Are you on a saving drive? Are you putting money away for a move or a vacation, or are you on a mission to free up more money at the end of the month? Whatever your reason for trying to reduce spending, you may assume that you’ll have to compromise to hit your targets. Sometimes, when you try and save more, this does mean making sacrifices, but often, there are ways to boost your balance without making compromises. Here some easy ways you could save more and still have plenty of fun in the meantime.
Bills, bills, bills
Sometimes, it can seem like all that comes in the mail is bills, bills and more bills. If you’re tired of arriving home to statements and final demands, now is the time to take a good look at what you’re spending and see if there are ways of bringing those bills down.
Did you know that the average American spends more than $3,000 per year on energy? That’s a lot of money. If you can’t afford your bills or you’d like to have more disposable income available at the end of every month, calling your energy provider is a great place to start. Use the Internet to compare prices and see if you’re paying over the odds. If you’ve been with the same provider for as long as you can remember, you could be missing out on preferential rates and incentives that are available for new customers. There’s also a chance that you may be on the wrong tariff. If you call up your provider, you can ask about altering your tariff and give them information about prices charged by other companies. They may choose to match competitors to keep your custom or modify your tariff to make sure that it suits your energy usage. If they don’t offer any solutions or incentives, you can usually switch provider very easily. If you contact the new company and give them your details, they will often oversee the move for you. Even if you only enjoy small savings by changing your provider, this could make a significant difference to how much you spend over a period of time. It only takes a few seconds to compare tariffs and prices, and you may be surprised at the information you gather.
TV, cell phones, and broadband
How much do you spend per month on your TV, cell phone, and broadband contracts? If the answer is too much, it’s worth trying to see if you can bring these costs down. If your contracts are up for renewal, don’t just take the easy way out and continue without asking any questions. Contact the relevant companies and ask if they have any special offers or discounts they could apply to your account to keep you interested. If they can’t offer you anything better than your current contract, have a look online and see what other networks can offer. You may find that you can get more for your money with a different package. If you have separate contracts, it’s also worth looking at bundles, which enable you to pay a single fee for your TV channels, your broadband and even your cell phone, each month. This could lead to substantial savings
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How much does insurance cost you on a monthly basis? If you’ve got health, vehicle and home insurance, you could be spending hundreds of dollars before you’ve even paid a medical bill or claimed for damage caused by a storm. Insurance is a necessity, but that doesn’t mean that you should pay over the odds for protection. Before you sign on any dotted lines or renew an insurance policy, take some time to do your homework, compare prices and see what you can get for your money. Renewing a policy is very easy, but it’s not always the best option. As a new customer, you may have access to introductory offers and discounts, so shop around and consider changing to a different insurance provider. It’s also worth looking into ways you can reduce the cost of your policy, for example, keeping your car in the garage instead of on the road and using a box to monitor your driving and show that you’re a safe and careful driver.
Saving on shopping
In 2014, the average American spent more than $6,700 per year on food. We all need to eat, and most of us enjoy good food, but groceries can eat into our monthly budgets. The good news is that you don’t have to give up all the foods you love to save money on shopping. There are various hacks you can try to reduce spending and make sure you get more for your money. One brilliant idea, which will save you time as well as money, is shopping online. When you do your grocery shopping on the Internet, you can keep tabs on the cost at all times, and it’s a lot easier to avoid promotions and sales that make you buy items just because there’s a saving on offer. If you genuinely need that product, it’s great news that it’s on sale, but otherwise, these promotions will make you spend more. If you enjoy going to the store, always make a list before you go, and avoid shopping when you’re hungry. Research shows that we spend more when we haven’t eaten. It’s also a good idea to look for discounted items, such as fresh meat and fish, which you can freeze. Visiting towards the end of the day will often enable you to buy items like loaves of bread and fruit and vegetables for a lower price.
Home, clothing, and gifts
If you’re shopping for gifts for loved ones, you’re planning a mini revamp at home, or
you’re refreshing your wardrobe or buying new clothing for your kids, look out for discounts, flash sales and savings you can make online. If you tend to use the same sites or visit the same stores, subscribe to the mailing list. When you’re a member, you’ll often receive treats like discount codes, which are sent directly to your inbox. Sometimes, this could save you 20, 30 or even 50 percent off the RRP. It’s also a good idea to sign up to discount websites and to investigate websites that enable you to buy gift cards for less. You can find out more at Cards2Cash. When you’re shopping, it’s always wise to compare prices before you buy. If you have a product code, for example, you’re buying a new coffee machine for the kitchen, you can view prices from different retailers in a matter of seconds. All you need to do is type the code or the name of the brand and model into a search engine, hit the return key, and you’ll be greeted with a selection of links and adverts. You can then choose the cheapest retailer and place your
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Traveling and recreation
Do you enjoy traveling? Would you love to be able to take more vacations? Do you enjoy going out with friends? Most of us work hard, and it’s essential to be able to have some fun and enjoy your downtime. Socializing and traveling can be expensive, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. If you’re keen to take a break, for example, there are lots of ways you can save on a vacation. Compare prices for flights and accommodation, look at options like camping and home swaps and try and be flexible when it comes to choosing dates. If you’re worried about giving up your social life aspart of a saving drive, there are countless ways you can get together with
friends and enjoy your spare time for less. Swap restaurants for dinner parties at home and going to the movies for DVD nights and make use of the environment around you. You don’t have to spend much at all to enjoy a day at the park, a trip to the beach or a hike in the mountains, and you’ll have a great time.