All of us would love to see more money in our pockets and this can be possible by simply making a few changes in our everyday lifestyle. Yet, one of the biggest challenges is figuring out ways to spend less money. The best way to accomplish this is to cut down on our monthly expenses.
You might have a feeling that you’re overpaying for certain bills but the thought of actually doing anything about is just too overwhelming. Those bills can be particularly daunting now as many of us are faced with financial challenges in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some tips and tricks to lower your monthly expenses:
Review Your Monthly Expenses
If you don't know what you're spending your money on each month, it'll be harder to figure out where you should make cuts. Look carefully at your monthly expenses, including bank and credit card statements as well as old bills and receipts. Go through all the line items you're responsible for every month.
Trim Unnecessary Expenses
Once you've reviewed your monthly expenses and know where your money is going, figure out where you're overspending and what can easily be eliminated. Go through your expenses line by line, and ask yourself whether each is needed, for example, utilities and health insurance over dining out and streaming video services.
Use an Automated Financial Assistant
Have you ever forgotten to cancel a free trial or discovered an unexpected bill? An automated financial app such as www.truebill.com takes care of canceling subscriptions, lowering bills, and refunding bank fees. The free service will help you find, manage, and notify you of any changes to your monthly subscriptions from Netflix and gym memberships to recurring bills and utilities and cancel unwanted or fraudulent services in a matter of seconds.
Save on Mobile Phone Bills
Match your mobile phone plan with your actual needs by tracking your data use with text alerts or the app www.mydatamanager.com. then downgrade to a cheaper plan. Websites such as www.billshark.com find ways to lower your monthly phone bill with your same carrier and plan.
Cut Cable and Internet Bills
Cutting back or bundling your cable and internet services is one of the easiest ways to reduce monthly spending. Stop paying for channels or internet connection speeds you don't need; shop around for the best deal. Downgrade from premium to basic cable or consider getting rid of cable altogether. Supplement cheaper TV alternatives with Sling TV, Netflix, or other streaming video services (make sure your Wi-Fi plan accounts for this). A low-cost antenna can also help you tap into local broadcasts for free.
Decrease Your Energy Bills
Many of us are seeing higher utility bills because we are staying home more than ever. There are plenty of energy-saving tips that include: unplugging devices completely, installing energy-efficient light bulbs, using programmable thermostats, utilizing timers and power strips, lowering the temperature on your hot water heater, washing your dishes and clothes in full loads during off-peak hours, air sealing your home to prevent drafts, etc. All of these can help lower your utility costs year round.
Lower Your Mortgage/Automobile Costs
Refinancing your home or car to lock in a lower interest rate or consolidating your debt are ways to substantially reduce your monthly payments. Also be sure to keep the tires on your automobiles properly inflated. Once a month, stop by a local gas station that offers free air and check the air pressure in your car tires. If they aren’t inflated to the optimal PSI, fill each one to the maximum recommended amount as stated in your car manual. Every two PSI of air you’re able to add to your tires can improve your gas mileage by 1%.
Reduce Your Debt
Paying off debt cuts a portion of your monthly bills and ultimately puts more money back in your pocket. To reduce debt, ask for a credit card rate reduction or a lower interest rate. You can also take advantage of balance transfers to a lower-interest credit card, or one with rewards if your debt has a high interest rate. Sign up for automatic debt repayment plans; many installment plans, such as those for student loans, reduce the interest rate if you sign up for automatic monthly billing.
Scale Down Insurance Premiums
Insurance protects us against the unexpected, but that doesn't mean we have to overpay. You can often raise your deductibles to ease your monthly bill. Shop around for homeowners and auto insurance (or bundle policies together for a discount). Get a few quotes and switch providers for a better deal.
Save Money on Food
Dining out for meals, even if it's just here and there can add up and overspending on food whether it's from a restaurant or the grocery store can be a problem area for our budgets. Resist the temptation of takeout by preparing meals at home and packing lunches during the week, which can leave room for a nice restaurant dinner over the weekend. Also consider buying cheaper, generic products when you go grocery shopping.
The Police Credit Union’s MoneyTrac online budgeting tool offers members an easy solution for expense tracking. MoneyTrac keeps all of your accounts in one place so that your funds are organized and you stay on top of your bills. MoneyTrac also manages your spending habits by categorizing and creating a budget for you. Login to Online Banking and click on MoneyTrac to get started towards huge savings on your monthly expenses. Transform your financial future!