This is a sponsored post to help people with reducing monthly spending from our friends at Cable Compare because nothing excites me more than learning about money. Enjoy!
When bills stack up or you want to save up for something, you need to look at every option to either increase your income or reduce your spending. And when you can’t get a raise or more work, it comes down to you to trim some of the fat off your budget to see what lifestyle changes you can make. Yet this doesn’t need to be a painful process. We’re certain there are ways you can still enjoy the same quality of life.
You should search your budget and various sources to brainstorm ideas, but here are five great ideas of our own to get you started:
Negotiate Loans and Refinance Debts
The methodology for each type of loan will be different and you’ll want to consult more specific and detailed sources for complicated topics such as how to refinance your student loan debt, but something to think about is what loans you have and what options you have. The offers you constantly get in the mail might seem suspicious, if not predatory, but there are options available to you, especially if you have good credit.
We suggest checking the following:
- Credit card debts
- Car loans
- Student loans (check to see if you can switch to income-based repayment)
- Home loans/mortgages
- Bank loans
You won’t always find success, but the reduced interest rate or breathing room you can negotiate can make a world of difference.
2. Check Your Insurance Options
We’re sure you see commercials telling you how you can save on car insurance in one way or another, but do you consider them with any real effort? You might have to wait for an opportunity (when your current contract runs out) or switch providers to get the most of it, but sometimes a call to negotiate with your car insurance company can work wonders.
Speaking of insurance, have you considered the costs of your health and dental coverage? We aren’t asking you to neglect your health whatsoever (that will only cost you more over time anyhow), but it might be wise to review your current coverage plan if possible. Is there a plan, perhaps a cheaper one, that more realistically fits your healthcare services use? Would vision coverage help you save money each year, or conversely would opting out of vision coverage
This is another thing that can only be done periodically, but the results can literally be life-changing if it gets you to consider healthcare costs differently.
3. Review Your Subscriptions
Sure, you can cancel Netflix, but isn’t that really just the tip of the iceberg? The average person has more subscriptions than they know of or even use, and companies often rely on that fact to keep you despite your lack of use. We recommend you do the following:
- Be careful about annual subscriptions. While often cheaper, it’s possible if not likely that you won’t be using the service after a few months, and you’ll forget about it until you’re already renewed.
- Disable auto-renew for just about everything. Cancel subscriptions and then resubscribe when your time runs out. This is a great way to keep yourself in control and only pay for services you’ll use.
- To help take note of what you’re paying for, print out bank or credit card statements from over the last year. Ignore everything else and just highlight subscription-related expenses.
- In terms of budgeting, consider the annual cost instead of the monthly cost. When you see those numbers, you’ll start to truly consider the cost to your annual budget.
4. Reduce or Eliminate Your Cable Bill
How much television do you watch, and what channels or shows do you watch? Do you use your cable subscription, or is it somewhat forgotten in the sea of streaming subscriptions and on-demand content available freely online? Many will suggest cutting the cord, and that certainly is an option, but what about simply seeing if you can catch a deal on your cable bill or cut out some of the premium channels you don’t use? Alternatively, adjusting your bundles (whether bundling services or getting out of a bundle) might also reduce your bill.
There are plenty of ways to reduce your bill, and by talking and negotiating with customer service, you’ll likely be able to make your efforts worth your time. Similarly, you should look at the many ways you can watch TV for free so you aren’t so reliant on premium channels or a cable subscription.
5. Make Excellent Meals at Home
A major cost that people don’t have to incur is going out to eat or getting takeout often. Instead, they tell you to try and cook cheap and delicious meals instead. We don’t even want to suggest you try making cheap and delicious meals. We want to propose a middle ground of occasionally splurging on great ingredients for meals that you want to have and want to make so that while you aren’t spending so much extra money on food, you’re still enjoying yourself and will feel less of a sacrifice or burden. It’ll still be cheaper than going out, and much healthier.
If you’re worried you can’t cook or would make a bad meal, then investing in a few cooking classes would still pay for itself over a few months if you’re eating out less. And you can focus on simple to make but nonetheless delicious meals. The kitchen is your canvas if you’re willing to be imaginative.
A budget can be a complicated thing, and sometimes you can lose sight of the smaller line items that can make a difference in favour of the big picture. It’s important that you take some time to reconsider where your money is going and make some changes to not only improve your ledger but also your life. We hope we’ve inspired you to make some changes and wish you good fortune with whatever you plan on doing.
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