Saving money is never a bad thing. Whether you’re going through tough times or just want to do a financial maintenance check, you can give your budget an overhaul by looking at some of the biggest financial pitfalls.
For starters, sit down and make a list of all your monthly bills and the amount you pay. Take a look at the prices and see which ones catch your eye. It might take a little work; a little wheeling and dealing on the phone, but you can save money by trimming the fat on some of the most expensive bills you pay. Here are a few tips to get you saving more money.
Ditch the monster vehicle
If you have a car payment that’s eating you alive, it might be time to rethink your transportation options. Hummers and Escalades make a statement, but at the end of the day you just need a reliable car. If your payments are too high or if your car is a gas-guzzler, you might want to get a new car. Obviously, you’re looking for something that’s cheaper than your current monthly payment and something that’s fuel-efficient. You can estimate car payments with online calculators and do a side-by-side vehicle comparison for gas mileage before heading to the dealership.
Lose the gym membership
We’re not trying to take away your healthy routine, but according to a recent fitness article, four out of five gym memberships go unused. If you’re using it, by all means, disregard this advice. If you’re one of those, “I’ll go sometime” people, it’s time to shut the membership down. Gym memberships can run anywhere from $35-$100, depending on the gym and the amenities offered. Don’t waste money on something you’re not using.
Cut the cable
Do you really need the premium package with 500+ channels? Probably not. On average, cable bills are about $75 a month, according to DailyFinance.com. Plus, your cable bill is likely to increase by about 5 percent each year. Do a little homework and see if there are cheaper packages out there. Give your cable company a call and see if there are any new deals that you’re eligible for. If not, explain that you need to cut your bill or discontinue services. Most of the time, provided you’re not being irate, the company will make some adjustments for you.
Dial down the cell phone use
There are a ton of cell phone plans out there. Everyone wants the coolest phone, the best coverage and the ability to text until their fingers fall off (particularly if you have teenagers at home) and you can have it all if you shop around. Cell phone carriers are competitive. Make them work for your business. Get a list of local carriers, make some calls and compare plans. Don’t forget to check with smaller providers. A recent article on CNet, a techie website, offers a good comparison of cell phone plans.