In today’s economy bills keep piling up and our paychecks seem stuck in a rut. Who isn’t looking to cut down on their bills? The good news is that there are many ways you can cut costs–and you might be surprised at just how simple it is to even cut your bills in half!
You don’t have to be on TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” to save some money using couponing strategies. There are several popular websites that will do all the coupon match-up work for you. All you have to do is clip, shop and save! If you don’t have time for couponing save by planning your meals around weekly sales and buying produce and fruits only when they are in season. Be sure to stock up on sale items. The savings really add up especially on paper products, hygiene products and cleaning supplies.
One easy way to cut costs is to compare insurance rates—something that’s easy to do thanks to the Internet. For example, you can search for affordable car insurance and quickly see how changing your deductible or adjusting your policy can lower your rates. Be sure to review any discounts that are available on your policies. For example, you can usually get a home insurance discount if you have a home alarm system. Insurance companies also give significant discounts when you purchase multiple polices so consider bundling your auto, life, health and home insurance.
If you carry credit card balances, you might be surprised by how much of your minimum payment is going just to pay interest charges. For example, if you owe $5,000 at 17.9% APR and pay only the minimum payment it will take you over 18 years to pay off the balance and you’ll pay $6,500 in interest alone. To cut costs get serious about reducing your credit card balances by identifying a pay off strategy. Ask your credit card companies to reduce your interest rates and transfer balances from higher rate cards to lower rate cards to save big.
Utilities like gas, water and electric can be expensive items in your budget. Take a common sense approach and conserve water, set your thermostat at a moderate temperature, and don’t waste electricity. If you have a choice of utility providers in your area, check to see which provide the best rates and switch to lower costs. If you still have a landline consider a VoIP provider to significantly reduce your telephone service costs.
Plan purchases of high-ticket items
Those who follow the market know that you can buy products at rock bottom prices during certain months. For example, find the lowest prices on clearance furniture in January and July, great prices on cars in the fall and electronics deals in December. Consider putting off costly high-ticket items until you can buy them on sale to save hundreds of dollars.
Services like television, Internet, cell phone, and alarm systems are a great place to look to cut costs. Many of these services require contracts, and when your contract is up you have the leverage to get some great pricing. Your current provider will sometimes offer you “New Customer” pricing to keep your business, but often moving to a different provider will result in the biggest cost savings. Compare companies that are offering deals and promotions and consider package services for even greater savings.