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At least once a year I sit down and go through all of my finances looking for places where money is leaking out of my bank account. If you are like me, most of your payments are done through automatic bank account deductions or automated credit card charges. The automation is great as it reduces the work and stress involved in paying bills but can also hide expenses and fees you might not need to pay.
Here are 7 expenses you should review today. I bet you will find at least one cost you can reduce or eliminate.
- Review your cell phone bill.
When you first bought your phone you may have opted for the monthly insurance in case you damage or destroy your phone. If your phone is a couple years old it may not be worth keeping that insurance. Even if your phone is new, read the fine print, you may find its not worth the monthly expense. Many of the policies include a cost of $100 or more if you need to replace the screen.
- Review your home and auto insurance policies.
Many people set their deductibles at $250. as a default. If you are a safe driver and you have some funds in a reserve account, consider increasing the deductible to $500 or even $1000. I recently increased my deductible from $250 to $1000 and it reduced my annual premium by $250. Another option to consider is paying your bill annually instead of monthly, that can save you an additional 5% to 10% off your annual premium.
- Check your subscriptions
Most software applications and services have changed to subscription based models. Take some time to review all of your subscriptions to see if you can cut any of them out. For example you might have Netflix, Prime and Sling on your TV. Do you really need all three subscriptions? Same with shopping clubs, are you a member of more than one? Do you really need to be? How about music services? Are you paying for an online music account and for XM radio in your car? Do you really need both? Go through your payment accounts (credit cards, Paypal, etc.) and look for those smaller monthly charges. You might have one or two out there you didn’t realize you were still signed up for.
- Home Phone/TV/Internet
If you are still buying a bundled package from one of the big providers, do you still need a home phone number? If you do have Netflix, Prime or similar services do you still need “cable TV” from your home provider? I recently switched my Triple Play services to just internet and then added Sling for TV and saved about $35 a month. Are you out of contract with that provider? If so you should contact them to see if you can get a cheaper deal if you sign a new contract.
- Compare home service providers
This would include services like waste disposal, pest control and lawn maintenance. Are you happy with your current providers? Even if you are, find one or two good competitors and contact them to get a pricing quote. If its cheaper than what you are currently paying, go back to your provider and ask them if they can discount their rate. This is another good area to consider annual payments to reduce costs.
- Pay your bills with a credit card
If you pay off your credit cards every month and you have a well organized budget, you should consider paying your monthly bills and expenses with a credit card. You can find credit cards that give cash back for every purchase or give you points towards travel or online purchases. Be careful with this one, the key is to pay off the cards every month. If you end up running a balance, the interest rates will cost more than the rewards you receive. On a separate note, if you do run a balance on your credit card, shop around to see if you can get a reduced interest rate.
- Online Marketplaces
This option may not be for everyone, there are certainly some safety risks using online marketplaces. The next time you need to make a large purchase, take a look through your local Facebook Marketplace, ebay or another online marketplace to see if you can find someone selling the item you need. Same goes for selling things you don’t need around the house anymore. Watch out for scammers!
I hope you found this post helpful. If you are a Microsoft Outlook user, stop by my site Control Your Day to discover a better way to manage your email and tasks in Outlook.