You’re already financially adept. You refinanced your home when mortgage rates plummeted recently. You bought your car a couple years old, which is when it lost most of its value and gave you the best price.
But it’s tough to stay on top of every last cost.
If you’re looking to save and make sure your family’s budget is operating as efficiently as possible, have you remembered to check the following lately?:
1. Auto insurance rates
If you’re like most, you just let your policy renew. If you haven’t shopped yours around recently, now might be the time to do so. You can save around $170 on the typical $900-per-year policy.
2. Home alarm system
You can save a few hundred per year using this method. Initially, the fee covers the cost of equipment. After that happens, make sure you reduce your service to monitoring only. Just make sure you call the company rather than waiting for them to initiate the contact.
3. Your cell phone’s data plan
The average smartphone owner uses 256 MB of data per month, but many people pay for 10 GB or more. In layman’s terms, that’s about 40 times what you actually use! You could save $200 – $400 per year with a plan that fits better. If you watch videos on your smartphone and you’re in a serious money crunch, stop. Videos chew up the most bandwidth and it’s not absolutely necessary for you to watch them on your smartphone.
4. Use a programmable thermostat
Aim to keep your home around 68 degrees. If you’re willing to compromise, allow it to be a degree hotter in the summer and a degree cooler in the winter. For each degree you give, you get back 2% on your energy bill. In addition, remember to only leave your AC on if you’re going to be gone from home for more than 4 hours. Otherwise, if your home is fully insulated and all leaks are caulked, it should hold the cool air in for that length of time.
5. Get rid of that landline telephone
Unless you feel there’s a very important reason you need it, get rid of it. Your cell phone minutes should cover what you need, and if they don’t, limp by on Skype or magicJack.
6. Analyze your personal habits
If money is a serious issue for you right now, take a look at your own spending habits. Are you spending too much on something that you don’t need like coffee, cigarettes, video games, or unhealthy desserts? Take a hard look at your spending habits and see if there’s something you’d like to change. You’ll save money, but you’ll also get something much more rewarding – better self-esteem.
Which of These Applies to You?
Think carefully about the above recommendations and consider how you could implement them into your life.
Change is always difficult to make, but once you make the changes you know to be right, you’ll be glad you did.