Most people don’t like talking about money—it can be a bit of an awkward topic. However, if you’re willing to make some small changes in your life, you may be able to save thousands of dollars a year. In this guide, we’ll give you some tips on how to save money through better budgeting and shopping around for the right deals on services like insurance and cable.
Set up an automatic bill pay system.
When you set up an automatic bill pay system, you’ll save time and money. That’s because instead of having to remember to manually write checks or make payments every month, quarter or year, your bills will be automatically paid on the due dates that you specify.
What bills should you put on auto-pay? Any bill that requires a monthly payment like your rent or car insurance is a good candidate for this service. If there are any one-time bills that need to be paid throughout the year (like tax preparation services) then setting up an auto-payment could save them from slipping through the cracks!
Start paying yourself first.
- Set up a savings account, and set up an automatic transfer to that account.
- Start small. You’ll be tempted to start with a big chunk of money, but putting in just $5 at first will help you build momentum for later.
- Increase the amount over time, as you get used to it and can afford more (and when you meet other financial goals).
- Set goals for yourself, like how much you want to save each month by the end of the year—this will keep you motivated!
Check for errors on your credit report.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to save money, it’s time to start digging into the actual process of making money. If you’re like most people, you probably pay your bills on time, but when it comes time for your employer or the government to give back some cash, they often don’t. I know that sounds weird, but there are many reasons why this happens:
- The wrong amount is taken out of your paycheck because someone made a mistake in their office
- The company that owes you money might be having financial issues and can’t pay right now
- The company just doesn’t want to pay because they feel like they don’t owe anything
Shop around for a better deal on insurance.
Shopping around for a better deal on insurance is a great way to save money. The easiest place to start is with your current insurer. Ask them for their best price and coverage, then compare that with what you could get elsewhere.
If it’s time to renew your policy, check with your employer or credit union first to see if they offer group discounts through their own health plan providers. If not, ask them if they have an affiliation with any insurance companies that might be able to save you some cash (and make sure they will cover the cost of switching over). Also be sure to ask friends and family members who have recently switched insurers if they have any advice on where else you should look for affordable rates.
If all else fails, contact your local insurance broker and ask them who their favorite companies are in the area are—they often know about deals or special offers that aren’t advertised online or at the company offices themselves! If nothing else works out for you there either—and we hope it does—check in with your state department of insurance (or equivalent) as well as national organizations like America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). They can help connect consumers like yourself with potential savings opportunities without having to do much work on our end because these organizations already know which companies are most likely going offer competitive policies when shopping around.*
Get rid of your cable.
Get rid of your cable.
If you’re paying for cable TV, it’s time to cut the cord. There are several streaming services available (such as Netflix and Hulu) that offer commercial-free content for a fraction of what you’re paying now with your cable provider. Plus, there are plenty of ways to watch live television without an antenna: Sling TV and PlayStation Vue provide access to local channels, including ABC, CBS and NBC; DirecTV Now offers a selection of more than 60 networks without an annual contract; YouTube TV will let you stream all four major networks (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC) plus more than 30 other top channels for $40 per month; and even Philo has dozens of popular channels at just $16 per month—including ESPN!
Don’t pay for DVR service either. Save money by using one of these six alternatives instead:
- TiVo Roamio OTA ($149): This device lets you pause live TV while streaming old seasons on Netflix or Hulu+. The best part? You’ll never have to upgrade your hardware again because it automatically records new episodes when they air until the hard drive fills up with 32 hours’ worth of programming. That means weeks’ worth instead! It comes with four tuners so everyone in your family can record shows simultaneously too—perfect if Mom has something going on at work each weeknight after 7pm ET/PT!
- Tablo ($219): This network-attached storage device doesn’t come with DVR functionality built in like Tivo does but does allow users full control over their recordings through its built-in web interface so no special software is needed beyond a browser such as Chrome or Firefox…or even Safari if that suits your fancy.”
Create a budget, and stick to it.
A budget is a plan of spending that you and your family have agreed upon. By creating a budget, you will be able to set aside money for important expenses such as your rent or mortgage payment, utilities, food, transportation costs and other necessities.
A budget also helps you plan for events like vacations or birthday parties. When planning for these monthly events in the future with a budget in place, it will allow you to save more money now so that when those events roll around they won’t break your bank account open and leave nothing left over at the end of the month (or even worse – get rid of all of your savings because now none exists).
Create a financial plan, and stick to it.
This is the most important step. If you don’t have a plan, how will you know what to do? Create a budget and stick to it. Create savings plans for things like college, retirement and emergencies. And create a retirement plan that includes your 401k or IRA contributions as well as any other source of income for retirement (pensions, social security).
Cut out the subscription services you don’t really use (Amazon Prime, Netflix)
You might be surprised to learn that Netflix is actually one of the most expensive subscription services out there. A standard membership costs $12 per month and it doesn’t include any kind of streaming device. Amazon Prime costs $13 per month if you pay annually and includes free shipping on all your purchases. If you’re buying things from Amazon regularly (I’m talking at least once a week), then this is really worth it because that’s almost what you’d spend in shipping by itself. However, if you only buy products occasionally or don’t need two-day shipping, it might not be worth the price tag.
You can also get other streaming services like Hulu or HBO Now for $14-$15 each month without having cable TV service through your provider (which would cost more than double). While these are great options when they’re offered during certain seasons or holidays like Black Friday deals where Amazon offers its own version of an annual membership card called Prime Student which gives students access to Prime benefits with no monthly fee but instead allows them to sign up for one year at once paying just $99 upfront instead of monthly payments throughout their college career!
Pay more than the minimum balance on your credit cards every month.
The best way to make the most of your money is to pay more than the minimum balance on your credit cards every month. Let’s look at an example, where you owe $1,000 and are paying 12% interest on it. If you only make the minimum payment each month ($25), it will take 60 months (5 years) to get rid of this debt! In that time, you’ll pay a whopping $1,160 in interest — which means that if you had paid $25 extra every month instead of just making minimum payments, you would have saved yourself tons of money and paid off your balance in half the time!
Use cash instead of debit or credit cards whenever possible.
For small purchases, use cash. This is a great way to save money and avoid overspending on things that you don’t need. You should also use cash for larger purchases, because it gives you time to think about whether or not the item is worth what you’re paying for it. In addition, using cash in everyday transactions will help keep track of your spending habits more easily than if you were using debit or credit cards.
If possible, use cash for everything except rent and utilities (electricity), and food. These are two mandatory expenses that must be paid with a credit card so as not to disrupt your life while also creating an unpleasant experience when paying bills every month—which can happen if too much money goes into checking accounts without being used immediately afterward!
Even simple changes can make a big difference in your finances over time.
Even changes that seem small can make a big difference in your finances over time. For example, you could start by changing your phone plan from a tiered one with data caps to an unlimited data plan. This might not seem like a lot at first, but it will add up over time and help you save more money over time.
You can also make small changes that will have a large impact on your finances by taking advantage of rewards credit cards and loyalty programs. A credit card company may offer bonus points for making purchases with their card or redeeming points for cash back or gift cards. You can use these types of rewards as an incentive to shop at certain stores or buy certain types of products so that you can get even better value out of the rewards program!
These tips might not seem like much, but with a little discipline, they can make a huge difference in your finances. And the best part is that you don’t have to do them all at once: just pick out a few that appeal to you and start there!