If you’re in need of trimming your Monthly Bills but you don’t want to forgo your Starbucks latte, there are a number of things you can do. Today’s blog is all about reducing your monthly bills and we’ve put together quite a few helpful tips to do just that. Enjoy.
Student Loans: Years back you made a decision to go to college and, if you’re like one of 37 million adults, you’re now struggling to pay those loans back. The fact is, that money you borrowed was supposed to be an investment, not a burden, so it’s extremely important that you look into as many options as possible for repaying those loans as quickly as possible.
One of the easiest ways to do that is to check into what kind of benefits your provider offers for automatic payments. For example, Great Lakes will actually reduce your rate if you put your student loans on auto pay. You can also look into consolidating your student loans because, depending on your annual percentage rate, the balance on each loan that you have and the years you have left to pay, consolidating them could lower your interest rate by a substantial amount.
Promotional Packages: Many utility providers offer excellent deals on your cable, wireless, smart phone and other monthly service bills if you switch from the provider you are currently using to them. If you do that, you instantly become a “new customer” and can sometimes be eligible for their premium packages. For example, DirecTV offers something they called their “Triple Savings Event”. By taking advantage of this excellent deal you’ll save $33 a month during the first year that you are a DirecTV customer and, in the second and third year, $10 a month.
Hidden Fees: Banks are really the worst when it comes to charging you for things on the sly. Whenever you open a new bank account or, for that matter, apply for a new credit card, make sure you carefully read all of the fine print so that you know exactly what you are getting into. Most banks will require that you maintain a certain balance in your checking account, for example, or you’ll end up paying a fee. Credit cards are just as bad and many come with an annual fee but, on the other hand, many don’t so make sure you choose the right one. The fact is, there are so many available that using one that charges you an annual fee really isn’t necessary.
Food and Meal Planning: Many people are quite good at making grocery shopping lists but, if you really want to save money, you should make a weekly menu instead. If you know what you are going to cook you can use your local grocery stores flyers to save money on the ingredients that you’re going to need that week. Also, you can precook a lot of things so that, if you arrive home at the end of the day exhausted, you have less work to do in order to put a nutritious meal on the table. Having a menu as well as a shopping list when you are at the grocery store will also help you to save money because you won’t be as tempted to buy food items you don’t need.
Speaking of food, having a well-stocked pantry with nonperishable but relatively healthy items like pasta, beans and tuna fish can be very helpful if you need to throw something together in a few minutes. Also, most grocery stores these days have a rewards program that will save you upwards of 15%, if you don’t have one, applying for one is usually easy and free. Certain credit cards also have rewards on supermarket purchases, including the Citibank ThankYou Premier card.
Gasoline: With gas prices ridiculously high, driving less, preparing your travel plans in advance and using an app like Gas Buddy to tell you where the best price in town is for gas are definitely a must.
These tips and suggestions should definitely save you a few bucks every month so learn to love them and use them regularly. If you have questions about your finances, savings or retirement planning, please let us know. We have all sorts of excellent information and a backlog of dozens of excellent blogs that can help you.