In our economy, saving money has become crucial. There are so many ways to cut corners and save money and we are often overwhelmed by the information. Some things work and others don’t. How do you know what to do when you are faced with a budget that exceeds income? Here are five tried and true ways to start slashing that bill.
Cut Back on Electric
One of the top things we recommend you reduce is your electric use. It sounds nearly impossible since we need it to power our appliances, electronics, and heat or cool our homes. But it is possible to reduce your usage. Here are a few options to consider:
- Set an hour free of computer, television, and game console usage
- Change all light bulbs to energy efficient CFLs
- Turn out lights in the rooms you are not using
- Unplug appliances and electronics you do not use on a regular basis
- Install dimmer switches
If you are one of the lucky folks who live in a state that has deregulated electricity providers, do some comparison shopping on who provides the service at the best possible price. Call your current company and ask more about the pricing of their services, then call other local providers. Learn more online about how to save money on electricity.
Cut Back on Cable
Many homes feature cable services and it’s one of the easier bills to cut. Firstly, take note of how much of the cable you are really watching. Most people have way more channels and frills than what they use. If this is you, call the company and ask for a smaller package that includes exactly what you need in your home.
Do you bundle your home telephone and internet services with your cable bill? If not, you should be. Bundling often offers a huge discount to the customer for being so loyal to the company.
If you are bundling your home telephone and internet services, now ask yourself if it’s worth it. Many people have stopped utilizing a home telephone and just use their cell phones. So, if you don’t use your home phone often, call the company to find out what it would cost you to drop that service and switch to a different package. This is especially helpful if you have been a long-time customer as they will work to give you a better deal, they do not want to lose their customer base!
Finally, consider dropping cable altogether. Many folks now have subscription-based services like Netflix and Hulu that can be streamed on their Smart TVs and computers. Roku is an affordable piece of equipment that will connect to the internet and access all sorts of subscription-based options. Fewer commercials and you pay for exactly what you watch.
Bundle the Insurance
Speaking of bundling services, have you looked at your insurance lately? Insurance companies often offer a wide variety of services rather than target a specific area. Do call to see if you get your auto/renters/homeowners/life/health insurance bundled to save big. Insurance companies rely on your loyalty and will often provide big savings for an increase in policies. Additionally, it can save you big to do a comparison shopping every few years to see if you can lower your rates.
Saving money is important and doesn’t have to be a big endeavor. Cutting back on trips to Starbucks each month will only save you a little bit. Saving on your utilities and insurances will save you bigger. Look at those big ticket items first, then cut back on smaller items to maximize your dollar.