Starting the new year off right...
Happy New Year, all!
I'm happy to say that we are officially starting off 2009 with under $10,000 in debt!
That means that, since mid-June, we've paid down approximately $4,000 between student loans and credit cards. It's a pretty awesome feeling! I'm not quite sure yet what 2009 has in store for us -- Tim's unemployment only lasts through May for now -- but at least for the next five months we are planning on staying the course.
Also, I managed to parlay a local mess into a nice little discount: Fisher is a local parent company for the ABC affiliate and the contract is up. It is now asking Dish Network for a fee that is about 80% higher than its current one. So Dish is nixing ABC until things can be resolved. Just ABC, from what I can tell.
We pay $5.99 for our local channels, but the only show Tim and I like on ABC is Eli Stone. (And that's available as streaming video on ABC's website.) I used to watch Lost, but it's been ages since last season's finale. Frankly, I may just wait for the whole thing to be on DVD. It seems easier, somehow.
Anyway, thanks to a tip from Tim's mom, I called up and asked for information. The operator explained everything and then offered me a $5 discount on our next bill. I politely informed him that my mother-in-law had received that same discount for 10 months. The operator agreed to honor it, and so we're essentially getting our local channels for $1 for most of 2009.
I also dropped the insurance on our equipment. This may sound like a bad idea, but I've been assured by two operators and a couple of Dish subscribers that you can restart it at any time. Which means that you can call up, start the protection again, then call back and tell them you need something fixed.
That brings our Dish bill down to around $40 after taxes!