A budget or spending plan is like a garden. To keep everything in shape, attention is required. From time to time, a garden needs to be pruned or have some weeds removed. You family’s spending requires this from time to time. Some may not seem like large expenses, but they can all add up.
“Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.” Benjamin Franklin
With the average cost of cable at $217.42, there’s plenty of room to improve. Call up your provider and see if there’s a discount or other package that costs less. Speaking to a “retention specialist” often results in a lower bill as well. You can even go a step further, eliminate a large expense, and cut the cord altogether.
The average American household with a married couple and at least one child spends $5,321 on utilities per year. Energy cost make up a significant piece of this. More efficient lighting, changing the thermostat by a few degrees, and checking insulation are all ways to save on energy in your home. Here’s some additional ways to cut down on more energy related costs.
Choosing a different plan can save money, but if you want to keep your current plan there’s another way. Many of the plans offered by the major carriers will give you a discount for enrolling in automatic payment for your bill. Some will make a discount per line or a discount on the overall bill, but many plans offer this type of savings. Just don’t miss an increase in the future by automating this payment.
You might be thinking: “I don’t get a bill from my bank.” You’re right, your bank doesn’t send you a bill because they can just take money out of your account. A survey found the average fee on a checking account to be $14.83 a month. There are ways to beat this fee on your checking account. First, you can just ask for it to be waived because you’re a good customer. You may be turned down, but asking never hurts. The next options have to do with how you use the account. Some banks will waive a monthly fee based on your balance of your checking account or all your accounts put together. Others will waive the fee if you have your paycheck direct deposited into the account. If you ask what your options are to avoid the fee, then you’ll know the path ahead.
You might even decide that it’s time to try out a new bank. Just be sure to ask up front about the fees to ensure you’re not trading one fee for another.
The biggest factor in how much driving costs is the number of miles you drive. This affects fuel costs, of course, but also affects how often you need maintenance, wear on tires, and more. Think through the week ahead and all the places you anticipate going. Are there any trips you can combine? How about any trips you can avoid altogether? This might seem small, but the impact over time is tremendous.
These easy ways to cut your monthly budget are just a handful of ways to make your family’s dollars go further. What are some other ways you’ve found to trim your budget?
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