How much money do you spend every month? Wouldn’t you love to cut that amount by 20% … 30% … or even 50% – without living like a pauper? Well, you can! The simple fact is that most people have no idea how much money they waste every single month! Once they realize how much money is being wasted, they can devise a plan to cut their expenses and save thousands of dollars each year. Here are just a few tips for reducing your monthly bills.
Tip # 1: Use Cash
The best way to stick to a budget is to always pay with cash. Don’t carry credit cards when shopping and use a debit card for emergencies to keep from accumulating debt. If you do use a credit card, pay off the monthly balance to you won’t incur interest charges.
Tip # 2: Never Pay Full Price – Tips for Reducing Your Monthly Bills
Everything goes on sale eventually. Don’t buy until it does. If an item isn’t on sale, consider buying last year’s model. Also, pay attention to when grocery stores restock their meat cases. You can save money by shopping during those days. If you’re a parent, buy school clothes at a discount by taking advantage of off-season sales, coupons and clearance racks!
Other examples are free (or extremely low-cost) sports classes through the local Parks and Recreation Departments; community centers and churches, etc. Also, you can get low-cost amusement/play/ and orchestra tickets at fundraising auctions.
Tip # 3: Use Coupons/Rebates
Coupons and rebates are everywhere. Check the mailbox, weekly newspaper, internet, and individual stores. You can save quite a bit of money on items you need by becoming a coupon clipper or downloader.
Tip # 4: Increase Your Insurance Deductibles – Tips for Reducing Your Monthly Bills
A good way to save money off insurance premiums is to increase deductibles to $500 or $1,000. Depending on what the annual premium is, it is possible to save the amount of the new deductible in the first year or two.
Tip # 5: Downsize
Downsizing can have a dramatic effect on the bottom line of any spending plan. Instead of carrying a $400 a month car loan, consider buying a two or three-year-old car and owe half that payment amount (or pay cash for the car and eliminate the payment altogether). Insurance rates will be cheaper too on an older model that does not carry a loan. The same goes for your house. Only buy (and maintain) the size house that your family needs.
Tip # 6: Do It Yourself – Tips for Reducing Your Monthly Bills
Stop paying others to do jobs you can handle. If a lack of time is an issue, consider hiring a basic handyman (or college student) to handle everything instead of a high priced professional.
Tip # 7: Get Rid of Your Credit Card Balances
It is amazing how much money people throw away on credit card interest every month. Combine those balances onto one low-interest card if possible and make one smaller payment and a quicker payoff.
Tip # 8: Eat In – Tips for Reducing Your Monthly Bills
Eating out (including the quick bagel and coffee in the morning and lunch in the afternoon) sure can add up. Start eating breakfast at home, pack everyone’s lunches and limit your restaurant experiences to special occasions. This can lower food bills by 60% for some families!
Tip # 9: Get Rid of Unnecessary (and Unused) Services
Review every bill that comes into the home. Does the phone bill contain fees for special services that aren’t used or needed? How about the cable bill? Oh, and don’t forget those banking fees! Stop using the ATM and paying a fee for the privilege; use automatic bill paying to eliminate those late fees; and cancel the “extra” channels on the cable or satellite system.
Tip # 10: Learn to Say “NO” Once in Awhile – Tips for Reducing Your Monthly Bills
The word “no” isn’t a death sentence, even though our kids and our spouses would like us to believe just that. From a quick stop at the drive-thru to a few bucks for the mall, start saying no when your family asks you for money.
Tip # 11: Go Green
Becoming more energy efficient in everything you do can save hundreds of dollars every month on utility bills. For instance, simply turning off lights; hanging clothes outside to dry on nice days; lowering thermostats by just three degrees and making sure all appliances are in good working order can save a great deal of money.
These are just a few simple ways to lower your monthly bills. Once you start looking for cost cutters you will be surprised at how much money you can save!
This article originally appears on AboutZenLife.com.