Cutting your monthly budget again doesn't mean trimming necessities; it means saving money on them. That might include trimming grocery costs and comparison shopping for items likes clothes and household goods.
But when you save money on these purchases, each discount only happens once. To really maximize your savings, cut your recurring expenses, and let the savings add up.
Review Your Monthly Budget Expenses
But few companies advertise to existing customers that they have lowered their prices. You have to review these monthly household expenses periodically to be sure you are getting the best deal.
Here's a list of 10 places to cut your monthly budget:
Consider raising your deductible for lower rates. Ask your agent what other discounts you might qualify for. Often working from home could mean a discount on auto insurance.
2. Financial Fees
Do you incur ATM fees because your bank's machines are not convenient? It might be as simple as reviewing your current bank's options or you might consider migrating your account to an Internet bank, especially if earning more interest is important to you.
3. Cable and Satellite Television
New customers, whether bundling services or not, usually get the best deals, so it may be necessary to switch providers. But sometimes threatening to switch will net you a discount. Also, if you're really serious about saving money, consider downgrading your package by cutting out pay cable channels.
4. Cell Phone
- Do you really need a new phone and what is the hidden cost up sticking with your plan to get it? (I got my cell phone from Ebay rather than take the free one and the two-year contract.)
- Are you using all the minutes allotted, if your plan has limits? If you have an unlimited plan do you make enough calls to make that worthwhile? Same goes for data.
- Are you paying for Internet and texting but not using it enough to justify the cost? Or are you using it so much that another plan might be a better deal?
- Would a cheaper plan or a prepaid cell phone serve you just as well?
Like cable and Internet providers, landline phone service packages keep getting cheaper as more competition comes on the market. Consider VOIP or cable phone services. If you do stay with your traditional telephone company, be sure you are getting the cheapest long distance service and not paying for services you don't need.
6. Internet Provider
The Internet is a telecommuter's lifeline, so do your research first. Be sure if you change service providers the new one will offer the services and reliability your business needs.
7. Refinance Your Home
But refinancing involves many upfront costs (interest points, taxes, fees, etc.), so it may take several months (or even years) for you to actually realize these savings. And if you're not planning to stay in the house for long, you could actually lose money on refinancing. Carefully consider the pros and cons of refinancing your home before taking this cost-cutting step.
8. Credit Card Rewards Points
Saving rewards points for your dream vacation or another splurge runs the risk of the points expiring or never being used. Using points on a regular basis helps you cut your monthly expenses. Consider using rewards systems that pay cash or offer gift cards that you will actually use.
9. Utility Bills
But the old-fashioned way to save on utility costs is simply to conserve electricity or waste less water.
10. Credit Card Interest Expense
One way to lower your interest is to simply ask for a lower interest rate. Companies will often oblige to keep your business. If they don't, consider a balance transfer to another card with a better rate. Read the fine print, though, balance transfers sometimes offer rates that go up after a period of time and usually involve fees.
Avoid interest in the first place by saving for holidays and other known expenses in advance.