Making more money is, of course, the ideal and an ongoing goal. Cutting your expenses is something that you can do immediately, by attending to the following seven items.
1. Home heating. Keeping your home warm all winter long is important. Avoiding costly heating bills may also be a priority. The two may not look as if they jive, but they do — if you install an automatic thermostat to regulate the rise and fall of heat within your home. With this unit, you can set the heat to automatically rise to 68 degrees in the day and then drop down to 62 degrees when you leave for work. Just before you arrive home again, the thermostat kicks in to deliver another burst of heat. You’ll save money by installing an electronic thermostat, avoiding waste.
2. Cell phone. When was the last time you took a good look at your cell phone plan? You may be paying for services that you do not need such as text messaging. If that is the case, review your bill and cut back on services that you do not need. Also, you may find that stepping up to a more comprehensive plan costs more initially, but with extended minutes saves you money in the long run.
3. Home and auto insurance. A near automatic savings of 10 percent on your auto and homeowner’s insurance policies can be realized by combining these to one provider. Insurance companies reward loyalty by giving customers a discount when using both services. Additional savings can be realized by asking for good driver discounts, by raising your deductibles or in dropping collision coverage for an old vehicle. Bundle your insurance and save.
4. Internet connection. How do you get online? Chances are you have an Internet connection, a cable bill and a phone bill with long distance service. By combining these services to one account, you can save money. Both your cable company and your phone company are vying for your business. Separately, you may pay a mint for these services. Combined, you could save hundreds of dollars annually.
5. Credit cards. Getting out of debt should be a priority. You can get out of debt faster if your credit card interest rates are more manageable. Consider transferring your high credit card balances to a card offering a lower rate. You can also ask your credit card provider for a lower rate — all they can say is “no.”
6. Water and sewer. Cutting back on the necessities of life can be a challenge. With water and sewer, that may seem downright impossible. However, savings can be had if you install water saving devices such as shower heads, aerators, toilets and other lower-use equipment for your home.
7. Regular grade gasoline. What grade of gasoline do you use to fuel up your car? If you use premium fuel and it is required, then stay with that. But, if your owner’s manual says that premium fuel is recommended, but not required, then choose a lower grade. The price difference between premium and regular grade can be upwards of 50 cents per gallon. Clearly, there is much savings that can be had if you go with the lower grade fuel.
You might also realize additional savings by refinancing your home. If you have not refinanced in several years, today’s lower rates could save you money. Or, if you have a variable interest rate mortgage, you may be able to save money in the long run, by locking in a low, fixed rate today.
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