In today’s economy it is important to find as many ways to save money as you can. Since the biggest expenses you have are your regular monthly bills such as utilities, this is a great place to look for ways to reduce your costs.
Here are some tips to help you save extra money each month.
Cut Cable Costs
Do you really use all of the channels you have in your package?
If it’s been awhile since you’ve looked at what you are paying for, it might be time to do inventory.
One great way to save on your cable bill is to remove the movie channels from your package. Instead, join one of the movie sites like Netflix for a much cheaper price.
You can also get rid of the music stations in your cable package and listen to websites like Pandora on your computer for free or at a lower cost.
Get Rid of Your Landline
Do you still have a traditional landline phone at your house?
You probably seldom use it and yet you are paying a monthly cost for one.
Now, you can use Vonage or other internet services such as Skype for your phone calls.
If you want to have a phone number to put on applications without giving out your mobile number, you can sign up for Google Voice or other services and get a phone number to use. These calls can be directed to your cell phone without the caller having that number.
Reduce the Electric Bill
Save money on your electricity by replacing all of your light bulbs with the energy-saving low wattage bulbs. This will reduce your costs over time.
Also, use the lowest number of bulbs in multiple-bulb lights such as chandeliers or overhead lights.
How many people actually use their ceiling lights for reading or other detailed work?
You can eliminate some cost by only using the minimum number of bulbs in the fixture to see in the room.
Look for other ways to save on your electricity. Unplug appliances when not in use; shut off lights when you leave the room.
Most importantly, make sure your home is well-insulated and isn’t costing you more in heating or cooling because of old windows or doors that allow in outdoor air.
While you are probably limited on the electric service that you receive, other bills may have more than one service provider option.
For instance, you may have two or three cable or internet service providers or the option to use satellite for your television programs.
Check out each company and see what they offer. However, be careful when comparing plans that you get all of the details.
A great deal for the first year of a two-year contract won’t be much of a bargain if the price doubles or triples in the second year.
When you are shopping around, don’t forget to check out bundles for two or more of your monthly services.
They are often cheaper when grouped as one package. For instance, cable and phone service or phone and internet can be bundled together for a lower price than when purchased separately.
You can also shop around for cell phone providers once your initial contract has ran out. You can often find great deals with another company.
If you really prefer the company you are with, you can also go to them and ask if they will give you a deal like they have with new customers. Often a company does not want to lose a loyal customer who pays on time.
Look at Your Auto Insurance
Most people don’t pay too much attention to their auto insurance after the initial sign-up. However, you may qualify for discounts that you didn’t get when you first signed up with the company.
You can also combine your homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance, and other programs for a multiple-program discount. This can save you quite a bit in your monthly fees.
You can also look at raising your deductible for a lower monthly premium.
You may also decide you really don’t need the option for a rental vehicle or other benefits included in your insurance.
It is advisable to periodically check your insurance policy to see if you still need all of the coverage you initially took out.
Pay Your Bills on Time
Don’t wait until the last possible minute to pay your monthly bills; pay them before the due date.
Many people look at the shut-off date as the last day they can pay their bills; however, they are usually charged a fee if they pay after the original due date. It can vary from a few cents to several dollars but it adds up over time.
If you do this with all of your bills, you can be spending hundreds of dollars each year in late payment fees.
Any time interest rates are low, you may want to look at refinancing.
Your home is the obvious place to save with reduced interest rates, but you can also save money by refinancing your car loans, too.
You will have to compare the cost of refinancing with the savings you will get on your home loan to decide if it is cost-effective, but you could end up saving hundreds of dollars each month if you have several years left on your loan.
Car loans don’t always save you that much money, but it can often reduce the amount of interest you are paying and drop your monthly payments by $20 or more for each payment.
Besides looking at the reduction in monthly payments, you will also want to consider the reduction in the overall cost of the vehicle.
All of the ways to save money listed here will take some effort on your part to implement, but they can add up to a sizeable portion of your monthly income.
If you live from paycheck to paycheck without much to put away in savings, this can make a drastic difference on your lifestyle.