I’m starting a short series that I’m calling Monday Money.

At the end of October, my wife and I decided to look at our monthly expenses and see if there were any ways to live more frugally.

In the next 5 days, I found a way to save over $2500 over the next 12 months.

We still have 2 cars, the same house, cable TV and Internet, and phones.

In other words, we didn’t need to make big lifestyle changes to save over $200 a month and perhaps some of these changes you can do too.

First off, many of these monthly bills were being automatically taken out of my checking account and so I was not watching each month as some of these bills were going up.  Ignorance is not bliss, it can be expensive.

Here’s how we are saving over $2500:

Auto Insurance.  By law, we are required to have it and there are state-minimums required in Indiana for the amount of coverage. For several years we have been buying more.  With a teen driver in the house, we wanted protection against law suits and whatever might happen.  The insurance agents I had did a good job of convincing me to get the extra coverage.

What caught my attention was our rates for two cars was going to jump nearly 30% this month for no apparent reason on our part. I visited my Farmers Agent and asked him why, and he said Farmers was raising all their rates and there was nothing he could do.

He should have asked me, “What is more important, keeping the rate you’ve been paying or keeping the coverage that you’ve been getting?” but he didn’t ask.  So that sent me shopping.

I started shopping online and visited 8 or more websites before deciding on Progressive.  We own our two cars, a 93 Toyota and a 01 Pontiac.  Farmers wanted $122 a month. Spread that out for 12 months and we would have spent $1464 or more if they decide to raise their rates again in 6 months.

By cutting coverage and buying online, I paid Progressive $156 for a full 6 months of coverage which includes a $50 one-time discount.  My total for 12 months will be $362.  That’s a savings of $1102 per year.

Now Farmers still has my homeowners policy and they will probably want to increase my rates since I don’t have a multi-policy discount.  When that happens, I’m shopping for new homeowners insurance.

Coming up next Monday, I’ll have part 2 and more details on how we are saving $2500+