Published on February 6th, 2012 | by Guest Author0
How to Save on Monthly Expenses
When most people sit down to establish a budget, they start with a list of set amounts to pay every month (rent, car upkeep, groceries, etc) and work around those to see what’s left over and then save that. What you may be forgetting to do is a regular assessment of those set costs. If you haven’t looked at these amounts in a while, you may be paying too much for the services you use. You may be able to free up cash every month that could be better spent on debt repayments or towards those groceries you keep trying to cut back on.
Did you get rid of your land line because you bought a cell phone? If this is your primary means of communicating with family and friends, you are spending unnecessary amounts. Consider a VoIP service, where calls are made over the internet for a fraction of the cost. Programs like Skype can be downloaded for free, and calls from computer to computer won’t cost a cent. There is a fee if you want to have your own number or for making calls out to phones. However these fees are still cheaper than your cell phone. Then, cut your cell phone plan or switch to a pre-paid phone, which is cheaper. Also, have a look at your internet provider and take the time to consider other options. Several providers are willing to offer reduced rates to secure your business. If your internet is on a separate bill from other services, such as your television, investigate whether a package would better serve your needs. Can you share WiFi with a neighbor? This could cut your internet in half.
Perhaps you treated yourself to the good package when you cut movies and professional sports from your entertainment budget. Or perhaps you just kept the same package you had before your children were born. However, most people can cut down their TV services without feeling a loss. Even with hundreds of channels to choose from, many people only have a few programs they really want to see and the rest is just fluff. Unfortunately, many of these shows are on premium channels, which cost extra. You don’t have to give up your shows, just knock back the channels to the most basic package you can find. Replace these high costs with a subscription to Netflix or Hulu. For one low price, you can stream movies to your computer, game consoles, Apple iProducts and internet-ready televisions.
If you are paying your car and home insurance bills without question, then you are paying too much. These premiums are determined by risk factors. If your premium went up six years ago because of a fender bender you had, but your driving record has been spotless ever since, your premium should come down. There are often several discounts that can apply to your insurance policy, even if (and in some cases, especially if) you stay with the same company for several years. Another option you can try is to increase your deductible. In some cases, doubling your deductible on a home insurance claim will save you 25% of your bill. Set the amount you save each month aside in a separate account until you have the higher deductible amount saved for that emergency. If you are a safe driver, seldom drive or live in a rural area, this will most likely be worth it.
Set aside time every year to look at all your fixed expenses. You will be surprised at what you can cut back on. At the very least, it is always reassuring to know you are getting the best price possible.
Jaimie Haskins writes about money, frugal living and Lifeinsurancequotes.org.