Article By Bob Lotich | It is often said that you can increase you can become richer by either increasing your income or by cutting down on expenses. While you work on increasing your income, the following tips will help you with cutting down your expenses, without feeling like you are choking on your financial freedom .
1. Car Insurance (Don’t skip this)
Believe me, if you haven’t shopped around for car insurance in a couple years – it is worth your while. I really was sure that I had the lowest rates I could get, but then I checked out Geico and found that I could save $330 a year for the same coverage. I was so blown away that they could save me $330 that I didn’t shop anywhere else.
Six months later my old insurance broker called trying to get me back and she had found another insurance company (America First) who was $250 cheaper than Geico. And again it was for the same coverage. So just to repeat – I thought I was paying a good rate, but by shopping around I was able to knock almost $600 off my car insurance bill.
2. Cell Phones
Grab your most recent cell phone bills and look at them to see what you are actually paying for. Are you paying for internet service that you are not using? Are you paying for 1000 minutes a month, when you are only averaging about 350? Are you paying for text messages that you are not using?
Before you call your cell phone company, check other cellular companies to see how their rates compare. If it is still worth your while to stay with your current provider, then call them up and talk to them about the changes that you can make.
3. Home phone lines
Ask yourself a tough question, “Do I really need a land line? Would it be possible to use my cell phone for all calls?” If the answer is no, you may want to look into Vonage. I haven’t used them, but I know they are saving some people lots of money each month. (They currently have a plan for $14.99 a month that gives you local and long distance.)
If you have a land line solely for the purpose of having a DSL internet connection, I would recommend calling the phone company to adjust your phone plan. I was not using my land line at all and was paying $25 for it. I called them and got the plan lowered to a pay-per-call plan which only costs me $7 a month.
If you can get by without a land line, call and cancel it. This will probably save you $20 or more a month just by making a phone call.
4. Save on the Internet
I am not suggesting that you get dial-up. That is just cruel and unusual punishment. But, if you are paying for the premium package you should consider one of the slower packages. Many people won’t notice a difference in how fast the web pages load.
Again, it may be worthwhile looking at the options available for high-speed internet service. I saved about $20 a month switching from one company to another.
5. Save money on Food: Make going out to dinner something special
This is one of the easiest fixes for most people. I know I am saving hundreds of dollars a month by not doing what I used to do with my food purchases. Not only will you save yourself a lot of money, but it will be more fun when you do go out. Have you noticed that when you do something all the time, it just isn’t as fun anymore? This is a great way to “add fun” and save money.
A couple going out to dinner just two times in a week could easily spend $300 a month. If they knock it down to just one time a week that is $150 savings.
6. Save money on Food: Make it yourself
You really can cook. I don’t care if people told you that you were a bad cook, don’t listen to them. You aren’t bad and it is not that hard. There are tons of meals that you can make that require little more than an ability to set a timer and read directions. Start at Allrecipes.com, they have lots of cool features that I won’t get into here – just check it out.
7. Save money on Food: Bring your lunch
This is one of those rubber-meets-the-road sacrifices. But it pays off handsomely. If you are paying $10 for lunch to go out each day, you are spending $200 a month. If you bring your lunch 3 days a week, you should easily be able to save $100 a month.
8. Save money on Food: Eat what you have
Buy food that you are going to eat and eat what you have. I cut my grocery bill by 50% from my wasteful years by eating the food I had and not wasting any. I could not believe how much money I was wasting by letting food spoil. Just putting a little bit of thought into your grocery list each week will be an easy way to save money.
9. Save money on Food: Clip coupons
Most of the food we buy doesn’t have coupons, so this has never been too much help for me. But, there are some people who take pride in buying a grocery cart full of food for $25 and 100 coupons. Even if you aren’t a pro, beginners can save $50 a month without much difficulty.
10. Save money on Food: Drink water
I saved myself $30 a month just by quitting my Pepsi addiction. A Starbucks addict could probably save $100 a month by switching to water.
11. Save on your energy bills
A lot of energy saving tips require that you to buy something in order to save money in the long run. While I am all for that, the purpose of these tips is to give you more cash in your hand now so that you can pay down your debt.
That being said you can check out these 10 ways to conserve energy and save money and these winter energy saving tips.
12. Pay your bills on time!
This is obvious, but some people (like myself) need the obvious restated sometimes Late bills often incur a fee that is nothing but a waste of your precious money.
If you find yourself forgetting to pay your bills on time, set up a free Google calendar and you can put reminders of when each bill needs to be paid. You can even set it up to email you to remind you to pay it on the correct date. While this is a shorter term fix, I prefer to set up a schedule of bill payments in order to make bill paying easier.
13. Save at the bank
Grab your recent bank statements and examine them for ambiguous fees. If you see any and don’t know what they are, call your bank and ask them to explain it. I worked at a bank for years and I know how good they can be at coming up with creative names for their fees.
Years ago, after figuring out some of the advantages to banking with a credit union I made the switch. I still bank at one of the best Credit Unions in town and use ING as my online bank.
If you find out that you are paying fees for your basic banking needs, I recommend switching. There is no reason you should be paying fees for falling below a minimum balance or anything else. It is your money. Take it somewhere where you have control over the money, not the bank.
Most credit unions will not have many (or all) of the fees that bigger banks may have. ING also has a great checking account that I use and love.
read more here @ Christian PF- Ways to Cut Expenses
Used by permission Christian PF