet access. You can use Skype to make your calls for free! I have been using it for a while and love it.

    I think my cell phone is a necessity – with 4 children it makes me nervous to leave the house and not have it. They can reach me or txt. me at all times and that is extremely important to me.

    Thanks for the great article!


  • Michele says:

    Don’t forget, if you get rid of your cell phone service, you can still use your old cell phone to call 911 (as long as you keep the battery charged).

  • Sarah says:

    We had a cell phone and a land line. My husband wanted to get rid of the cell but I begged to keep it! I have 4 kids and one is a baby. We have an older truck and an older truck, I didn’t want to get stuck somewhere with 4 kids. I live in the middle of nowhere, and getting stuck in a snow bank with them in the middle of nowhere was NOT an option for me. So we gave up our land line, and changed our cell # to our former landline #. It was actually cheaper to do that! We also have 2 vehicle (a van & a truck). Both are paid off and we keep them both because we live on a minifarm and need a truck, and we need the van for the family. There was a time tho that we could live without 2 vehicles, when we didn’t live on a farm.

  • MB says:

    We switched to prepaid phones a few years ago and it saves us a ton. Also, until recently I had a really old phone and refused to buy a new one, but it finally started breaking down, so my husband found an old (but newer still) at work that they let him have and we just put the SIM card in it. Works like a charm!

    I, too, am a little too nervous about ditching the landline due to the 911 thing. Maybe one day.

    We skype for overseas calls and it saves us a ton.

    When I first moved to Australia, we didn’t have a car for 18 months, then we bought my sister-in-laws, but then still took public transport to work. We can’t do that now as we live in very UN-public transport friendly city (in the U.S.). I’m hoping that changes one day. Still, we are within walking distance to many things and walk when we can.

  • Melinda says:

    Hi. We haven’t had a landline in probably 5 years. We ditched it when I realized I had had a total of 3 calls on the landline in one month, and about 35 on my cell phone. We also invested in cable internet, so it was easy to turn off the landline.

    It’s been okay, except for recently. We’ve started leaving our oldest at home for about an hour once every other week, and I get nervous with her not having a phone to call for help if she needs it.

    We are also a one car family. Again, it is a big savings, I know. But there are times I wish we had 2 cars. It would be easier. I want to go back to school, and I don’t see doing that before we have a second vehicle. But I’ll live without in the meantime.


  • Michelle says:

    What a great post. I was a full time working RN, when God laid on my heart to leave my job and be a full time “Keeper at Home”. I have shared the challenges and trials on my blog. Here is the linkto the series:
    I am not sure how to get you to directly link. Hope they are a blessing!
    By His grace and for His glory,

  • Beth says:

    We switched to TracFone for our cell phones and DH and I can both have a phone for about $10/month. We are not phone chatters, though, we mostly use them for quick updates about who needs to be picked up where.

    We’ve been a one-car family for 15 years now. In fact we have a 19-year-old daughter, so we share one car between 3 drivers. She and her dad carpool to work on the days she works; that helps a lot.

    The secret to one-car contentment, for me, is being willing to STAY HOME a lot. 🙂 I find that my homeschool day runs much more smoothly that way. I can’t run around to CVS and get bargains, but I think the lack of car payment/inspections/tags/tax/gas makes up for that.

    About emergencies: I’ve only once had an emergency where I thought a child might need to go to the hospital. But he was exhibiting such scary symptoms that I called EMS…even if I’d had a car I would not have felt comfortable taking the time to drive him to the ER.

    Rather than true emergencies like that, we sometimes have “urgent” needs for a car…that has not come up much at all for us. But we do have family nearby who are sometimes able to help, and my DH does have the flexibility to leave work if it’s truly urgent.

    My husband and I both grew up in frugal families, in small houses, with one car per family. We are in our 40’s, so probably older than a lot of your readers. At least we’re old enough to know that people used to live like this all the time and made it work somehow.

  • We’re going on 4 years with only one vehicle. We bought another one and had it for about a year, but found we just didn’t need it and it wasn’t worth the cost! I find now that I prefer to be home during the day and I don’t feel the pressure to over schedule my kids — I can’t sign them up for classes because I can’t drive them!

    We also ditched our cell phone in October when our contract was up. We do have a Tracfone, but that costs about $7/mo. The only time I miss the cell is when we are in a large store together and get separated! 🙂 LOL

  • passion06 says:

    We have to have a home phone and a cell phone unfortunatly…. 🙁 I live in a area, that VERIZON does not pick up well?? Who would have thought, “can you hear me no, NOPE” LOL… So we have a home phone due to that glitch, and I use my home # more often then my cell… But in the same note, we have not been able to get rid of the cell phone, cause DH is afraid if I’m out and about, and he needs to get ahold of me, he wont be able, or if there is a problem, you know.
    We BOTH have cars, but they are used and fully paid for. I only fill my van up maybe 1 time a month.. If we could go down to 1 car we would but we live 45 mins from DH’s 2 jobs.. So we are 2 car must family…
    But we are frugal in ALOT of other ways..

  • Liz says:

    We could do it if absolutely necessary. I do most of my errands when DH is home anyways because it is so much easier than trying to drag the kids with me (even just 1). However, we’d need something big enough for 3 kids, 2 of which are still in safety seats and one who is almost as tall as me at age 8 (I’m 5’1″). DH also works an hour away (gas prices..OMG), and finding a comparable job here is not an option. I have had to make do without the cell phone before…I pretty much didn’t do anything or go anywhere for fear of the kids’ school needing to get ahold of me. We do have emergency contacts but no matter who we would choose, I can’t guarantee that they would be able to be reached, and that just really makes me nervous. So, could I do it? Yes, if I had to…but I am very thankful that we don’t!

  • Heather says:

    When we moved into a new rental 5 months ago we did not set up a phone. We have only our cell phones. somedays it feels a little annoying, but it’s working. Only downfall is that when we get a babysitter I request that she has to have a phone in case of emergencies, but i’m finding that most young girls have them now anyway.

    Coming up this Friday we have a buyer coming to look at my car. We are in some money trouble right now and getting rid of my car will give us money to pay off some debt. It will be a challenge, but right now my husband works nights, and sleeps in the day, so it should work out for us.

  • Tiffany says:

    We ditched the land line as soon as we got cell phones. We are on Verizon and so is the rest of our family so we talk for free that way. It also allows us to keep a low minute plan and the whole family knows if they switch to another service we won’t be calling unless it’s a weekend.

    We also went to a one car household when gas hit $4 a gallon. My husband’s car was a gas hog so we got rid of it, there have been times were it would be nice to have 2 cars but for the most part it’s fine. If I go back to work in a couple years when my son is in school it maybe time to rethink the 1 car thing unless I get a job close to home and can walk.

  • LeMira says:

    We have never had more than one vehicle (our insurance agent was surprised to hear that!), and we have a land line because it’s cheaper for us than a cell phone plan. I only recently bought a pre-paid cell phone that I renew once a year for those times when I’m out and about. I rarely use it, though, and it’s worth only renewing once a year. I’ve never had to go back to work, and my husband uses the public transportation system to get to and from work. It saves us TONS of money doing it that way.

  • Amanda Hensley says:

    Its kind of ironic for me to read this post. My husband has been saying that we need to ditch our home phone – which means no more internet at home b/c all we have is dial up. I will be able to get online at my mom’s or my husband’s work, which isn’t very far, but I have enjoyed the convenience of having it at home. It’s been really hard for me to let go, but I’m sure once I do, it won’t be as bad as I think. Thanks for the posting.

  • Mary says:

    Ahhh….what I wouldn’t give to do both of these things. But it is not possible for us in our current situation.
    DH is in the Army, leaving for Korea for a year. It is important to him that 1) with the time difference and 2) with horrible work hours, he be able to reach us at all times. So, we got a pre-paid cell phone, which does cost a bit, but not as much as a contract.

    And for the cars….now…for this next year, we’ll basically have one car sitting in our driveway not being used (it’s paid off, and I’ll take the insurance off of it), but I can’t use that car because we have 5 children (all 5 in carseats or boosters) and it’s a Honda Civic. So, we have a minivan.

    In normal life, it’s still not feasible for us to have just one car. 2 of our children have life-threatening illnesses, and one of them is a “get him to a hospital within 20 minutes” kind of thing. Combined with the fact that we live on a farm in the middle of nowhere, 20 minutes from a hospital, and 20 minutes from shopping, if DH were out with the car and Pierre got sick at home, there would be no time to call DH home and then take Pierre to the hospital. So….it’s not practical, and a decision to only have 1 car could cost our son’s life. Not something we’ll be doing.

  • Jessica says:

    I got rid of my landline years ago when living with my sister and now that I am married still don’t have one. I am glad of our decision to keep cell phones instead because it is a comfort to know that I can call someone in an emergency on the road and I can turn it off or turn off the volume if I don’t want to answer calls at home. No more loud answering machine that annouces all of your business to the entire room either. I don’t think we will ever go back to a landline unless we live somewhere that doesn’t get cell phone service.

  • Carrie says:

    We haven’t had a land line for nearly ten years now. But after I quit my job to stay at home, I cut my cell phone plan down to almost nothing.

    To supplement, I have a telephone number through I pay about $5 a month for unlimited calls in or out and it works right through my computer. It comes with voice mail, call waiting, caller id, pretty much everything.

    The quality isn’t always the best, but I mostly use it as a back-up.

  • Buffie says:

    We dropped our land line about 5 years ago and have not had any problems just using cell phones.

    We do have 2 cars because hubby and I work in completely different areas of town and 1 car is just not practical. (Public transportation around here is dangerous and not dependable). I would love to be able to go to just 1 car, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.

  • Ingrid C. says:

    We each have our own cell phone, but no land line. I actually got this idea while studying abroad in Berlin way back in 1998. Many people there didn’t have land lines.

    We sold our second car last year and have only had a few occasions where we missed it. I’m fortunate to have a train really close to home that gets me to work and back, so my husband (who is the stay-at-home dad) has it to get the kids around. With the money we saved from not having this car payment (and the insurance,etc.), we were able to pay off my student loan and now we only have our mortgage as debt. It’s a wonderful feeling.

  • Bill says:

    My wife and I canceled our home phone line with AT&T and haven’t looked back. Because of number portability, we had our original home line moved over to my cell phone. At $60.00+ per month, we’re saving $750.00 per year!

    Here are a few more things to consider to save over the course of the year.

    If you’re not using it….let it go. We are using this advice to its fullest.

    1. Things – If you aren’t using it, let it go. If you moved into a new home and you still have stuff sitting in boxes three years later….let it go. You likely don’t need it. Put it on FreeCycle or Criagslist or give it to a friend in need. Freeing up storage and removing clutter are always good steps to take. You might also find items for a garage sale or eBay. Better yet, consignment if it’s good quality clothing. We have a local consignment shop that does a 50/50 split, and 1/2 of their split goes to local church missions.

    2. Services – If you aren’t using it, let it go. My wife and I signed up for NetFlix and LOVED it. But, over two years, we went from watching every movie we missed since our kids were born to 1 a month….maybe. At $14.95 a month, that’s an expensive movie. It’s gone, and we don’t miss it.

    Trash pickup. We’re rural, so we have to pay for weekly trash pickup. But, we started recycling heavily….everything….and our trash went to one small bag per week. $25 a month is now rediculous, so we just drop it of ourselves.

    Cable – Dropped movie channels and came down to the 99 channel optoin. Don’t miss it at all. Just re-runs anyway. Saved $50 per month. (Hint…call your cable provider and ask if there are any specials running and that you’re considering dropping service because of the cost. Chances are very good that they’ll offer you a “special”, at least for a few months. The service providers are hurting and every customer counts.)

    Newspaper – We don’t read the paper at all. I listen to CNN and FoxNews (both ends of the spectrum) and read local news on Yahoo. Killed it…don’t miss it. Well, maybe some of the coupons, but most were not worth cutting. On-line services and MSM are much more valuable, and it hopefully saves some trees in the end.

    Priting on-line coupons. If you print and cut a coupon, save the sheet of paper. Turn it over and print on the back side. Set your printer to greyscale and save the color ink. That stuff is expensive…

    With only four cuts, we’re saving more than a $1000 in one year, which we are putting back for our safety net fund.

    “Comfort” Food – If you don’t need it, let it go. We’ve cut back severly on junk food and “snack” food. Bananas and grapes and apples are the preferred favorites anyway, along with carrots and ranch dressing. And, by following MoneySavingMom each day, and I do mean EVERY day, we’ve picked up some fantastic tips to save more. RiteAid is becoming a much more regular stop.

  • We are about to have only one car, my husband lost his job and had a company car, and we only have it for 2 more weeks!

    Over the last year, I have made a conscious effort to stay home at more with my children versus running errands and saying “yes” to everything. I have been much happier and spent much less money by being still and content, than constantly being on the go.

    I think it will be challenging on some days to only have one car, but it will be much easier than it would have been for me a year ago. We are blessed to have many friends and family that are eager to help us if we need it.

    Love this post!

  • Heidi @ ggip says:

    We both have cell phones on a pay as you go plan. It costs ~$10 a month for both phones. This saves us at least $50 a month and we still have the convenience of cell phones and have them for emergencies too.

    It is unrealistic for us to go to one vehicle.

  • My family took it even farther when I was growing up: we didn’t have a car, period! We walked everywhere, and in fact it wasn’t until I began living on my own that I started saving money towards a car. So, I could certainly deal with one vehicle…just having one at all is a treat, haha!

    As for cell phones: I have no real need for one, and I have to have a landline in order to call internationally. However, once I started driving, I wanted to have some sort of way to make a call in case something happened – because of where we live, there are often times where we’re driving in the middle of nowhere, and it made me nervous to picture getting stranded in the woods with a flat. So my solution? I bought a pre-paid cell phone, and it has been incredibly affordable. Initially, the requirements were that you put at least $25 worth of minutes on the phone every three months.
    After my first year, I had put $100 worth of minutes on it, and since I had spent that amount I earned “gold status”. As a gold member, I am now only required to put $25 worth of minutes on it per /year/. Since the minutes don’t expire for a year, and I only use the phone for necessary calls while traveling, I now spend only $25 annually to maintain it – I’ve had this phone since 2005, so it’s worked out really well for me personally. (My provider is T-Mobile, if anyone is interested in looking into this sort of setup for themselves.) Bonus: whenever I fill in freebie forms that require a phone number, I give them my cell, since I don’t really use it or turn it on much! 🙂

  • Kristi says:

    We are a one car family. We have been for almost 2 years now and it isn’t always fun, but for now it has to work for us. It makes the logistics interesting and sometimes we have to rely on rides from others to get kids back and forth, but it is worth it just for the savings on insurance alone. Once my husband is done with his masters degree, we’ll probably pay cash for a second car – but until then we all ride together!

  • Helen says:

    We have one vehicle and no phones that we pay for personally. My husband has a work truck, which is how we manage this one. He is able to drive it to and from work, so its really only weekends that we are sharing the truck. It is not often that we go sepeate ways on the weekend, but when there is the need we just make it work – someone compromises or we carpool. We also have our cell phones through his company (he works for a small company). He has a work phone and I have a line on the work plan also. Its pretty much for emergencies only. Free airtime starts at 7 pm, so I do the majority of my social calling in the evening and on weekends. I know we have a unique situation with his business, but it is something we never dreamed would happen. Asking never hurts and by not having a second vehichle or any phone payments, we are saving hundreds a month!

  • Rachel says:

    We have a pre-pay cell phone with a very good rate for minutes. It would not be worth it to us to have a plan because we use it only sparingly. Then we also have a Skype number. With Skype, we paid $60 for a year to have a phone number with unlimited minutes. It doesn’t have 911 service, so it couldn’t be all we have, but we save a LOT of money that way.

    We also have only one car. It’s a royal pain, but it saves us a bundle.

  • Amy says:

    We had 1 car for about 4 years. It was while my husband was in grad school and it was a great decision. It wasn’t fun being stuck at home when he had the car at school but I would take him in 1 day a week and the kids and I would go do our shopping or just out to the park.

    We’ve had 2 cars for 5 years now and I don’t think I could go back now. We have 6 kids now and my husband works 35 miles from home. It wouldn’t really be possible to just run him into work to have the car now plus with 6 kids it seems like I go out of the house almost everyday for something. Both of our vehicles are paid for though.

  • alyssa says:

    In our 3 1/2 years of marriage, we’ve always had just 1 car. It has worked well for us, as I’m a SAHM. Errands are simply done on days hubby is off, or in the evenings. It helps living in town close to everything. If we lived in the country like my parents do, I would definitely feel safer with a car, but for us it hasn’t been necessary.

    We’ve also never had a house phone-just cell phones. If you have cells, I don’t understand the need for one. My parents got rid of theirs as soon as they got cell phones. To me, one or the other is sufficient, and cells are just plain handier!

  • Thank you so much for this series of posts. I am endeavoring to save money, and I enjoy your tips. I can hardly wait for my glasses to break so I can get them from Zenni Optical! (Just kidding).

    We have two cars, though my husband drives a company vehicle home each night. When my brother, a college student, came to need a vehicle, we offered to loan him our “extra” car. He pays the insurance on it each month, and we get the satisfaction of being a blessing to him until he graduates.

    I also have a money saving tip. I go to the laundry mat because we don’t have washer/dryer in our apt. I have learned to dry all of the shirts for 5-7 minutes (one quarter) and then hang dry them. The short drying time removes most of the wrinkles, and hang drying saves me money. Now I only pay to dry our whites/socks. It may only be $5-10 a month I save, but that is $60-120 a year. Every little bit helps!

    I truly enjoy your blog. It has been a blessing to our family.

  • A.D. says:

    We were a one-car family for years and years (1979-1999). We only bought a 2nd car about 10 years ago because our one car was at death’s door. We decided to keep the old one until it totally died, which we expected to happen within a week or two. But it somehow revived, and we sold it, still running, last spring! Now it’s hard to imagine going back to one car, with four drivers at home (one kid married and gone), and three of the four at home needing to get to work/college every day.

    We were always viewed as freaks when we had just one car. Three kids and mom at home: no play dates away, no lessons or sports teams, no aimless wandering the mall. How did we ever survive? Only twice did we have urgent medical needs~stitches both times. But both times I found a church friend at home who was willing to give a ride. Asking others for help is not a bad thing!

  • Lacy says:

    We ditched our landline and got MAGIC JACK. It’s a little device that allows you to use your internet connection to make phone calls with your regular house phone. It connects your computer to your regular phone by usb port. It only costs $20 a year. That’s right, $20.00 per year. It works great when you have a high speed connection. You can also carry it with you anywhere you go and plug it into any computer and your phone will ring just like normal. Also, when you set it up the first time, you choose an area code and phone number. It is really great and saves so much money. Check it out:

    I promise I am not affiliated with them in any way. My husband is a tech geek and found it in beta testing. We think it’s great. And cheap!

  • Mary in Ohio says:

    We have cell phones (because dh need sone for work and mine is on his plan plus it gives us free long distance to call my relatives out of town since we are all on the same comapny I pay nothing for these calls!) We do have a land line because without it no internet service, we have dsl and you must have a land line with our company to have dsl and they are the only player in the area.) We checked into satellite internet but too expensive more than 6 months of land line service and dsl for 1 month of satellite internet!
    We did not replace our answering machine when it died either – everyone can just call my cell if they cannot get me at home. All I used it for was screenign call anyway!

  • Mary in Ohio says:

    We have two vehicles (my van and dh’s work truck that to be truthful no one but him can ride in he has tons of work tools, work stuff in it that there is no room!) but dh only uses his for work and the van is for use for all of us. I really go nowhere most days so I save gas that way. Dh prefers that I run errands during the day with the kids because he is so tired after work (he is a commerical roofer) that he just wants to crash and not run around everywhere (he will go but prefers that we not go or go on weekends). He absolutely hates to shop anywhere at anytime so I accomodate him by doing it during the week while he is working after we get our school work done!

  • I have basic landline, no callwaiting, no caller ID, no long distance or anything extra and it only cost us about $20 month through AT&T. I signed up online. We do have cell phones too but since I work out of town and my husband is away a lot we do find we need them. We kept the landline since we have little ones at home and they all are learning their phone number.

  • Liz says:

    My husband and I share our one cell phone. No landline.

    We were given an older car when we were married. It had 130,000 miles on it then and wasn’t expected to last too much longer. But after 5 1/2 years of marriage and several road trips (one from Missouri to Alaska and back) its up to 230,000 miles and still going strong. My husband is wonderful at keeping up regular maintenance. I think one of the best ways of being frugal is caring for what you have so that it will last as long as possible. We thank God every day that the car is still running. We count it as a miracle that we’ve never had a car payment during our marriage.

    I also agree that you save a lot of money by just staying home. I recognize that whenever I go to a mall, which is rarely. Psychologically you feel like you need to buy something. Marketers are really getting good at what they do.

  • Jodi W says:

    My husband and I each have a Tracfone, and we prepay $100 which lasts for the whole year. I used to pay $50 monthly. When our children were young (before preschool age), we had only one car. Like you, I was able to walk to the library, the park and local shops. I did my grocery shopping on the weekend when my DH was home. I worked fine for us, until I needed to be able to drive the kids to preschool.

  • Jenny says:

    We don’t have a cell phone or a car. Most people we know think we’re crazy, but there are so few instances where we miss either of them (and we always get through just fine). Of course, it helps that we are in an urban area where we can walk to almost everything and ride our bikes or take public transportation to everything else.

  • Jess says:

    We’re a zero-car family! Living in New York City has given us great freedom from all the expenses associated with a car. It’s public transit all the way, even to visit our families in CT–we just hop on a train or bus. And with all the exercise we get walking, we don’t have to pay for a gym membership. But, of course, we have to pay NYC rent prices instead!

  • Allyson says:

    When I left my job as a teacher to stay home with our first child we got rid of our cell phones. We had sold our second vehicle a year earlier when we had moved to a different state. We don’t regret either decision.

  • Marie says:

    This is something that we have practiced in our home for the three years that we have been married. We originially started off with two cars, but my husband’s became really unreliable and needed costly repairs, so we just used mine and I switched to riding public transportation for my commute to/from work. It has saved us at least $50/month in gas (now!! and at least $125/month during those high gas price months!!). Stupidly we carried insurance on the 2nd car up until last year, but when we did drop it, it dropped our insurance payment by $35/month which was a great benefit!
    When we first got married we also did the land-line thing, but through Vonage. We ended up cancelling that due to unreliable coverage and switched to our local cable provider in a bundled package for internet/cable/phone for $100/month. But when the promotion ended and the price went up to like $175/month, I cancelled the phone and we stuck with our cell phones. We had a 3rd line already for a step-daughter that was only $10 more per month on our plan, so we kept that and that has worked out nicely.

    BUT you can always do better, right? I was thinking just yesterday that I should call our cell provider and change our rate plan because there is no way that we even come close to using all of our 800 shared minutes per month. After reading this post today I called and sure enough, over the past 6 months we have used an average of less than 300 minutes per month…and we pay to have 800!! So I downgraded the plan to something $10 cheaper, but after my corporate discount, it will end up reducing my/our bill by around $20/month. A much appreciated savings!

  • Rebecca says:

    Up until about two months ago, I didn’t even own a car. I used a service called in my city – there were three different cars (from a mini-van, a hybrid civic, and a mini coop) that were within a 3 minute walk from my place. I just reserved the car online whenever I needed to get groceries or make a store trip, go to the movies, whatever.

    It saved me a TON of money.

  • Melissa says:

    Thanks for posting these! These are great, especially the second suggestion. My husband and I had one car for the first 6 1/2 years of our marriage. During those years, we both attended law school (different ones) and had 2 children. We would pick each other up/drop off at our schools. When our first was born and I decided to be home after I graduated, I would drive him to the train station where he would take public transportation to work. I’d pick him up at night again. I took my daughter with me, then my two girls when my second baby was born. We continued until my third baby was born. We live on the west coast where public transportation can be sparse, so I drove him 30 minutes to the train station, where he took the train another hour to work. Then I drove back each night to get him. It still saved us quite a bit to not have another car payment, insurance, and upkeep. It wasn’t until my third was born that we purchased another car. We’ve been able to pay off both of our law school and undergrad loans, plus both cars. We only carry a mortgage as our debt. I’ve learned to track every penny on a simple spreadsheet (not as hard as it sounds!), and through this plus the tips at your site, I’ve cut enough out of our budget to cover my oldest daughter’s private school tuition plus my second daughter’s preschool tuition. We have given money over and above our monthly tithe to missionaries or those in need of support. God has so richly blessed us that I am in awe sometimes. It really is better to give than to receive. To God be the glory!

  • SarahJane says:

    We are cell phone free. Never had one. I can see the convenience of cell phones, but I can’t justfy paying for one at this point in my life.

    We have been a one car family for our entire 4 year marriage. A few months ago we bought a new-to-us car and haven’t determined what to do with the (22 y/o, currently dead) other one yet.

    We both work outside the home and have been blessed to have good jobs that we could either carpool to or that were within two blocks of home.

  • Amiyrah says:

    no landlines here! We actually haven’t had one most of our married life. My mother convinced us that we absolutely needed one once we found out I was pregnant, but we quickly realized that it was just taking money out of our pockets since we always used our cell phones and never used the land line. We cancelled it, sold our land line phone on craigslist, and reviewed our cell phone plans to make sure that they were reliable enough to use as our home phones. By doing this, we’ve saved at least 50 dollars a month for the past 4 years.

    We also had one car for all of this past year. It did work out well since I was a stay at home mom most of the month, but when I needed to go to my base for military duty once a month, it was quite a hassle. We recently found a second car, paid cash for it, and found out that our insurance was only going to go up about 20 dollars a month. Since Hubby now has a car to use the weekends(or few weeks) that i’m gone, we don’t have to miss out on any money making opportunities that may come up while I’m gone.

  • Cee says:

    We are down to one vehicle. We just canceled our cell phones, and are going with a land line, however. We will save about $98/month by also obtaining internet through the land line. It’s DSL, which may be slower than cable internet, but $1200 extra per year is a big incentive!! Excellent article, thank you!

  • kym says:

    We have been learning to save, and your site and Dave Ramsey have been so helpful. Thanks for all the great information and encouragement to live better for less money.

  • Heidi says:

    Something we did recently (upon the request of my bro-in-law), was add my bro-in-law, sis-in-law, and mother-in-law to our cell phone plan. With Verizon, each additional line is only $9.99. What we have done is just split the phone bill 5 ways – it has saved us about $20/month. I know $20 isn’t a ton of money, but it’s $20 we didn’t have before. I realize, too, that not every family could do this. We’re just fortunate to have good relationships/trust with our families, which has allowed this to be a possibility!

  • MEMMEL says:

    We ditched our expensive cell phone plans and went to Tracfone prepaid. Our schedules are complicated and it helps us to have a way to reach each other when needed. But, we no longer use the cell “just to gab” and now don’t run the risk of going over on minutes (expensive!). We have found that it saves us over $600 per year to do it this way. We also buy pre-paid long distance cards (when they’re less than 4 cents a minute) and find that, even with lots of family and friends out of state, these last us a long time. It’s nice to be able to keep the phone bill low!

  • We have one cell phone that we take with us everywhere we go. we also use it as our home phone. We have no land line (bill). A few months back we cut our cell phone bill down from $79 a month to $45 a month. Our children are getting older and my husband and I are actually venturing out to the store with out them….it has been years since we have been able to do this anyways we felt uncomfortable leaving them WITHOUT a phone so we got a ‘MAGICJACK’…just so that they would not be at home without a phone…we would not leave them without a phone anyways! 🙂
    Magicjack is very affordable….we paid $39.99 for it and that includes the first years phone bill. We pay nothing a month. To re-new it we only pay $19.99 and THAT IS IT. so for $19.99 A YEAR… not A MONTH that is very affordable…check it out…
    You need to have DSL/Broadband you plug in the ‘jack’ to you USB and then into any land line phone…and then you have a phone in your home…PLUS you can take magic jack with you and use on your trips…hotel rooms…pretty neat I think.

  • I have never had a cell phone, and we have had one car for five years.

    It’s true–I don’t go shopping so the temptations are gone! If I need to get things, I go when my husband is home, either in the evening or in the early morning. We have also combined trips; he will go somewhere for work and if I have a nearby errand, we will go together to save gas.

    For my home phone, I got rid of all extras two years ago. I have a prepaid calling card for the few times I need long distance (2.9 cents a minute) that I bought at Sam’s Club for $20 YEARS ago. I don’t have caller id, call waiting, etc and I pay $15.69 a month.

    And now that our one car is paid for, we only have insurance for one car. We switched to one car that would fit 3 carseats across and allow for more children years ago. (it seats 8).

    My husband has to drive often for work, but he tries to work from home and combine trips as often as possible. In five years, we have put only about 60,000 miles on our one car.

    Most people are surprised that I don’t have a car or a cell phone. I don’t mind at all and I love being able to be home!

  • Sarah says:

    We would like to get rid of our landline, but we keep it so we can connect to the Internet. Is there a way to not have a landline or cable and still get the Internet?

    Thanks for the help!

  • Julie says:

    My husband works out of town 4 days a week and I just don’t feel comfortable without my cell phone while being home alone so much. We don’t have a landline and never have.

    To save money we decided to combine our contract cell phone plans with my brother and my mom–family plans can save a LOT of money since additional lines per plan are usually only $10/month instead of having a whole separate contract for $30-80. Considering that we mostly all talk to each other and those calls (in-network) are free it is quite inexpensive. We pay the bill each month and get reimbursed by my mom and brother. It works out really well for all of us.

  • Karen M says:

    About five years ago, I totaled our second car. Because we felt very strongly that we weren’t going to go into debt for a second car, we decided not to buy one. If I had a MD appt. for one of my two (at that time) kids, the kids and I would get up early and take Steve to work and then use the car. It wasn’t until we were 2 months away from the birth of baby 3 (which wouldn’t fit into our little Kia Sephia), that we bought a used car. Then it was bought with cash and help from our church. We really didn’t miss the second car at all!

  • Jenny says:

    We ditched our landline two months ago!!! We have At&t for phone and dsl, but found out we could cancel the phone part and still keep the dsl. I always thought it was all or nothing, so I was very excited.

  • Jenny says:

    I know this might not work for everyone, but we joined a family plan with my in-laws. They never used up all their minutes and had tons of rollover minutes every month. (because they mostly call each other, which is free:) So, they didn’t have to bump up to a higher minute plan, just pay the cost to add a line to their account. That is so much cheaper than our old bill.

  • carla sorensen says:

    I do not work outside the home, and my husband has his office here at home, so we only need one car. I do have things I do throughout the week, but if my husband would have to have the car, that would be okay. We just work it out! We have one cell phone between the two of us to use in the car in case of emergency, and our land-line. People “‘can’t believe” we only have one cell phone, and one car, but I can’t imagine why we would ever need more than one in our current situation. We have no kids at home. I agree with the 911 call alerting them of our address as a good thing, if an emergency ever comes up.

  • Kristin says:

    We’ve been a cell phone only family for 5 years, because of my job we get a free mobile phone plan and then major discounts on each additional plan ($20). We considered getting a land line when our baby was born, but decided not to since all of our family babysitters have mobile phones through me/work. I just always ask if they have their charger and if their phone is charged before we leave the house.
    I wish we could go to one car, but my husband travels for work each day (driving) and I have to drop off and pick up the munchkin from daycare (so no bus for me). We did get rid of one car payment by purchasing a very used but very dependable mini van, and are working on paying off the other car. We will never have a car payment again. Good news is that all of my husband’s related car expenses are covered by his company.

  • Emy says:

    How Timely! My cell phone contract just ended and I switched to a pay as you go plan, bought a $100 card at the local Sam’s Club for $98 which is good for one year. I did loose the roll over minutes I had accumulated while under contract but at almost $100 a month for that phone, I was paying for them anyway. I don’t use my phone more than 30 minutes per month at the most, I try to reserve it for travel and emergency calls. We still have a land line since DH’s office is at home and he needs it for work and his cellphone also. Most of those charges are paid by the office. He makes a lot of international calls so he has a phone card for that. He doesn’t “get” Skype although it’s on the computer.
    Cars are old, paid for clunkers that run fine and operate cheaply. Love hearing how everyone else is saving in these areas.

  • erin w says:

    we have a pre paid cell phone that i keep in the diaper bag and charge every couple of days. it doesn’t get used much so it’s cost us about 10$ every 3 months. i wanted to get rid of one of our cell phones to save money, and that’s saved us quite a bit, while still letting my husband feel like if there was an emergency we could get ahold of someone.

  • Aimee says:

    I need a cell phone for work purposes. So I switched to a prepaid phone and dropped out landline. My cell phone bill is now $45-$60 per month and we are saving $50 per month from the old house phone! We started this back in October, so we’ve saved $250 so far!!!

  • Joy Zarate says:

    We were with only one vehicle for a number of years, with up to 3 children. I enjoyed it. It forced me to stay home and plan better. The only time it was a real hassle was when a kid got sick and needed a same day appointment with the doctor. But, we have such a great church and friends that I was always able to borrow one if I needed. Now my husband works over an hour away so it is really nice to have two, but we’ve said if his car breaks and we can’t afford to buy another outright, we will go back to a one car family. Even with our six children, I think we could do it!

    We wish we could do away with cell phones, but our contract isn’t up, yet. Thought about cancelling our landline, but ours is really cheap ($23) and the difference of adding additional minutes to our cells and getting an additional phone to remain permanantly at home (for babysitters and when some of our older children stay home alone) wouldn’t make it a good choice.

  • Rae says:

    We wouldn’t be able to have just one car. My husband works long hours (leaves by 6:30am at the latest and isn’t home until atleast 9:30pm usually later) and he works an hour away from the house. I am not within walking distance of anything except other houses. We are within somewhat reasonable walking distance of Walmart but there are no sidewalks for half the distance and people drive like maniacs on those roads so it would not be safe especially with the stroller. And there are no parks in the neighborhoods near us. It would be ok if my husband worked normal hours because I could just use the car when he got home. But with his job, if we had one car, my son would not be able to play sports, we would not be able to go to story time at the library, go over my parents house, doctor’s appointments, etc.

  • Kate says:

    We got rid of our cell phones last year and went with pay-as-you-go phones. It saved us over 800 dollars doing so. The best part? I don’t miss it!

  • Lee says:

    We have managed to get around all of these issues and still save money! My husbands car is about 11 yrs old we paid $500 for it about 2 years ago. Having 2 cars is a nessecity to us as my oldest son is Autistic and I transport him to therapy. However we pay only $25 a month to insure it and less than $15 a month for gas for it. No payments at all. So it is a good option for us needing 2 cars. As far as phones goes we dropped all but basic service from our house as we carry DSL. And we added lines to my in laws plan so we pay only $20 a month and use our cell phones for long distnace! Total we pay $40 a month for both home and 2 cell phones.

  • Beth says:

    Our cell phone contract was up last month so we cancelled. We are going to save $1200.00 a year!!!!!

  • Eden says:

    When we first got married, we had only one car. We rented an apartment within walking distance of my job so I walked, no matter the weather and DH took the car to his job. Then he transferred positions and worked at the same place as me – and we both walked. When we bought our house about 5 miles from work, we only survived 6 months with one car…I was salaried and kept odd hours sometimes and he was hourly and wasn’t allowed overtime.
    As we worked our way through Baby Step 2, we talked about selling the car and keeping the minivan. But when we crunched the numbers, we figured out that it wouldn’t save us any gas money because the amount of driving would be the same, just on one vehicle. And the insurance cost is low enough that we decided to keep it. And most days, both vehicles stay in the garage since my husband prefers to bike to work now.
    Cell phones – we turned them off when we got the minivan to pay the car payment. But a year ago my grandmother was in and out of the hospital and I was the main contact for everyone. It was really difficult without the cell phones so we broke down and got them again. And now my parents are retired and watching their bills – so they dropped their accounts and added on to us. So we’re saving them $50 a month.

  • Yvette says:

    I’ve found a couple ways recently to save on my phone bill.. has free video and calling to other skype users just purchase a good headset (I bought mine from Best buy for $30.00) You can call landlines or cellphones(non skype users for a fee) $60.00 for a year $5.00 mo to call anywhere!!. They also have wii-fi mobile. I talked to a friend of mine in Italy FREE thru our computers 🙂 the sound was perfect. p.s. you don’t have to use a headset you can use your speakers and mic on your computer but a headset cuts down feedback 🙂 **skype doesn’t have emergency service but see below on how I tell my kids to call 911 if there is ever an emergency.

    Another way is with the magicjack stick you buy the usbstick. You put it in your usb port on your computer plug any phone into the jack on the stick and voila you use your computer and high speed internet. I think initially the stick is $40?? and renewing every year after that it’s $19.00(licensing fee)(you get directory assistance, voicemail, caller ID, call waiting and the phone # is all FREE) you can go to for a free 30 day trial after the trial you of course would pay the initial fee. I save $420 a year my previous plan with my cable company was $40 a month local and long distance.

    I am also cancelling two cellphones saving $360 a year.

    I keep three old phones charged and tell my kids if IT’S AN EMERGENCY they can still use the old phones to call 911!!! (my daughter accidently dialed 911 on a phone that had no service but it was charged, yes I was surprised to hear the operator on the other end of the cellphone that was five years old)!!LOL Really there is no need for my kids to have a phone since I am home and can come pick them up from school and they can use the school office phone to call me if there sick. 🙂

  • Jaime G says:

    We are a one car family as of a few weeks ago… my parents feel uncomfortable with that, though, and have insisted that we keep one of their “extra” vehicles in our driveway just in case we need it =) I feel pretty blessed to have such a great family, and live so close.

    Also, we have both a landline and a cell, but we need the landline for my hubbie’s home office fax line. Our cell is very inexpensive; I called and was considering cancelling the service (switch to TracFone?) and ended up negotiating my rate way down. It’s amazing what you can get when you just ask!

  • Ashley P says:

    We currently have cell phones, but my in-laws pay for them (otherwise we wouldn’t have them at all), but when the contract is up in May, we are going to get rid of them as we rarely use them except for convenience calls (i.e. I don’t want to look up the number and it’s stored on my cell). As far as our landline, it’s through our cable company and since my husband works for them, we pay less than $20 a month for all the whistles. I think having an emergency cell phone for long distance trips is a good idea, but I’m definitely not married to mine!

    As far as car thing goes, we have three vehicles for two drivers. My husband’s company provides him with a vehicle that he is able to drive home each night (and pays for all the gas and upkeep). He has a truck that we pay state minimum insurance on for his personal use – although we could sell it, he likes to have it available. (We bought it prior to him having a company vehicle – when we were both working different hours.) I have a van that we finished paying on last year (paid a five year loan in two & a half) and I use it to run errands and take the kids places. We don’t live in town, so a vehicle to do anything is necessary. I try to limit the number of trips I take into town (usually 2 a week – church on Sundays and errands/library/bank on Tuesdays) so as to save on gas. All-in-all, we could scale back down to just the company car and the van, but the truck is nice when we need to be able to haul a load, tow a trailer, etc and pretty much is only used for those purposes.

    I do have to say, however, that until a year ago, we were a one car family with both parents working fulltime outside the home and we made it work. We had to borrow a vehicle from my parents for a couple weeks when my husband had to do some travel out of town for his job, but otherwise, we were able to maintain a one car lifestyle.

    Good Luck!

  • Kristina says:

    We ditched the landline. But, there is no way we could get by without two vehicles. Hubby’s work is 45 miles away and I have to trundle the boys around. Certainly, if the boys were younger, we would be able to go back to being a 1 vehicle family. We didn’t get two vehicles until hubby started having to travel for work, in his car. I wish we still had that ability. I miss being able to walk to the library, grocery store, park, and pool. But, I love being out in the country.

  • LBaier says:

    I haven’t had the time to read all the comments so I am sorry if this has already been posted. Our family uses a pre-paid Virgin Mobile. We have it on automatic top-up of $15 every 90 days. The balance carries over so we don’t lose anything and our annual cellphone bill is only $60! We do use our phone very little though so this might not work for everyone.

  • We are a family of 7 and about 4 years ago, we decided to sell our 2nd vehicle. At first, I was apprehensive, but we quickly realized becoming a one-car family was one of the best decisions we have made. We don’t miss that 2nd vehicle at all, and the savings are remarkable! I write a frugal parenting column at Better Budgeting. You can read about “How Our Family Saves Thousands Every Year on Gas and Vehicle Expenses” at

  • Kayla says:

    Someone just recommended your website to me. It’s great! My husband and I recently cut back to one car. We don’t have any kids, so it’s a little easier for us, but I hope to continue with one car even after we have kids. He rides the bus to work, and I take the car. Usually I pick him up in the evenings. One benefit, besides saving money, is that we have so much extra time together. Also, you can use the one-car excuse to get out of social obligations gracefully. “Oh, well, I’d love to, but my husband needs the car that night.” 🙂

  • We recently canceled our cell phones. For all of last year we had only one vehicle, and we were fine. Our family felt bad for us or something though, and we were given a little truck. It has been a blessing to us though 🙂

  • Frances says:

    I was a little hesitant about posting my thoughts on
    “Staying Ahead of the Disappointment” at

    I thought people are going to think I have lost my mind or at the very least went deeply into depression. Well, I posted it and after reading your series I was right on the money.

    I love your site, it is very inspiring. My husband and I have practiced these “sacrifices” for a long time, before the economy issues. It comes so natural to us we don’t even think about it.

    It is so good to know that there are others out there like us.

    Thanks for all that you do for us, the readers.

  • JC says:

    We’ve only had a landline when we lived in student housing because it was included in rent and now we just have cell phones. I HAVE been stranded several times so the cell phone is handy (if I remember to charge it and bring it 🙂 We put our cell phones on my parent’s plan decreasing our monthly payments from $60 to $20.

    We only have 2 cars because they were both given to us as gifts (Thank the Lord!) and therefore it wouldn’t be a good choice to just get rid of one as it doesn’t take much maintenence.

  • Tiffany says:

    Another way to cut back significantly is to stop buying bottled water. Just get a filter of some kind and refill a washable bottle. Why by water when you can get it for free!

  • Karn says:

    I have a cell phone which I put on my daughters family plan. We only pay about $10/month. For our land phone, we have Vonage. They advertise a line for $25/month. We don’t even pay that. We pay a little over $17/month on the under 500 minutes per month. I have only exceeded the 500 minutes one time and that was when my mother passed away. The bill was still only $21.00. There are NO long distance charges with Vonage. You can call anywhere at no additional charge. It goes through your computer. You do need internet access, but we would have that regardless. I recommend Vonage. Also, if your computer is down, your phone will be forwarded to your cell, so you don’t miss any calls.

  • Beth says:

    I haven’t read all the comments yet but wanted to think out loud. We’re expecting #2 and are considering buying a second car. So far, we’ve been OK with one most times, although packing the 2 year old into the car when she’s nearly ready for bed and cranky to go get Dad can be a pain.
    My question, though, involves all the back-and-forth we do to make do with one car. If DD and I drive Dad to work (3 days a week) in order to have the car for errands, trips to the library, etc. then we have to go back to get him, too. That’s about 40 minutes driving total, each way. I wonder if we had 2 cars (used and inexpensive, of course) if we would actually drive LESS, and therefore pay less for gas, upkeep, etc.
    Maybe I’m just looking to justify not being “stuck” home with 2 kids during bad weather. Being able to get out is a lifesaver!

  • Emilee says:

    We had one car through the first 5 years of marriage, but after my husband started medical residency, we got our second. With him often gone for more than 80 hours a week (36 hours at a stretch) and with such hours that public transportation is not a possibility, I’m glad to have a car so I can do what I need to do when I can fit it in my schedule (and not wait for his crazy schedule). But we have gotten along completely fine without cell phones. And sometimes, it’s absolutely lovely to have no one be able to reach you.

  • Joy says:

    We haven’t had a landline since we were married (and my husband didn’t have one before that). We don’t miss it a bit! The only thing I’m worried about in the future is needing a landline so our kids can use it if there’s an emergency situation. But for right now, it works out great!

  • We did both of these back in graduate school – and lived just fine. While a second used car and pre-paid cell phones as well as a land line are part of our life today, we KNOW we could do it again if needed – and that’s worth something in itself.


  • Laura says:

    We have cut off our cell phone. My husband bought a prepaid tracfone to use for emergencies. Saves $41 a month. We also downsized our cable. We only get the first 13 channels for $30 less. Love your site!

  • Tara G. says:

    We’ve had one vehicle at various times in our marriage due to various circumstances- I moved from Atlanta to Anchorage when we got married, so my car was sold. I wrecked our truck (I like to say I sold it to the insurance company) but we were trying to sell it anyway because we moved overseas and used public transit for those years. We are down to one vehicle again because my husband can bike to work. On the days he needs to use it, we stay at home. We’re a military family, and I stay home with our 3 children- it’s nice to save that extra cash each month!

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