If you’re like many people today, you’re probably struggling to make ends meet or at best paying your bills without much left over for personal enjoyment. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be like this. You can actually reduce your monthly obligations without the need for taking on a second job.
Shopping around for insurance and electric
You’ve probably never thought about it, figuring that all insurance companies offer the same rates, but this is not the case. If you’ve had the same company for several years and your rates continue to increase without having any points on your license, now is a great time to shop around. If you own a home and you have your homeowner’s insurance and your auto insurance with two different companies you are losing out. Insurance companies want your business and if you bundle them together you can most times save an additional 20 percent or more. Your electric is another place where you now have options. With the deregulation you now get to pick your carrier, this can save you money. And, if they provide gas and you bundle them together you can save even more.
Chances are pretty good that you have at least one if not many credit cards. If this is the case and you have a few with a large balance, you can go to the website of a company like Credit Soup and choose from a wide range of credit cards including those that offer to do credit transfers of your outstanding balance. Many have an introductory period with a zero interest rate or a lower interest than you currently pay. Over time this can save you hundreds of dollars depending on your balance and help to free up money from your monthly budget.
Cable and cell phones
In this day of technology, most people have some form of cable television and a cell phone. But if you don’t watch many of the channels in your package and have extra minutes available at the end of each month, then you are literally throwing away your hard earned money. Instead, contact your service providers and see if you can remove some of the extra channels or minutes and get into a lower monthly plan. If they have nothing more affordable to offer you, now is a good time to shop around and check the rates of other companies that offer these services in your area.
Whether you live in a warm or a cold climate you still use electricity to power up your air conditioning or your furnace. If you still have a dial thermostat you’re spending much more than you need to each month to keep your home comfortable. A digital thermometer will allow you to set your central air conditioning to the desired daytime and nighttime temperature. It will also allow you to do the same with your furnace. You can even program it to a much lower/higher temperature during the day if no one is at home and then set it to go back to your normal temperature an hour before the first person arrives home. As an added bonus, many of the newer, more advanced systems also have alarms where you receive a text if the home becomes too cold or too warm, alerting you that there may, in fact, be a problem.
Car: the decision to lease or to own
Cars are expensive. They require regular maintenance like oil changes and tune-ups. But if you keep a car for more than four years you are looking at a list of possible repairs that run well into the thousands. If you have good credit and you don’t put many miles on each year, you may want to consider leasing a car versus owning it. The leases generally run 2 to 3 years and the miles are limited from 10,000 to 12,000 miles per year. But, the big plus is that your payments will be much more affordable and you’ll be able to acquire a new vehicle every couple of years.
There are many ways in which you can save money each month without reducing your quality of life. If you shop around for things like insurance, cable, electric, and cell phones once a year, you can enjoy the fact that you have the lowest possible rates available. Combine that with reducing the interest on your credit cards and making minor upgrades to your home and the money you save can help fund your next vacation.