Easy Ways to Cut Expenses Going Into the New Year
Easy Ways to Cut Expenses Going Into the New Year
Review your service providers at least every couple of years to make sure they are giving you the best value for what you are paying. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
You don’t have to review every single account if you don’t have time, but there are a few popular categories where people find a decent ($20-50) to significant ($100-$200) monthly savings.
Key things to remember:
- It’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than acquire a new one for most companies. Don’t let them call your bluff. Ask for a supervisor, the customer loyalty department, or the service termination department.
- Know what your current service providers are offering new customers as well as what the competition is offering.
- Call their bluff, if you need to. If you can get the same or better service elsewhere at a lower cost, sometimes it’s worth the switch.
- You have to have more loyalty to yourself and your financial future than you do to a cell phone or cable package. Remember that sacrifice may be temporary anyway.
- Setting up automatic payments can be an easy way to get a quick discount.
Most importantly, you don’t have to give up things you love.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Reduce Your Television/Cable Expenses
My son is the KING of signing up for a channel to watch ONE thing under Amazon Prime and not remembering to cancel it. Check Amazon Prime under “Memberships & Subscriptions” to see if there are any other channels you have been paying for that you don’t want or need.
I love the Hallmark Channel! When I had cable, it was one of the channels that I watched pretty often. Then I discovered Philo and realized that I could reduce my “TV” bill significantly and only pay about $20 a month to have Hallmark, A&E, Lifetime, and ID Channel. Other providers for similar channels include Sling and Frndly. (no affiliation with these customers)
If you decide to keep your cable, your provider is likely willing to reduce the price of your package to match the price offered to new customers. I remember a few years ago when I still had cable, I decided to call my cable provider and was able to save $240 for the next twelve months and $120 for twelve months thereafter.
Reduce Your Insurance Costs
It MIGHT be worth it to raise your deductible to get some temporary cash flow relief and reduce your monthly or annual premium. The caveat to this suggestion is that you should have the amount of your deductible available/easily accessible in cash. This prevents you from racking up unnecessary credit card debt to pay the deductible, should you need to file a claim.
You can also shop insurance rates if you have been claim/accident free, just to keep your existing provider honest.
I’m a fan of getting insurance quotes, especially on property insurance, on a regular basis (like every other year or so). If you have made your home smarter or more protected, then let your insurance company know about things like an alarm system, sprinkler systems, fire extinguisher, and sensors for leaks (water, gas, carbon monoxide).
While the insurance industry has ALWAYS been very competitive, companies like Lemonade, PolicyGenius*, and Insurify want your business and are offering competitively priced options to get it.
Companies like Metromile and Clearcover offer modern ways to cover your car insurance by allowing you to pay-per-mile and/or provide rideshare coverage.
*I’m a customer of PolicyGenius and my personal referral code is linked above. If I wasn’t a customer I would still refer you to them. My experiences have been positive and the small referral incentive I receive, if you decide to sign-up, doesn’t change that. 😉
Reduce Your Cell Phone Expenses
I used to have great success with my provider. Lately, they have been proactively slashing prices, and thus it’s been a little more difficult to get better savings on my own. Additionally, you might be grandfathered into a data package that is no longer offered at your current price point. However, it doesn’t hurt to try. Maybe there are other products you can add to bundle a package.
You can also look for discounts offered through your employer or credit card company. When was the last time you reviewed the benefits “offered” as an employee or customer?
Reduce Other Recurring Expenses
Ummm, you probably don’t need an explanation for this one. If you haven’t been, it might be time to stop that automatic draft. There are many apps and online fitness professionals that offer affordable solutions and get you great results to help you improve your health. Take a look at online programs offered by Natalie Jill, Lita Lewis, and Jeanette Jenkins, or even equipment like Tonal or Mirror (nope, not affiliated with these companies either).
The end of the year is a great time to get help with your health and fitness goals for a really good deal.
Refinance Some Of Your Higher Interest Rate Debt
Do you have high-interest rate debt? Given the interest rates at the time of this writing, almost anything over 10% is high.
If your credit score is deemed fair to excellent, here are a couple of things to consider (by the way, fair to excellent depends a bit on if you are looking at your Vantage scores or FICO scores, but for the purposes of this blog, let’s go with over 650.)
- Refinance school loan debt. There are pros and cons to refinancing school loans, especially federal loans, so review your unique circumstances first, especially if you have private vs. federal student loans.
- Refinance your auto loans through credit unions such as Penfed or Navy Credit Union, or online banks such as CapitalOne or Ally Bank. Because of the lower overhead and return requirements of these types of financial institutions, they can often pass on the cost savings to customers and charge slightly lower interest rates.
- Refinance your credit cards. Pay attention to those credit card promotions that you usually throw away. This is a strategic option that requires some real planning and attention to detail, but it’s one of my favorite ways to reduce your debt.
Hopefully, you found an area or two that deserves your time and attention. As a final tip, joining membership programs like AARP can help you reduce your expenses in all the areas listed above AND you can be any age to join!
Grab your free gift – Ultimate Financial Resource Guide to help you on your cost-cutting journey.
Founder & Managing Director
Nikki is a 16-year financial services professional, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst ®, and the primary divorce financial strategist for The FIIRM Approach. She helps female breadwinners prepare for divorce to avoid common financial mistakes and confidently maintain their financial security. She uses proven strategies within the FIIRM Approach methodology so her clients can manage their money, debt, and credit in their new financial life. TAKE ACTION & LEARN about the tools that can help make your new money life easier. Grab your FREE Ultimate Resource Guide HERE.