Here are some places that I have had to re-evaluate over time when I needed to adjust our budget. These areas are good to look at even if you are debt free or have a good budget that you work with each month. Don’t just read this post and say yes I should look into that, make a plan of attack if you go through each of these categories one a week, you can add cash to your pocket this month!
Just this year, my husband and I re-evaluated our vehicle insurance. We switched companies and found an annual savings of over $500.
Here is a list of the top things you should evaluate annually or at renewal. Shop around do not assume you already have the best price or plan. If you have been with a provider for a long period of time, and have a good track record ask for a discount. Keep your big goals in your perspective, when looking over these areas to see if you can reduce or even eliminate them.
Vehicle Insurance | It costs nothing to receive a quote for vehicle insurance. Shop around before your renewal comes up. If you have a good driving record, ask for those discounts.
Cable TV Provider | Is cable the best choice in light of your goals, getting out of debt, going on that dream vacation. Most plans at a minimum cost $70 a month, is it really worth it. Can you use Netflix, Amazon Prime or other more economical choices for TV viewing.
Cell Phone | Is your plan the right fit? Do you use all your minutes and data or can you downsize? Have you shopped around recently.
Gym Membership | Do you actually use your gym membership? So many people pay a monthly fee and rarely go. I know sometimes you are under contract and there is a large fee to cancel, do the math and see if that is a benefit. Some gyms allow you to put your membership on hold for a small monthly fee, that might help you short term.
Newspapers & Magazines | I’m all for the printed material, if your budget allows it. In this day and age with the internet, you can find most newspapers, magazines, and even books if not the exact one you have, definitely one similar for free on-line.
You can find cash right within your budget by choosing to live a frugal lifestyle. Most people can do something for a period of time or with a goal in mind. So if you keep the goal of getting out of debt before you it may help you make it through this season in your life.
Dine In | Just like you, I enjoy going to restaurants, you don’t have to prepare the meal or clean up the meal, it is nice. There have been times in our life where we did not go out to eat for months with our ultimate goal in mind. It is cheaper to eat in, you can save a ton of money here. Go through your credit card statements and bank account and add up how much you spend on out to eat, I think you will be surprised, it adds up quickly. Don’t forget to add up those coffee purchases, energy drink purchases and convenience store stops. If you are going to go out to eat, look for savings. My hubby always finds great date night deals on Groupon, another money saving tip for dining out is using the Entertainment Coupon Book.
Services | Review the extra services you pay for like lawn care, house cleaning, dry cleaning. Can you do any of these things yourself to save money? Again it does not have to be forever, but if you find yourself stretched financially or with a greater goal like paying off debt or going on a vacation then sometimes it is worth you doing the service yourself. What do you spend on grooming each month, hair cuts, manicures, can you do these at home. Can you swap services with friends or family, maybe you can babysit each other kids for date nights, or maybe you can do a friends oil change in exchange for some other service.
Money Saving Apps | My favorite app that I use to save money is Ibotta, this is quick easy savings app for purchases you are already making. You make a purchase, scan the product upload your receipt and receive money to your PayPal or you can choose select gift cards. This past March I earned $37, this is on everyday groceries that I already am buying.
Shopkick is another app I use, this one I do more for fun, it takes a little longer to earn, but basically you receive kicks every time you go to certain stores, you open the app, receive your kicks, I usually use my earnings on this app for Star Bucks treats. Again, free money the way I see it, I’m already at those stores, open the app, earn the kicks, receive free money.
There are more apps like Raise, Checkout 51, Target Cartwheel, Safeway App, Starbucks App and more!
Some other money saving tips.
- Do not go to the grocery store when hungry.
- Always shop with a list.
- Plan your meals around what is on sale and what is in season.
- Eat less meat, schedule a meatless Monday in your menu planning.
- Use coupons (not only for groceries, but oil changes, clothing shopping, search on-line for coupons before you shop)
- Shop around. No impulse buying. Again with smart phones handy, it is easy to price check another store, you may think it doesn’t matter but all these savings add up.
- Have a garage sale.
- Repair an item if you can rather than purchasing a new one.
- Look for FREE entertainment. With summer approaching there are a lot of concerts in the park, movie nights in the park.
I know when you are trying to get out of debt or save for a vacation or large purchase the goal or prize can seem so far away. Do not quit, stick to your budget and keep evaluating your spending monthly. You will see the reward before you know it. You will also get better at budgeting and frugal living, once you find some savings you will want to find more.
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Check out some of my other posts on budgeting! Many of these posts are from when I first started blogging.
- You Can Do a Budget
- 10 Benefits of Budgeting
- Envelope System
- How to Budget on a Fluctuating Income
- Inexpensive Meals
- Vacation Budget Tips
- How I Cut My Grocery Budget in Half
- Six Month Rule Part One
- Six Month Rule Part Two