Wasting money without realizing it is one of my biggest pet peeves. Many of us work hard for our income, but we don’t work as hard to save money. Personally, I hate to see myself or anyone throw away their hard earned money.
Yet, we overspend daily and wonder why we’re struggling to pay off debt and can’t save money. If you’re looking to tighten up your budget, my biggest piece of advice will always be to take a look at your expenses first and identify items on which you’re overspending.
Sometimes, spending a lot of money on something can make it seem more valuable. The truth is that overpaying for certain items doesn’t make the items any more useful and can prevent you from improving your finances.
Here are five easy ways you can save money now.
1. save money now on Cable
Canceling cable is a great way to save money. John has written about how his family saved $2,000 by cutting cable and moving to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV and DirecTV Now. All the options out there make paying for traditional cable seem pretty useless.
If you haven’t gotten rid of cable subscription by now you probably don’t want to because it’s a value for you. Still, you can lower your cable bill to avoid overspending by downgrading your package or switching to a more affordable provider. Do you ever use On-Demand or any of those extra movie channels? If not, then why pay for them?
Maybe most of the channels you watch are in the basic cable package and you have to realize that sometimes bundling services with cable, Internet and phone may not really save you the most money in the long run.
2. Your Car/Car Insurance
Cars have always been expensive and it doesn’t help that they’re a depreciating asset. The average car payment has risen to over $500 and this doesn’t include any additional expenses you’ll incur like auto insurance, maintenance and gas.
Back when I had a car loan, my car was one of my highest monthly expenses due to all these costs and I hated it. I knew I was spending more money on my car than the value I was getting out of it, which is why I’m very mindful of avoiding overspending in this area today.
When buying a car, whether it’s new or used, you need to keep your budget in mind and be aware of marketing tricks that salespeople employ to get you to buy the ‘bigger, better and flashier car’.
If you’re financing, focus on the overall cost of the car, how long your term is, and how much much interest you’ll pay instead of just the monthly payment.
When it comes to auto insurance, realize that you have plenty of options out there to save money and can compare rates and coverage to find what’s best for you.
I shop around for a better auto insurance rate at least twice a year and switch companies for coverage if I find a better deal. You can even compare rates at PolicyGenius to find the cheapest rates available.
Also, having a good credit score and owning your car outright can help lower your car insurance rates so you don’t have to spend too much money in that area.
From phones and game systems to cutting edge computers and flat screen T.V.s., we tend to overspend on electronics. As of 2015, Americans spent $2,300 on technology and communication per year alone.
That’s a lot of iPhone, tablet and video game love. We live in a society that is fueled by technology and while there’s nothing wrong with valuing electronics, you can make sure you’re spending your money wisely and paying a fair price.
When it comes to buying expensive electronics, do your research ahead of time and consider shopping online so you can compare prices. Use online reviews to your advantage along with deal sites to save money on your purchase.
Also, see if you can save money by buying some items gently used from a credible source. If you’re into sales events like Cyber Monday, that would also be another time to buy quality electronics without overspending.
You can also save money on electronics at Costco; they’re great for big screen TVs and other high ticket items. Also, just waiting around for the price to drop can be just as effective since there’s always something newer and better being released each year.
If you don’t care about being the first one to get your hands on a new product, you can save a ton of money once the value drops.
Furnishing your home can be very expensive. Something as simple as a kitchen chair or an end table can easily cost $100+, which sounds insane. We often pay for these things without batting an eye when in all honesty, we don’t have to.
Overspending on furniture is something I no longer do, but I’m not sitting and sleeping on the floor either. I look for quality used or new furniture that is fairly priced. There are also a few industry tactics I avoid since giving in to them would cause me to spend too much on my furniture.
First off, if you want to avoid overspending on furniture, DON’T finance it. Furniture stores have no problem charging sky-high prices because they expect you to finance the items you can’t afford.
Don’t fall for places that say you can build your credit by financing furniture because there are much better and cheaper ways to build your credit. When you finance furniture, you can end up paying 30% – 50% more than the purchase price of the item.
Instead, save up for the furniture you want to buy and check out used options as well. It is possible to find good furniture at a thrift or discount store. The furniture in my house is a mix a used, new and even some items I found on the side of the road on garbage day.
Some resale shops sell furniture in pretty good condition and you can even shop on sites like Amazon and Overstock for discounted pieces.
When you shop online for furniture, don’t forget to use a cash back site like Ebates so you can apply relevant coupons to your purchase and earn cash back on the purchase.
If you’re a parent, toys are something you could easily save money on right now. Even though you can sell some toys, you’ll still spend much money buying them in the first place. I realized that when I would spend tons of money on new toys for my son for Christmas and birthdays only to have him lose interest shortly after.
I found out that the new toys weren’t making him happy or impacting his life in a groundbreaking way. I realized that he was simply excited to receive something new and that emotion wore off quickly.
If you’re experiencing something similar with your kids, focus on getting them excited about other things like experiences and limiting their toy collections.
There are plenty of ways to save money on toys that will give your child a nice surprise without breaking your budget.
What are some other items or products do you find it’s easy to overpay for? What’s the one bill you want to cut down? How much are you paying for cable each month?
Source: Frugal Rules