How to Reduce Your Expenses by $240 (or More!) a Year
There are dozens of ways to save money. Financial guru Dave Ramsey helped one family to cut more than $8,000 of expenses from their budget in six months by switching services, swapping cars, and, ultimately, downsizing their home. And those aren't the only ways to save money.
An overwhelming majority say that they're worried about stretching their dollars to cover their monthly expenses. About 68% of Americans are concerned about their ability to pay bills and loans, TransUnion's recent survey of over 3,000 U.S. adults found. That means many are actively looking to trim costs. Here are several steps you can take to reduce your expenses.
Figure out what you're spending money on and start making cuts
We've all been there. That moment when you realize your credit card debt has piled up (again). And unless you don't mind the increasing mound of debt, you probably do what we've all been taught to do: Figure out what you're spending on and start making cuts. Go through three to six months of bank statements to assess where you are spending and get ahold of your financial situation.
Change your online spending habits
Take the time to set up a specific monthly spending limit for online shopping and maybe even disable Amazon's one-click ordering. Taking this step can be the difference between going over budget and having money to spare. Changing your spending habits is a lot like inertia. The most difficult part is establishing that change. But once you feel confident you have a bit of momentum as a tailwind, you will find that it is easier to maintain a budget.
Don't miss bill due dates
if you're late on one bill with any creditor, your other creditors can legally use that tardy track record to jack up the interest rate they charge you. When you get bills, mark their due date on a calendar or set up automatic payments so you don't miss deadlines.
Lower your interest rates
Negotiating your credit card interest rates can have a huge payoff. If you have $1,000 on a credit card that charges 18% interest, you'll likely pay about $200 in interest to pay off that debt over the course of two years. But by shaving off just two percentage points to 16%, the interest drops to just $175. Start with your oldest card first, since you've been a customer there the longest, and call to negotiate.
Review your auto coverage
Most people have unnecessary auto insurance and simply realigning the coverage you need can save hundreds of dollars. If you're now driving significantly less because you're currently working from home, you may want to call your insurance company and ask to be re-rated as a lower mileage driver. Another option to reduce expenses is to shop around for less expensive car insurance and bundle your home insurance and car insurance policies with the same insurer.
Refinance your mortgage
If you own your home, consider taking advantage of the current low interest rates by refinancing your mortgage if you have one. If your interest rate is currently over 4% (rates are now 3.31%), you have good credit and you plan to stay in your home for a while, this may lower your monthly payment and cut the overall interest you end up paying.
Unless you pay cash for everything – a noble aspiration, but one few achieve – debt is likely a big part of your monthly costs. Auto loans, credit cards, student loans all add up. Each of those debts involve a separate expenditure, and each of them may have been as good a deal as you could have made at the time. But maybe you can do better by looking at your debt as a single unit. Debt consolidation combines multiple debts into a single monthly payment. It can be particularly effective if you are carrying a balance on one or more high-interest credit cards or student loans. A single loan at a lower interest can lower your monthly costs and pay your debts off sooner – a win-win as long as you make your monthly payments on time.
Do a home energy audit
Did you know that your coffee maker, toaster, phone charger and other devices suck up energy even when you’re not using them? They do – and they can account for as much as 20% of your monthly electric bill.
In fact, according to the Alliance to Save Energy, the average U.S. household spends $5,550 a year on energy.
To avoid paying more and cut expenses in this area, take a walk around your home and unplug the items mentioned here and others you’re bound to discover.
You can also make your home more energy efficient by replacing air filters every three to six months, and making sure your windows, vents, and even the space around electrical outlets are properly insulated. Having your water heater serviced annually is another important step in cutting expenses.
Lowering your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours during the day in winter can save 5 percent to 15 percent per year on your heating bill, according to the Department of Energy. Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs. Yes, they do cost more than traditional bulbs, but they wind up saving money because they use two-thirds less energy and can last 10 times longer.
To see how you’re doing, ask your utility company to provide you a year over year expenditures statement so you can see if any of your bills are trending upward. If that’s the case, take steps immediately to stop it.
Cut long forgotten subscriptions
Here's another way to cut expenses. Are there magazines, streaming services or memberships you aren't using very much or anymore. Cancel them. Has it been months since you actually used this product or service? Can you find a cheaper version? Get rid of it. It's one of the easiest ways to save extra money. If you do want to keep your subscriptions, you may have the opportunity to save some cash; many companies will discount the total cost if you pre-pay for an additional year when you renew, for instance. Check out the fine print on your service contracts to see whether this applies.
Revaluate your cell phone service
Do I require this internet speed? Do I need a land line? If you answered “no” to either of these questions, you may be able to lower your monthly bill by choosing a different level of service or canceling your home phone. And even if you answered “yes,” you still might succeed in saving money. Big-name companies notoriously compete for business. If you have the time and motivation to shop around, you might uncover a better deal.
Switch cell phone carriers
With gas and food prices surging, Americans everywhere are feeling the pinch. Paychecks are stretched to the max, and expenses that can go, are gone. Things like magazine and cable television subscriptions, along with other nonessential purchases, are a thing of the past. Wouldn’t it be nice to add your cellphone bill to that list? It’s quite possible that you can. If you’re using one of the pricy wireless providers – Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile – you could save yourself a bundle by switching to Life Wireless.
Get free wireless with Life Wireless
Life Wireless offers government subsidized cellular services through the Affordable Connectivity Program to qualifying individuals and families.
If you’re unemployed or participate in a government benefit program such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, or WIC, you already qualify for this Federally funded free cellular service. As a participant, you receive the following, free, each month: Unlimited talk, text and data, and a free smartphone or you can bring your own.
Even if you’re paying just $20 a month for cell service, wouldn’t you rather have that $240 to put toward your emergency fund or pay down debt?
It takes just a few minutes to complete the application. Do so now, and you could be cutting your monthly cell phone bill to nothing in no time.
Plus, if you’re approved for Life Wireless/Lifeline Assistance Program and sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), you get two sources of free talk, text, and unlimited data that you can split between two phones. That means free cell service for you and free cell service for someone you love. If your child has been asking for a cell phone, this is a terrific opportunity to provide him or her with talk, text, unlimited data and the ability to stay in touch with you!
Of course you don’t have to split the service between two phones, you can keep it all on one. But it’s a wonderful option if your spouse, child or relative needs a phone – and who doesn’t? – but has been unable to get one due to the expense.
Whichever option you choose – to keep the data on one phone or split it between two – Life Wireless will make sure you receive the free talk, text, and unlimited data to help you stay connected.
Option 1: Combine Your Data
Activate Lifeline and ACP on the same device and receive unlimited talk, text, and data, plus 5GB of mobile hotspot.
Option 2: Split Your Data
Split your data between two phones or supported devices and you’ll have one device with ACP’s free talk, text, and 6GB of data and a second device with Lifeline’s talk, text, and 4.5GB of data (6GB of data in California).
Keep more of your hard-earned money with Life Wireless. Start now!
What our customers are saying:
“Without this phone I would be lost. It has helped me stay in contact with my daughter’s specialist. I schedule her appointments and they can call back if there are any complications with her results. Thank you, Life Wireless.” Amanda Z., PA
Complete the application here, and once you’re approved you’ll receive the following each month:
FREE Unlimited Talk & Text
FREE 15GB Data (+ more data for California residents)
FREE Smartphone (or bring your own)
I know – it sounds too good to be true, but this program is backed by the Federal government and it’s 100% for real.
If you’re unemployed or participate in a government benefit program such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, or WIC, you already qualify for this Federally funded cell phone service.
With inflation soaring, the ability to reduce expenses has never been more important. Even if you’re paying just $20 a month for your current cell phone plan, wouldn’t you rather have that money in your pocket? That’s $240 a year in savings you could spend at the supermarket or gas station at a time when every little bit helps.
It takes just a few minutes to find out if you qualify.
Complete the application now, and you could be cutting your monthly cell phone bill to nothing in no time!
Posted 1 year ago