Are you looking for ways to save on monthly expenses? Monthly expenses can add up very quickly, and we sometimes overpay for things we can get at a more affordable rate. Periodically, it’s a good idea to review your budget, line by line, and look for ways to save money.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Lower Your Mortgage: Refinance
One of the biggest ways to lower your mortgage payment is to refinance. Interest rates are currently hovering right around an all-time low. If you’re eligible for a refinance, you could reduce your interest rate by a full percent, which could work out to a serious reduction in your monthly payment.
The Simple Dollar also recommends making biweekly payments. Split your monthly rent in half and send in a check every two weeks. For example, instead of paying $2,000 a month, pay $1,000 every two weeks. Not only does this help you get your payments in earlier — lowering the number of days the mortgage balance accrues interest — but by the end of the year, you will also have made an extra payment.
2. Lower Your Utilities: Install Energy-Saving Devices
Air seal your home to reduce air flow, which will keep your house naturally warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, cutting down on your electricity bill. You can also install energy-efficient light bulbs, timers and a programmable thermostat to cut down on utility usage. This may involve a little bit of an up-front expense, but it can pay off over the long run.
3. Lower Your Car Insurance Bill: Bundle Your Policies
It’s common for insurance companies to offer a multi-policy discount. For example, if you buy a homeowners’ or renters’ policy through your auto insurer, you can save some money on both. Or, insure all of your family’s vehicles through the same carrier. Shop around before you make any changes, though, to make sure you are truly getting the best deal. Sometimes, having policies with multiple carriers is more cost-effective.
4. Lower Your Cell Phone Bill: Switch to a New Mobile Service Provider
You can save a significant amount of money on your family’s cell phone bill by switching to a carrier that offers a better value for your money. For example, T-Mobile offers unlimited talk, text and data at a very competitive rate. They also offer the latest Samsung smartphones and tablets at a reasonable price.
Switching to T-Mobile can also cut costs in other areas; for example, they just announced that users can listen to six music streaming services for free. This represents savings for people who pay to stream music from Internet radio. T-Mobile customers who stream music through Pandora, iHeartRadio, Slacker, iTunes, Spotify or Rhapsody won’t have to worry about the data being counted against their plan. A CNET report called T-Mobile’s move “A boon to music lovers who subscribe to a plan with limited high-speed data.” T-Mobile has said that in the future, this deal could extend to include services like Google Play, Beats and Rdio.
5. Eliminate Your Cable Bill: Sign Up for a Streaming Plan
It’s becoming trendier to ditch cable altogether in favor of a streaming plan through Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. These streaming options offer many of the most popular television shows, plus a huge library of movies. The best part is that monthly streaming plans are extremely affordable: Netflix plans start at $8 per month — with plenty of entertainment options right at your fingertips!
Although these are monthly expenses you can’t avoid, it doesn’t mean to need to overspend on them. Use these tips to save on monthly expenses and keep a little extra money in your wallet each month.
– By Jennifer Thayer
Jennifer is a freelance writer who enjoys covering everything from technology, to entertainment to lifestyle. She is always looking for tips and tricks to make daily activities easier. Follow her on Twitter to see what she comes up with next.