It might be hard to believe, but a new year is upon us. Whether you believe in establishing New Year’s Resolutions or not, many people see the turn of the calendar as a perfect opportunity to start on things that fell by the wayside the year prior.
According to Statistic Brain, 34 percent of Americans had a money-related resolution in 2014. In many cases that resolution has to do with saving more money. If that fits your case, hopefully this list of actionable tips will help you save more money in 2015.
Change Cell Phone Providers
Smartphones have become commonplace in today’s society. While that brings a number of benefits, it also brings one major problem – the cell phone bill. According to a recent study at CouponCabin.com, 46 percent of Americans have a cell phone bill of at least $100 per month with another 13 percent over $200. The major culprit behind this is the cell phone contract. Many people believe that if you’re under a contract, you’re obligated to pay that amount. However, a simple call to your provider to review your needs can often result in saving money by reducing the plan. If you’re not in a contract, or are coming up for renewal, consider one of the many reputable non-contract offerings out there such as Republic Wireless, Straight Talk Wireless or Ting as you can often get coverage for less than $50 per month.
Change Your Grocery Shopping
The average grocery bill for a family of four can be as high as almost $300 a week. The good news is that there are ways to significantly cut that amount this year. Some of those might be painful changes, but can save you real money. Look at how often you go to the store. Can you extend the time between trips? Can you coupon as well? Another idea is to have a freezer or pantry week once a month or quarter. This forces you to use everything in your kitchen, reduce food waste and save money.
Reduce Entertainment Costs
It’s no surprise that cable bills can be expensive. The obvious alternative to save money is to cut the cord. If that’s not an option for you and your family, then analyze the channels you are watching as you can often reduce your cable package and save yourself some money each month. Even if you have ditched cable, look at what alternatives you’re using. You may find that you only need two plans to get your shows and not three. Cut the third one and put some of that money back in your pocket.
Cut Insurance Bills
Insurance, in many cases, is a necessary evil. In the case of auto insurance you obviously need it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save money on it. Like with cable and your cell phone, analyze your insurance needs. If you drive an older car do you really need full coverage? Are you driving fewer miles? Can you afford to increase your deductible? Those are all justifiable ways to save money on your auto insurance, not to mention comparing other companies.
Kill the Interest Rates
Many Americans carry debt, and debt, of course, carries interest responsibilities with it. Depending on the type of debt you will likely have options to find lower interest rates. If you’re dealing with credit card debt, you can try and do a balance transfer to a lower rate card. If you’re hacking away at student loan debt you can look into consolidating for a lower rate. Better yet, pay off the debt altogether if you’re able.
Don’t Call in the Pros
If you’re a homeowner then you know how often it seems that something breaks or needs replaced. The temptation is to call in a professional to fix the issue, but that can cost a pretty penny. Instead of calling in a pro, try doing it yourself. It may feel daunting, but many jobs require only simple tools to take care of them. If you don’t know how to do a certain task, the Internet is a great resource for free tools and videos that can teach you how to do something. That can result in a huge money savings, not to mention the satisfaction of learning something new.
Fall In Love With a Budget
While not necessarily a task that will allow you to save money, starting a budget will indeed allow you to save more money. Don’t let the feeling that budgeting is restrictive hold you back as it can actually be quite freeing. There are many ways to budget and many free resources available to help get started. Find what works best for you and modify it to your life. This will allow you to see what spending fat can be trimmed which will help you control your money and not the other way around.
It may feel like it’s impossible to save money in most cases. However, with a little work and research you can often find many areas in which you can save money.