Often we set goals about saving money. I am no different this year. But without some tangible ways to save money, we can often get off track. I have found those small monthly bills can really add up - like Netflix for $9.99, iCloud storage $2.99, Pandorda $4.99....you get the idea. But we can stop the bleed! These are my top tips for reducing your monthly spend.
I do like to keep a goal in mind for saving money. With a specific goal you can ask yourself is the owning a home or finishing my degree worth more than the things I am currently spending my money on? If you’re hoping to save money for a graduate school degree or putting a down payment on a second house in Calgary real estate, or finding a way to take that much deserved vacation, cutting down your monthly bills is a good way to save faster. But no matter what the reason you’re hoping to reduce those expenses, these tips can help you do just that.
Walk or Bike to Work More Often
If your commute to work is close enough to walk or bike, ditching the car at least occasionally can save you big. In fact, Smart Asset reports that according to the Citi ThankYou Premier Commuter Index, the average commute by motor vehicle in the U.S. costs $2,600 a year. The more often you leave that vehicle at home, the more you’ll save on gas and maintenance....and maybe your monthly gym fees too!
Cut the Cord
Do you really need cable television (or satellite)? These days many are cutting the cord, saving money without having to get up watching their favorite TV shows by taking advantage of streaming video services. At a minimum, if you aren’t already, see if your provider can bundle services like phone, TV and cable together, or simply ask for a better deal while letting the rep know you’re thinking about disconnecting. Sometimes simply threatening to do so will get you a good discount. Other options include cutting pay cable channels and/or downgrading your package.
Ask for Better Rates
In addition to your cable provider, you can ask your insurance, Internet, electricity/gas supplier, and cell phone company for better rates too. Shop around to find the best prices and then ask them to match it. If they refuse, you might be able to switch and get a better deal anyway.
Look for Ways to Reduce Energy Consumption
There are many ways to reduce your energy consumption, including lowering the temperature on your hot water heater, which is typically a major energy drain, accounting for around 14 percent of energy costs. When you aren’t using your electronic devices, unplug them. Most are continuously drawing a small amount of electricity even when they aren’t being used, if they’re plugged in, which can add up quickly if you have a lot of devices. You also might want to install a programmable thermostat that will allow you to automatically change the cooling and/or heating of your home when you aren’t there, or when you’re sleeping, which can save you significantly on those utility bills. If you haven’t already, switch out all our lightbulbs to LEDs which are far more energy efficient and last for many years.
Limit Dining Out and Cook Your Own Meals at Home More Often
While dining out or picking up food to go can be a big timesaver, the expense is usually significant. Instead, make your own meals at home, choosing simple recipes that focus on local, seasonal ingredients. You can save time by preparing meals for the week at once on the weekend and then freezing them for easy cooking later. Make extra so that you can take leftovers to work for lunch.
What are your top tips to saving on those monthly bills and keep them from adding up? Tell us in the comments!
M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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