It’s easy to stop pulling out the wallet every once in a while and declare triumph, but don’t kid yourself – we know it’s the recurring expenses that really drown us into debt. The monthly expenses are what most people neglect because they are subconsciously trained to ignore it after seeing the same line item month after month after month. Let me tell you the truth. It’s the area that’s most beneficial to look into because you work on eliminating it once and you are saving money every month. Want to know where to start? Here’s the tip of the iceberg.
The Usual and Important Bills to Cut Every Month
- Cell Phone – Remember me getting a few hundred dollars for switching cell phone carriers? What I didn’t mention is that many people are starting to look into prepaid plans as well. The per minute cost may be high but if you never experienced having your ears burn because you talk too much on the phone, you probably can save some money by paying as you go.
- Home Phone – I don’t have a home phone and I have no idea why the business model still exists. Do you have one still? That’s so 1980s…
- Internet – Have you looked into the different technology (and thus, options) available to you? Could you actually buy an Internet capable phone and hook it up to a PC (a feature known as tethering) to get essentially the same service for a fraction of the cost?
- TV – The case is made countless times but I bet many of you still pay way too much for your favorite shows. There are many legal ways to watch TV online like hulu.com and if you are a movie buff, there’s always the idea of using a Netflix coupon to get some free service.
- Gym Membership – Gym? Do you actually go? Most people are going after a healthy and fit body instead of becoming a muscle man (or lady). The fittest people are always the ones who go out to jog every day. They run on the road, on the beach and in the parks. You don’t need to smell other people’s sweat and pay a bunch of money just to stay fit right?
- Clubs, Newsletters, Subscriptions – Enough said. Unless they provide real value, stop paying for it.
- Electricity – Many tricks we know, but in order to save money every month, we have to change our habits. Turn off the lights and electronics whenever it’s not needed, dial down the water heater to 112 degrees, open the windows instead of using A/C are all simple ways to not only save but to put less strain on the overall environment.
- Pills – It’s easy to switch your prescriptions to generic brands and best of all, it’s almost always cheaper. (Stole this tip from Frugal Dad. Check out his list at the bottom of the post)
- Cars – Oil changes and regular maintenance may be out of your league but wash your own cars. Please.
- Insurance Companies – Call the representatives regularly and see if there is a better deal (remember their competition as well). If everyone does this, it may even create more jobs.
Activities You Should Try
- Stop Bringing Your Credit Card Out for a Month – At first, you will feel very restricted but you will slowly realize where you are spending money on. It’s amazing that we remember our purchases so much better when we pay in cash.
- Try Paying All Your Bills by Check for 3 Months – Stop all the automation for 3 months and see what happens. When you have to spend time to handle payments, you will find a way to cut out the ones that aren’t absolutely necessary.
- Pretend You are Broke for 2 Months – The ramen days are over but that doesn’t mean the hard earned money that we have should go to waste. Try it. It’s quite fun (I lived with $34.01 a week once and learned a few things)
- Add Up All Your Monthly Recurring Subscription Cost for the Year – It’s amazing how pricing strategy works. $37 a month is actually closer to $450 a year. It’s not that cheap after all.
- Check Your Credit Card Statements – One of the worst money suckers are the ones that automatically charge our credit cards. It’s no wonder why my credit card balance is 4 digits every month and I left the card in the freezer.
What Do You Do to Save Money Every Month?
I know you have some great tips and tricks. Share with others.
- 11 Effortless Ways to Save Money Each Month – Frugal Dad
- 11 Ways to Save Money This Month – My Dollar Plan
- 10 Practical Ways to Save Money and Increase Your Net Worth – Bible Money Matters
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