Has the end of the month come and left you wondering, “Where did my paycheck go?” Don’t worry you’re not alone, but if you find yourself in this predicament month to month, it may be a good time to update your monthly budget.
However, before you start cutting your favorite things out of your budget, take a look at bills that occur regularly. Chances are you can create some savings by shaving off a few unnecessary expenses from your cell phone, utilities, water bill, etc. without sacrificing your monthly must-haves.
Check out these 5 easy tips below, and put money back in your wallet. Remember, the more you save now and cut unnecessary spending, the happier you’ll be later.
#1 Find Smart Ways to Cut Your Utility Bills
Saving on your utility bills can be as easy as unplugging unused appliances and other items. Using energy efficient light bulbs, a programmable thermostat to control heat and air, and purchasing power strips to easily turn things off are great ways to save on electricity.
You may also look at shortening the amount of time you’re in the shower or hand-washing dishes to save on your water bill. The quickest and most effective way to save on your utilities is to get an energy audit. A professional audit will ensure that you are doing everything you can to save money from insulating your attic to finding and fixing leaks.
#2 Eliminate Credit Card Balances
The easiest way to save with a credit card is to pay off your balance every month. When you don’t carry a monthly balance you save money in interest charges. However, if you’re saddled with credit card debt, opt for a credit card that has a low interest rate like the PenFed Promise Visa® Card. This card has a low purchase APR and no fees so it’s a great card to have if you carry a balance from month to month.
#3 Audit Your Cell Phone Bill
Are you really using that hotspot or all of those minutes on your cell phone? If you’re not using nearly as many minutes or features that you’re paying for, you may want to downgrade your plan to fit your needs. Also, avoid paying for mobile applications or apps; instead get the free or lite version. If one isn’t available, find an app that is similar in function that is free.
#4 Shop Smart and Use Coupons
Try purchasing your food in bulk and avoid the higher priced grocery stores. You may pay more upfront, but you get more food for the long haul. Also, check out your local newspaper for fantastic deals in coupons. While the savings may seem small, coupon savings definitely add up especially when you have coupons for most of your purchases.
#5 Cut the Cable
Chances are you have a premium cable package but you can only watch one channel at a time. Take a look at your monthly cable bill and see if you can shave off some savings by cutting a few of your premium channels. If the thought of cutting your movie channels brings you to tears, there are a plethora of internet-based movie rental services that you can take advantage of.
The Takeaway: When it comes to saving money, leave no stone unturned. Begin with taking a look at regularly occurring expenses and start cutting back spending where you can. Saving money on reoccurring monthly expenses spares you from cutting your monthly must-haves completely out of your budget.