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It’s hard to squeeze extra mileage out of your hard-earned cash, especially when so much of your paycheck is gone before it’s even deposited into your account. Here are six monthly expenditures you should reexamine to see if you can save more of your money for yourself!
1. Cell Phone Bill
If you don’t use all of your minutes each month, call your provider and ask for a less expensive plan. Many times, they offer lower-cost plans for fewer minutes that are never advertised. Also, do you really need or use the data plan you signed up for? Or the unlimited texting plan? Cut expensive extras where you can.
2. Cable TV
Premium channels and movie packages can be costly, especially if you watch them only occasionally. In fact, many of these same programs are available on demand for a much lower one-time cost than what you’re forking over each month. What’s more, you can watch many programs online for free, or borrow movies and other DVDs from the local library. Another tip: tell your cable company you’ll switch providers unless they meet the price of a competitor that’s offering new customers a better deal. Often times, they will!
Take a look at the premiums you pay for auto and homeowners, for starters. Can you raise your deductibles? Find a cheaper insurer? Then look at your life, health, and disability insurances. Can you find a cheaper plan or policy with the same coverage? Get quotes from at least three different companies, but make sure your new policy is in force before cancelling the old one.
Ask your utility company for a low- or no-cost energy audit, so you can get an idea of where your electric, heating, and cooling budget is going. Or, find an independent professional on your own. Even if you have to pay for the audit yourself, you may wind up saving hundreds per year in energy costs. When you buy appliances, pay attention to their Energy Star rating to avoid choosing one that makes your meter spin!
5. Credit Card Fees
That “good deal” you got on a new TV doesn’t look so good if you’re paying upwards of 20% or more in credit card interest. Use cash or our Cash & Check Debit Card that withdraws money directly from your account so you don’t pay interest and aren’t tempted to overspend. If you must use a credit card, pay it off in full each month to avoid interest charges, late fees, and finance charges.
6. Bank Fees
If you can’t meet your account’s minimum balance, and you’re paying a monthly fee, switch to a free account (like our Gateway FREEdom CheckingSM). Make sure you balance your account each month to avoid costly overdraft fees.