Do you sometimes feel as though you’ve exhausted every clever technique for saving money? If so, there’s good news. People come up with new, effective methods for conserving their income and slashing expenses all the time. Of course, some approaches are better than others, and a few only apply in special situations. The bottom line is that there are plenty of worthwhile ways to add a few extra bucks to your rainy day account each month.
It’s important, however, to realize that several of the strategies require a bit of effort, like taking the time to seek out lower insurance rates, fine-tune your budget, find coupons for items you regularly purchase, adjust the thermostat temp to a less energy hungry setting, delay certain purchases, and create a realistic plan for eliminating debt from your life. Of the following eight savings hacks, which ones work best for your particular financial situation?
1. Hunt for Insurance Bargains
Vehicle, homeowners, life, health, and other categories of insurance coverage can add up. Monthly, annual, or semi-annual premiums for these kinds of protection often make up a large part of a typical person’s recurring bills. There’s a way to lower the sting of insurance costs, and it’s actually quite easy. Call each one of your insurance carriers and ask for lower rates. A few might turn you down, but others will be happy to keep your business by offering a lower rate. There’s no need to threaten to leave the company and go to a rival. Simply call and say something along the lines of being a longtime customer and am working on tightening up the budget. See if it is possible to get a lower premium payment. Many use this technique to great advantage, and you’ll likely be surprised at how much you can save by taking a proactive approach.
2. Reduce Monthly Spending
Going through your monthly budget with an eye toward expense cutting is an educational and worthwhile exercise for anyone. And, it’s even more productive for people who are currently paying on one or more student loans. The overall goal is to refinance student debt via a private lender in order to get better terms. For the vast majority of working adults, refinancing works because they typically have better credit and higher incomes now, compared to when they took out the loans. Consolidation methods, like those at this site here, have the potential to reduce monthly payments significantly through more attractive interest rates, longer payback periods, and generally more favorable terms. You can actually refinance you student loans and instantly lower your monthly money outflow. Online applications for refi’s take just a few minutes and give you lots of options.
3. Shop with Coupons
Couponing, as enthusiasts call it, is not as simple as grabbing codes and offers from online sites. It takes time to find specific coupons for the items you buy regularly, and many of the websites in the niche are relatively worthless. But, if you’re willing to spend time identifying a few sites that meet your needs, collecting screenshots and code numbers can save you a serious amount of money on groceries and other items. Consider focusing on groceries if you want to get the best return on your time investment when couponing.
4. Build an Emergency Fund
Get serious about building a three-month emergency fund. That means socking away enough money to get you through three full months of unemployment. These funds can be real life savers when you switch jobs or get laid off. They’ll save you money because you won’t have to live on high-interest credit cards during a personal economic crisis. That alone is a great reason to create an emergency fund. Another is that you’ll be able to earn interest on the fund if you keep it in a CD or high-interest savings account.
5. Adjust the Thermostat
Setting the home thermostat one or two degrees down in winter, and one or two up in the summer can make a significant dent in what you spend on utilities and is an odd way to make extra money but effective none the less. Of course, that savings is automatic, and requires no thinking, if you install a smart, programmable thermostat in your home or apartment. That’s because smart devices can be set to shut down when you’re not home or while you’re asleep and have little need for extra heating or cooling. Programmable devices cost less than $20 and are easy to install. Homeowners are often amazed at how much they save after setting the program.
6. Eliminate Impulse Buying Two Ways
There are multiple strategies for eliminating impulse buying. One is to set a 30-day rule for major items. Likewise, for weekly needs, like groceries, use a written list to avoid impulse purchases at the store. Many consumers discover that the 30-day method gives them time to realize that they either don’t need the item at all or that they can find the same thing at a much lower price somewhere else.
7. Learn to Do Your Own Maintenance
Before replacing furniture, kitchen cabinets, or appliances, consider fixing them yourself of checking on repair costs. Plus, doing something as simple as painting the kitchen cabinets, rather than buying new ones, can save hundreds of dollars. When appliances like refrigerators, ovens, washers, and dryers stop working, don’t assume they’re dead. Often, an experienced repair professional can fix them for a tiny fraction of the price of a new item.
8. Change a Few Expensive Habits
Be brutally honest with yourself as you go over the monthly budget. Are there a few obvious habits or tendencies that are costing you? For example, many working people spend more than they realize on fast food, bar tabs, and convenience store items. Make an effort to change your costly habits and the result will be more available money at the end of each month. Consider eating at home more often, taking a lunch to work, buying candy in bulk at the grocery store instead of at convenience shops, and enjoying an occasional glass of wine with dinner instead of at the local watering hole.