You need a budget and how I budget

Posted on Categories Budget, Spending4 Comments on You need a budget and how I budget

Everybody manages its budget in its own way. There is no one single way of doing it. But, everybody need a budget. This is very important. There are many reasons why it’s important.

In this post, I’m going to go over the reasons why you need a budget. I’m also going to talk about the way I’m managing my own. It’s only one of them, but if it works for me, it may work for you!

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No Billag: Swiss people like to pay taxes

Posted on Categories Spending, Switzerland4 Comments on No Billag: Swiss people like to pay taxes

Yesterday, the Swiss people were voting on several objects. The No-Billag initiative was one of them, as I mentioned earlier. This initiative wanted to remove the Billag tax. This tax supports the Swiss TV and Radio services. This tax is currently around 450 CHF. But the government will reduce the tax next year to 365 CHF. Unfortunately, the Swiss citizens strongly refused the initiative ๐Ÿ™ I have to say that I’m quite disappointed in my fellow citizens today. It seems like people like to pay inconsiderate taxes. Thus, we’ll still have to pay this tax.

There is a BIG problem with this tax. There are two parts to the tax, one part for the radio and one part for the television. If you have a car, you need to pay the radio tax even if you never listen to radio. I never listen to the radio. If you have a television or internet, you need to pay the TV tax even if you never watch TV. Again, I never watch TV. Moreover, this tax is only to pay for Swiss radio and TV services. So if you have a TV and only watch foreign TV network, you still have to pay the tax to finance Swiss TV networks. This makes no sense at all and the Swiss should have refused the initiative yesterday. Now, we need to pay this tax for a long time again with no reason.

To sum up, I will have to pay 365 CHF each year for Radio and TV services that I never use.

There is one slight possibility that I recently came across. When I first registered to this terrible tax, they told me that having internet was enough to need to pay the tax. But, looking at the official conditions, you need to have an account on an online TV service to pay the tax. Thus, I’m going to ask them to remove me from the TV tax and pay only for the radio tax. This should at least save me some money. I’m even inclined to remove my radio from my car to not pay anymore, but that’s a bit extreme.

What do you think about this ? What did you vote ?

How I saved 10 CHF by changing my mobile plan

Posted on Categories Frugality, Spending, Tips2 Comments on How I saved 10 CHF by changing my mobile plan

After saving on my car insurance and reducing my rent, I decided to see if I could save money on my phone plan. Before I already had a very cheap mobile plan for my mobile phone. I was using M-Budget Maxi One with 2GB of data per month for 29 CHF per month. This is pretty cheap as Switzerland goes. However, I’m very rarely using mobile data on my phone. I’ve got WiFi at work, WiFi at home and WiFi at the gym. Some restaurants are also starting to have WiFi. But this is not a lot in Switzerland, compared to countries like China and the United States.

So I decided to switch to the M-Budget Mini One plan with 600 MB of data per month for 19 CHF per month. This will save me 10 CHF per month (120 CHF per year). It’s not a big saving but it’s a correct one and an easy one. I’ll have to be a bit careful about using my phone when going out, but it should be fine. Since there are no delays, I can also switch back to Maxi One if I cannot keep below the limit. But this should be fine. This month, I’ve use less than 60 MB on my phone.

So, if you pay a lot for your phone plan, be sure to check if there are no alternatives that could be more frugal and try to save some money! Even if your mobile plan is a small part of your budget, you should still pay only for what you need!

What about you ? How are you saving money ? Do you have a better option for mobile plan ?

Save 53CHF per month by asking for a reduction of rent!

Posted on Categories Budget, Frugality, Spending, Tips3 Comments on Save 53CHF per month by asking for a reduction of rent!

I just got confirmation from my building manager that they accepted the reduction of rent that I asked for. They answered more than two months after my request… My base rent goes from 1175 to 1122. This will only start at the next term of my lease, on April 1st. But this means that next year, I’ll save 53 CHF * 9 = 477 CHF.

In Switzerland, rent prices are indexed on a reference interest rate. When the interest rate goes down, you can ask for a reduction of your rent. Unfortunately, this is not an automatic process. You have to ask yourself to your house owner or building managers. On the other hand, you can be sure that if the interest rate rises, it will be an “automatic” process… Switzerland is very good to the rich. It makes it easier for them to stay richer ๐Ÿ˜‰

Don’t forget to check if the interest rate decreased since you signed your lease. If you haven’t asked for a reduction in many years, this could be a large reduction! There are lots of models online for this, such as the calculator from ASLOCA or the one from Comparis.ch. You should really not hesitate doing this, it’s in your rights. They cannot refuse to reduce the rent, it’s in the law. The only reason they would have to refuse would be if they had made improvements to your apartment that would raise its value.

You can find the most recent reference interest rate on the admin.ch website (in French/German/Italian).

Overall, I’m still quite happy, this is more than 50 CHF per month saved next year! The rent is often the biggest item in a budget. At least, it is the case in my budget. Therefore, it can be very interesting to reduce it. But, it’s not always possible. If the reference index rate decreases, it is a nice opportunity to cut this large expense!

What about you ? Do you have any saving tip ? Did you find a way to save on your rent ?