One of the age-old phrases of selling is ABC: Always Be Closing.
When it comes to budgeting, the ABC’s still apply, but slightly modified: Always Be Cutting.
Listen, folks, lifestyle creep is real, and I’m not talking about going out to restaurants more than you should, or a shopping spree; although those are bad too.
I’m talking about fixed costs. Expenses creep ever higher, and if you aren’t paying attention before you know it, you’re paying 10 – 15% more for the same product or service.
To guard against this type of nearly imperceptible lifestyle inflation or creep or whatever you want to call it, you have to Always Be Cutting.
The ABC’s of budgeting goes for everything, from utilities, to cell phone bills, to car insurance.
Last year I attacked my cell phone bill and was able to save $360 per year by bargaining hard with my cell phone provider. This year, after reading a fellow blogger’s recent blog post, I realized it was time to take a hard look at my car insurance needs.
A Brief History of My Car Insurance
I’ve been with the same car insurance provider since I bought my used 2007 Volkswagen City Golf five years ago. I didn’t shop around. I just went with the broker that a family member recommended.
Back when I lived in New Brunswick, my car insurance rates were very affordable, but since moving to Halifax, I’ve noticed a definite creep in this expense. While I was paying just $66 per month in New Brunswick, now I’m up to $91 per month.
It’s time for a change!
Researching Better Car Insurance Rates
It was time to start searching around and seeing if I could find a better rate. Fortunately, the internet is a veritable treasure trove of information on car insurance rates, and it didn’t take me long to plug my nine-year-old golf’s information into RateSupermarket.ca’s search engine to find out that yes, I am indeed paying too much for car insurance!
After car insurance comparison service did its thing, I discovered while right now I’m paying $91 per month for car insurance, I could be paying $59 per month for almost the exact same coverage. That’s a $384 per year difference! Yes, please!
Choosing the Right Car Insurance Coverage
One of the great things about RateSupermarket.ca is that it allows you change the parameters of your coverage to see how different levels of coverage will affect your insurance rate.
I tried out not having collision coverage, rental car coverage, etc. to see how it would affect our monthly premium, and while it was tempting to go barebones for the lowest monthly cost, I did end up keeping collision and rental car coverage, because I like the peace of mind.
I also realized that my deductibles don’t reflect our current financial situation. I previously had very low deductibles, because I didn’t have much extra cash lying around, and having to shell out $1,000 for a car accident would’ve ruined me financially. Now, I have more cash at my disposal, so a higher deductible is fine for me.
Bundling Insurance Coverage For the Best Price
Finally, I opted to bundle my tenant’s insurance in with my car insurance which has two benefits: 1) It gets me a lower rate and 2) It allows me to make one monthly payment instead of two, woot!
My car insurance is up for renewal in August, and you’d better believe I’m going to make the switch to a lower rate, after giving my current insurance provider a chance to play ball and price match. If they can’t, we’ll be making the big move on to greater savings.
Have you saved money on fixed expenses recently? I want to know!
Photo Credit: Pictures of Money