We all know about spending less and saving more, but what happens if your budget is already stretched and contorted to its max? How do you save money when every last penny you have is going to pay your bills, and you barely have enough money to pick food? At that point, saving money seems next to impossible!
Not so! The truth is, many of us have overlooked the fact that you can save nickels and dimes, and before you know it, those coins can add up to hundreds of dollars! We don’t realize it, but we often nickel and dime our plot into debt. It’s a dollar here, five dollars there, and before you know it, you’ve racked up huge bills!
The worthy news is that you can reduce your expenses the same way. How often do you inspect your bills? I mean, really go through them with a fine-toothed comb? Are there fees you shouldn’t be paying? Is there interest that has spiked? Can you make adjustments in your lifestyle that can set aside your money? Can you revisit a monthly service opinion?
Let’s open with the basics: utilities. If you’re like me, you get the bill in the mail, screech a small, then get the checkbook out and let your tears wet the stamp for the envelope! But I’ve recently learned that hundreds of dollars are to be saved in my utilities every month, and now I’m kicking myself for not looking closer at what I was paying!
We paid $30 every month for trash service. But since my family and I compost and recycle, we rarely have enough trash to beget a bin on a weekly basis. So instead, we started to take our trash to the dump every month. This saves us $25 since we have to pay $5 to dump our garbage, but still, mammoth savings!
I then got on the line with my phone and cable companies, and when the service people wouldn’t assist me, I asked for managers. My goal was to reduce my monthly service plans, which, when going unchecked, often tend to increase in amount steadily! There are usually great plans available for new customers, and if you play your cards right and plead your case with the managers politely and thoroughly, you can often rep your rates reduced. I managed to establish $15.00 with my cell phone company and $20 with my cable company. Score!
Now on to the gargantuan guns: the electric company. Did you know that in many states, you can choose your electric supplier? By doing this, you can oftentimes receive wholesale rates for electricity that can place your hundreds of dollars each year. Your local utility company will still deliver your electricity, read your meter and send your bill. So, you’ll impartially choose another company to generate that electricity. In our case, we went with a clean energy company and saved $40 a month because the price per kilowatt was substantially lower. We also began to line the home. If you want to learn more about alternative suppliers, call your electric company and simply ask. You’ll have to do some research for the lowest price, but the money saved is totally worth it! Drying our clothes saved us another $40 because the clothes dryer is one of the most expensive utilities in.
Another place where you might be able to save money is through your insurance company. Do you have an excellent driving record? Has it been years since you changed your plan? Chances are, you’re paying too much money. In this case, you have the possibility of obtaining very cheap car insurance with no deposit. There are many insurance companies out there willing to compete for your business by offering you a reduction in your bill. Do a little research, and you might be surprised how much you can place. We reduced our monthly bill by $30 and checked into our home insurance, and found that our deductible was ridiculously low, like $500. And since we most likely would not file a claim for that amount, we increased our deductible and the next week had a check in the mail for $300. We will still pay our home insurance through escrow, but at least we have a little money in our pockets up right now, and our car insurance was reduced. Compare multiple insurance quotes online with Gladiators Insurance and find the cheapest policy you can get.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but if you haven’t done it already, it will behoove you to call your credit card companies and ask for a rate reduction. Typically, the creditors will work with you to reduce your debt, and many are offering special incentive plans to help you do this! We experienced a rate hike a few months ago, unbiased about when the economy went into the toilet. But since we’ve paid our bills on time and have a history of good credit, they were happy to work with us and reduce some rates. We also did some credit card shuffling, closing some cards in lieu of others with better interest rates. We transferred money to cards with lower rates, closed cards with yearly fees, and consolidated others. In many cases, you could also be paying fees for programs you didn’t even know you were enrolled in! I found on one card that I had been enrolled in a credit protection program and didn’t even know it. Across the board, we saved about $150 in the reduction of interest rates and fees.
Can You See Me Doing the Happy Dance?
When it was all said and done, we had saved ourselves $820 this month! I was completely flabbergasted. How could we have been spending this much and not paid attention to it? I could have kicked myself for not doing this sooner. Be ye not as stupid as us, check your bills and start saving money. All it will cost you is a few hours of your time. With that extra money, we were able to pay off a credit card, and we’re saving to buy an energy-efficient dishwasher and clothes washer to establish even more electricity every month.
Go ahead, re-claim your money and commence saving! It’s easier than you think. You’ll be surprised how considerably money you can find.