I’ve yet to meet a family that isn’t interested in cutting their monthly expenses. But it’s hard to know where to start. Or you get demotivated because you can’t think of any single expense you can eliminate or drastically reduce that would save you big bucks.
That’s the wrong approach. If you look for strategic ways to trim certain expenses by 10%, or just $10 a month, I think you will be amazed how it all adds up. I am confident you can save $1,000 or more a year. Some ideas to get your creative expense-cutting juices flowing:
Drive the Best Car Insurance Deal.
A recent survey reported that most Americans have stuck with the same auto insurer for a decade or more. I’m fine with that if you’re done a little bit of homework and confirmed you’re paying a competitive premium. But if you haven’t shopped around for auto insurance in a few years, that’s a mistake. Even if you haven’t had any claims, your premiums may be going up, as many insurers are raising rates lately. And it’s important to understand that there’s no one universal pricing system. Insurer A’s criteria for setting premiums can be quite different from Insurer B’s. Hop online and do some comparison shopping, or ask an independent agent for a few quotes.
And while you are at it, request quotes with a deductible of at least $1,000. It makes little sense to have a lower deductible. It only encourages you to make smaller claims, which invariably will back fire on you. Many insurers will raise your premium after a claim. By raising your deductible from $250 or $500 to $1,000 or more, you will qualify for a lower premium. You may find that being a smarter car insurance shopper can trim your annual bill by $100 or more.
Spread Out the Personal Care.
If you spend $80 every six weeks at the hairdresser, you’ll spend nearly $700 a year. Stretch the visits to once every eight weeks and your annual outlay is $520. Apply the same stretch-out-the-visit strategy to manicures and pedicures as well.
Ditch the Landline and Reduce the Data Plan.
Keep a log for a month of how often you use a landline (assuming you still have one!) Rely on your cell and a VOIP-system like Skype and you might be able to save $50 or more a month. Then pull up your latest cell phone statement and study your data usage. See how much you could save by dropping down to the next level. All it might take is getting the entire family to be a bit more strategic about relying on Wi-Fi more often. Don’t shrug that the savings is “just $10 or so. That’s $120 a year. Find nine other household expenses that you can trim by $10 a month and you’re on your way to saving nearly $1,500 a year!