We all run into financial issues from time to time. Payday isn’t tomorrow and you have bills that need your attention. Unfortunately, this brings needless stress into your life. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to stay that way. There are some monthly bills you can trim that require minimal sacrifice but let you progress towards your goals. Here are six bills you can look at trimming today.
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Take a Real Look At Your Expenses
Before you can assess what bills you need to cut immediately, you must be candid with your expenses. Are you spending money on things you don’t need?
Is there one bill that brings little value to your daily life? Are you unsure of where your money is going every month?
These are all questions you must ask yourself, and everything must be up for being cut.
Determine What You Can Live Without
As you take an honest look at your financial life, you need to identify what you can sacrifice without feeling it too much.
For example, can you take leftovers to work for your lunch instead of dining out? Or, can you find a roommate to live with you to help reduce your living expenses?
These questions will be personal to you, so customize them to your situation.
Start Taking Action
After you take an honest look at your finances and what you can cut, it’s time to act. Depending on your needs, you may have to cut more than one monthly bill.
It can be overwhelming, so identify one or two bills you can cut to start with. Over time, you may learn you can’t live without one service or that you need to save more. Either is ok, but don’t let apathy stop you.
If you need direction, here are six common bills you can cut today if you need cash quickly.
Cut Your TV Bill
The average cable bill is over $200 a month. It’s not uncommon for people to spend over $300 a month on cable or satellite alone.
If that’s you and you’re short on cash, cutting the cord on cable is the easiest thing to eliminate and get money back in your pocket. You can use free streaming services to watch TV shows and movies and even sign up for several on-demand services if you wish.
With a few simple actions, you could save $100 or more a month.
Switch Auto Insurance Providers
When was the last time you compared your auto insurance rates against what you’re currently paying? Reports indicate that 40 percent of drivers haven’t compared rates in over three years.
If that’s you, it’s likely you’re leaving hundreds of dollars on the table. There’s little sense in paying more for the same coverage you can get elsewhere for cheaper.
Your Gym Membership
Do you have a gym membership? When was the last time you visited the gym? If you’re like the average American, you’re wasting over $300 annually on an unused gym membership.
If you’ve not been to the gym in the last six months, cancel your membership. Take advantage of free workout apps, go for a walk, and watch workout videos on Netflix. They’re all cheaper and give you the same exercise.
Going out to eat is fun, and it’s not necessarily a bill, but it’s something a lot of us do. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average family spends $3,000 annually dining out. That equates to $250 a month.
You don’t have to go cold turkey with this expense. Consider cutting it in half, and you will instantly add $125 back to your monthly budget, if you’re the average family.
Ditch Your Expensive Cell Phone Plan
Like streaming services, no-contract cell phone plans give you what you need without bloated costs. Legacy carriers like Verizon and AT&T make us think we need expensive data plans to get what we need.
That’s not the case. Prepaid phone plans often provide unlimited data and are typically under $30 monthly. If you’re not under contract, make the switch and save big.
There’s no sense in paying a bank to hold your money. They’re already loaning it out to benefit themselves, so don’t let them double dip.
Unfortunately, Americans spend upwards of $20 a month just on maintenance fees. If you use other services, they charge you more. Regardless if you’re short on cash, it’s best to move to a no-fee bank and save your money.
Online banks, like CIT Bank, have no hidden fees and pay a super competitive rate on your savings. That’s a win-win!
35 Proven Ways to Save Money Every Month
Many people believe it’s impossible to save money. Or, they think saving $20 or $50 a month won’t amount to much. Both are incorrect. There are many simple money-saving tips that can add up to big savings. You just have to start one, then another, to increase your savings.
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Best Prepaid Phone Plans
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I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.