October Goals: Less Clutter, Lower Insurance

October Goals-Rabbit, rabbit! Happy October, all. Cool breezes, crunchy leaves, fall colors. I’m feeling fall for sure. While my biggest autumnal ambition is to make it to November without turning on the heat, there’s not much I can do about Mother Nature in the Midwest. In the spirit of focusing on the things I can control, here are my three goals for the next thirty days when it comes to clutter, insurance, and more.Finish decluttering the first floor of our house.

Last month, I decluttered the majority of my kitchen. The stopping point was the built-in desk that doubles as my home office. Not only do I want to tackle this office of sorts, I figure I might as well finish the first floor. That includes the family room, dining room, living room, and hall closet. I promise I’ll share some numbers at the end of the month in terms of what stays, what went, if I was able to sell anything, and so on.

Find new insurance for our house and our cars.

I’m fairly certain that I’m setting myself up for failure with this one. Last year, we settled on Madison Mutal for our homeowners insurance even with a rate increase. Because NO ONE could come close. I even had a few other companies refuse to tell me their quotes because they were coming in that much higher. I’m still going to give it a shot, though, because it was nearly a $200 increase. Unlike virtually everyone else in my neighborhood,* we’ve never claimed anything. Ever. The problem–if I can call it that–seems to be that the value of our home is increasing. It makes me cranky now, but I do a happy dance when I check out Zillow.

Our car insurance also went up, which is particularly annoying. Our cars are older, our credit scores are higher, we’ve not claimed anything, and so on. I’m more hopeful about finding better auto insurance than I am about the homeowners. Only time–and a bazillion phone calls–will tell.

Continue to build my financial literacy.

I’m particularly interested in learning more about retirement and investment options for educators. Because the 403b that is offered by my school district stinks due to the fees and super limited options, I want to do more — I’m just not sure what. Lame, I know. I said I’d work on it! In the spirit of full disclosure, here’s where we stand currently: Mr. P and I both send just shy of 10% of our salary to our pensions, and we also have Roth IRAs that we are on track to max out again this year.

*Lest you think I’m being hyperbolic, over 100 house in my subdivision used stormchasers to replace their siding and roofs this past year. 

So Tell Me…What are your goals for October? Do you know the magic phase to get lower homeowners insurance rates?

October Goals: Less Clutter, Lower Insurance

5 thoughts on “October Goals: Less Clutter, Lower Insurance

  1. Ugh, we had really expensive homeowners insurance for a while. Our house was built in 1890, so we were told the rates were so high because if there was a fire, you can’t replace the building materials cheaply. Hey, we wouldn’t want to. We’d just want to build a new, modern home. We weren’t interested in reconstructing from 1890’s materials! So anyway, we did shop around a LOT and were able to cut our rate in half. I’m not sure what the magic phrase is. We just kept at it until we found a company that was willing to play ball. Best wishes for a great outcome! We’re dealing with car insurance right now. Our company wanted to know if we were happy with our coverage. We told them yes, but it’s too expensive. So what did they do? They raised the rates. How’s that for customer service?

    1. I think what kills me about homeowners insurance is they keep telling me it’s the cost of the house AND the lot. “If there was a fire…” Really? I’m not quite sure what would have to happen for my land to disappear. Sigh. I will keep after it, though. As for auto insurance, I think you just gave a textbook definition of terrible service. Womp womp.

  2. The first thing to note is that homeowners insurance is the cost to repair and replace, not the market cost. So unless you already had a $2500 insurance policy, a $200 increase is unwarranted. Labor and materials did not increase by 3% this year much less 10 or 20%.

    These are the magic words:
    “I have been very pleased with the service from your company, but I will be leaving for company xyz tomorrow unless my rates return to their former levels. What can you do for me?”

    Then they’ll give you some piddly discount, and you can say, “That’s not enough for me to stay with you. To keep me as a customer I need my rates to match what they were last year.”

    Don’t be mean. Just be decisive.

    Go ahead and get a quote or two or five online. And tell them you’ll be pulling your car insurance too.

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