There are all sorts of ways to save money around the house, but the most effective technique is to reduce your reoccurring monthly expenses. Instead of receiving a one time savings, you can curtail your expenditures indefinitely. Not only will this allow you to save more money for retirement, it will essentially reduce your requirement for an emergency fund.
Cut Your Monthly Budget
Here are the six easy ways that you can slash your monthly bills.
Receive Digital Television For Free Over the Air and the Internet
Cable and satellite television bills have been outpacing inflation for decades. Many households are now paying over $100 a month for television content, a figure that can rival other, more essential utilities. Over the air high definition television signals can provide much of this content for free. As for premium shows, the time has now come where much of the same content can be obtained through the Internet using the broadband connection you already have. In some cases these services are free, and in others, they cost a fraction of a typical cable or satellite subscription. Finally, devices like Roku and Boxee allow you to stream the content directly to your television. You might even be able to connect your laptop to your television to utilize Netflix.
Slash Your Mobile Phone Budget
Many households pay even more each month for service to a pair of smartphones than they do on cable or satellite television. Fortunately, there are things you can do right now to cut your monthly bill. First, ask about corporate or group discounts. Most providers list hundreds of organizations that are eligible to receive 10-20% off. Your employer might be one. Next, consider a family plan with friends or relatives. Additional phones on such a plan cost a fraction of their own plan and calls between members are free. When given a discounted or free phone, just turn around in sell it on eBay. Finally, cut back on as many extra features as possible. Ask yourself if you really need internet access and text messaging every second of the day. You can save a lot of money and you might find a more pleasant, stress free life without them.
Pay for Cars with Cash
After housing expenses, most families find their largest bill is an auto payment. Unlike your mortgage, interest on a car loan is never tax deductible. You don’t have to keep making car payments the rest of your life. Once your car is paid off, consider saving money towards the outright purchase of your next vehicle. No, you will probably not be driving an expensive new card, but you will be earning interest on the money saved towards your next car rather than perpetually paying interest on a car loan.
Get a Home Efficiency Audit
Most houses waste an incredible amount of heat, air conditioning, and electricity. As energy prices continue to rise, this represents a fantastic opportunity to save money. Efficiency experts exist that can inspect your home and recommend ways to save money. Many suggestions involve more efficient operation of existing appliances and can be implemented at no cost. Other ideas require up front expenses that are recovered in months or just a few years. Helping the environment is great, but helping yourself is valuable as well.
Utilize Public Resources
Everyone hates paying taxes, but so long as you do, you should ensure that you are getting your money’s worth. In fact, families can save a lot of money by visiting community owned facilities rather than more expensive private ones. Consider the library over book stores, public parks over theme parks, and city recreation centers over gyms and country clubs. Even your local zoo and museums may offer free days that can allow your family to have fun for almost nothing. Public facilities are not advertised like private businesses, it is up to you to find out what resources your taxes have already paid for.
Get A Cash Back Credit Card
Paying off your credit card’s balance in full and on time is the number one piece of personal finance advice that you can follow. Once you have achieved that goal on a regular basis, be sure that you are being compensated for your use of one card over another. The credit card market is so competitive, that banks will offer as much as 2% cash back on all purchases. Since the IRS views this money as the equivalent of a discount coupon, it is normally not subject to income tax. By using a cash back card as a method of payment, not a method of finance, you can avoid paying interest and earn several hundred dollars a year.
You will always owe taxes on money earned, while money saved is tax free. Keeping your monthly expenses as low as possible allows you to devote more of it to savings while ensuring more financial security in case of an emergency. By closely examining each of your monthly expenditures, you can create recurring savings that will benefit you and your family indefinitely.