Twelve Expenses to Eliminate ASAP
Review your spending and decide what to eliminate
Whether you're living comfortably, or constantly find yourself strapped for cash, it’s a good idea to save money and put extra cash in your pocket each month. When was the last time you reviewed your regular expenses and figured out which ones you could eliminate? Here are some ideas.
1. Cable/Satellite TV package
Many people are "cord cutting" these days, opting to utilize internet-based streaming services for their entertainment needs rather than traditional cable and satellite providers. Doing so can save you a significant amount of money, depending on your viewing habits. Subscribing to too many streaming services isn’t good for the budget, so choose the ones you're likely to use often.
There are many more options than there were a few years ago, and some of them are even free. While Netflix®, Hulu®, and HBO® are popular choices, Amazon Prime Video is an added bonus if you use Amazon Prime® for your shipping needs. TubiTV® is a free, ad-supported service with a wealth of content, and streaming devices like Roku® often come with their own free services, offering movies, news, television episodes, etc.
If you're the type of person who frequents fast food places, you're not only more likely to be eating a less healthy diet, but you're also likely to be spending more money on food than you would be if you went to the grocery store and cooked your own meals. Even if you don't have the time to cook or you don’t like to, you can find prepared meals at the store that will save you money compared to eating out at restaurants.
Just as you can save on meals, you can also save some serious cash by choosing your beverages more wisely. Get a water purifier and drink tap water rather than buying bottles every week. You can even use a SodaStream® to carbonate your water and make your own soda. Brew your own coffee rather than stopping off at your favorite coffee shop.
4. Credit card interest
Try to pay your credit card bill in full each month. If that’s not possible, at least be sure to pay more than the minimum amount due. Every dollar you pay over the minimum will save you on interest. Also, be sure to pay your bill on time to avoid late fees.
5. Unused gym memberships
If gym access is important to you, you may not want to give it up, but many people keep memberships and don't actually use them nearly as often as they should. If this includes you, you could be saving a monthly expense. Go running/jogging, or walking regularly and work out in your own home. Ultimately, this is much more convenient anyway, and it builds self-discipline.
6. Dry cleaning
If you take a lot of trips to the dry cleaners, you can save a great deal by purchasing an at-home dry cleaning kit and doing the cleaning yourself. Kits are relatively inexpensive, and it will also save you the time and gas it takes to get to the cleaners.
7. Checking account overdraft fees
If you often spend more money than you have in your checking account, you can be charged overdraft fees, and these can add up quickly, making it hard to dig yourself out of a financial hole. Avoid this by balancing your checkbook and using a savings account with overdraft protection.
8. High-interest debt
If you have a lot of high-interest debt from credit cards and/or loans, you might be able to save money by consolidating with a lower interest loan or a home equity credit line.
This largely depends on your personal needs and location, but some people find that they can do without having their own car. If you can get by without it, you can save on car payments, car insurance, gas, parking, and maintenance. It's easier to get around without your own vehicle than it ever has been. If your location allows you to walk or bike to work, this is a good place to start. You can utilize public transportation, taxis, and ride services like Uber® and Lyft® when you really need a car. Or you can use a car-sharing company, like Zipcar® or Car2Go®, which might cost you only around $10 per hour.
10. Late fees
As mentioned, you can eliminate late fees on your credit card bill by paying your balance on time, but the same goes for other bills, such as utilities, phone, cable, mortgage, insurance, etc. Take advantage of auto-pay to help ensure you're always paying your bills on time.
Your energy bill is one of the best places to look for ways to save. You won't be able to eliminate these expenses altogether, but you can reduce them significantly with energy-efficient bulbs, appliances, and thermostat. Weatherize your home.1 You can also watch your habits, such as leaving lights on and electronics plugged in.
You probably won't be able to eliminate your water bill completely, but there are things you can do to reduce your bill. Make it a point to take shorter showers, and don’t run the tap water while you’re brushing your teeth. Make sure you don't have any leaks or dripping faucets, and install water-efficient toilets and showerheads.
1. For a Two Cents article on home repairs, including weatherization, that can save you money, see https://www.nsbank.com/blog/two-cents-blog/articles/2019/january/ten-home-repairs-that-can-save-you-money/.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC
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