Sounds funny right? The truth is a lot of the time you are actually paying more than you should be for bills such as your phone, cable, internet and insurance. A proven method is calling. Wait through the daunting phone line, brave the annoying elevator music and ask, "why is my bill so high!" Explain to them that their competitor's rates are much lower or that you have been a long-time customer. Mention promotions you have seen like good driver bonuses, or perhaps you hit that magic age of 25 and want a decrease in your rate.
Did you or are you serving our country in any capacity? Mention these and other things such as age, disability and more times then not they will lower your bill even if it's a few dollars. Have the folks on the phone go through your policies and product packages and trim the fat. How often are you paying for data, slightly faster internet or another service that you're not utilizing? How many devices are you paying for and not actually using? Finally, take a look at competitors, if a company is not willing to work with you, switch! This may be a hassle initially but if done right you could save hundreds of dollars.
Take advantage of special offers.
Often time financial institutions come out with great promotional offers to compete with one another. Take full advantage of these, be it a great interest growth rate on a savings account or a great points and reward program on a credit card. I recently switched banks to a new checking account which is free and they gave me a whopping $100 dollars! Fastest and easiest way I ever made a quick buck.
I know we all hate newsletter and promotion e-mails (except the Investor Crate newsletter of course...) but something I use to never take advantage of was both physical and online store reward accounts. My solution was quite easy, I recently made a new e-mail account that I refer to as my "whatever" e-mail. I signed up for the rewards programs to stores I frequent using this e-mail. My whatever e-mail is loaded with special offers that I'll check every once in awhile for a deal, but the real gold is in whatever little card or phone number you punch in before check-out. I just ran to Pet Co on my lunch break and saved 10 dollars on cookie bones and dog food. It does not seem like a lot of money but considering I saved 10 dollars for typing in my phone number its a no-brainer. A dollar saved is a dollar paid in my book!
Make a list and check it twice!
We have all done this and it always makes you sad. That's throwing away a ton of rotten food because you never got around to cooking it! It is said that in our country (US) we throw away more than 165 billion dollars worth of food annually. This is roughly half of what you purchase a year. So either make a list and stick to it or before you leave the grocery store wheel your cart over to the dumpster in the back and throw half of your food away. Constructing a list before you go to the grocery store helps against impulse buying and is a good time to Google some new recipes and stick to a diet.
Another great idea is to invite your friends over for dinner versus going out to eat. We all know a Margarita at a restaurant is overpriced and watered down! Make your own and talk your girlfriends into bringing over the tequila! Homemade street tacos and 'Margars' for everyone! Don't forget to pack those leftovers for lunch tomorrow to avoid fast food joints too!
I'm terrible at this, but the more I think about the 10-second rule the better I am about using it. The 10-second rule is to prevent impulse buying. Before you purchase something in a store, hold it for 10-seconds and think to yourself, "do I absolutely need this?" Is this item solving some problem that was decreasing productivity? Is this item better than the cheaper, generic version? Disclaimer: The 10-second rule is not applicable to toilet paper.
Pay your dang debt off!
I know, I know, every financial advisor, blog and investment book on the planet will fixate on this. They are not wrong. Figure out your debt, implement the above ideas and pay your debt off! Design a debt snowball that will pay off your debt and keep a visual reminder on your fridge, cork board or office cubicle. Think of how much you could do if your mortgage, car, student loans and credit card payments didn't exist.
This was just a small list of things you can quickly implement to save a little coin. We will be posting more helpful worksheets and articles on the matter in the future. Thanks for checking out the article. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact us and ask for Makayla! Got another great way to save money? Leave it in a comment below.
By Makayla Pone - IC Chief Editor