Applying Kaizen Principles to your Money

by Kay Lynn

A co-worker told me about a book he was reading regarding Kaizen. This was the first time I had heard the term, but I realized I had been doing it recently with my money.

Kaizen means making small improvements continuously. With money, this means the savings here and there can add up to meaningful amounts. There are a few areas you can evaluate where it is easier to save a few bucks.

Cable. A few months ago I called the cable company after another raise in the rates and asked them if they could do something better. The customer service person found a newer package that would save me $20 a month or $240 a year.

Cell phones. Are you paying for a service you don’t use or for minutes you don’t use. Take a good look at it and make adjustments to save money. I realized I was paying $15 a month for a data plan I barely used. It would be cheaper to be charged usage than a flat rate. Cancelling this feature saved me $180 a year.

Newspaper. I have two ways to save with newspapers because Mr. Boomer and I take two newspapers (an indulgence I know). I have some frequent flyer miles expiring next month on United Airlines and one of the ways I could use them is getting a year’s subscription to one of the newspapers we take. That saved us $140 a year.
We also decided we could cut back on the other newspaper to just weekends since we weren’t reading two during the week. When I called to make the change they first offered me a monthly rate of $7.25 (a savings of $87 annually). However the weekend rate saved me $129 annually.

These three small changes will save us over $680 each year. Shouldn’t you take a look at your budget and make kaizen changes? Go ahead and give your service companies a call and see what they can do for you!

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