Have you ever tracked your expenses and sat there dumbfounded on the amount of money you’re spending on everyday expenses? Not even the discretionary things like going out to eat or snagging a movie for date night.
I’m talking about the things that we “deal with” because they’ve always been there – like:
· In-home Entertainment
We are often naive about what we’re paying to these companies because we give them a benefit of the doubt that they’ve grandfathered us into new plans. Reality sinks in when you could have been saving hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars over the past years if only you made a few changes.
Imagine cutting and saving many bills by half – it could easily lead to saving four figures over the next few months! Skeptical? It’s easier than you think…
Getting Stern with Providers
You’d be surprised how quickly companies will fold to your demands when you’re threatening to go to the competition. That customer service call is quickly transferred to customer retention.
This happens in nearly all major service providers like:
It’s better they keep you in the fold than lose you completely. These companies aren’t stupid. They know you can easily shop around and find realistic prices. Just look at what happens when you compare the Peco area utility coverage and use that information against them.
Call the providers and threaten them to move on – I can almost guarantee that they’ll lower the existing rates with little hassle. You must be stern. In doing so you can save hundreds each month when you negotiate your major bills!
Debt Consolidation & Repayment Plans
An afternoon of work can have substantial reductions to your debt.
Less debt = more money. Obviously.
Student loans are tough but it’s not all doom & gloom. There are repayment plans and loans that will reduce a significant portion of what you owe. The extra money creates a snowball effect. You’ll have extra capital to commit to repayment so less money goes toward interest!
The only change that needs to be done is contacting the loan providers, reworking a deal, understanding your options, and agreeing to the new terms.
Cutting the Cord
Entertainment is expensive.
You’re often locked into a two-year contract. Half the time you complain about the lack of good programming while the other is about the bill.
Keep the basic internet package but go with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Sling TV, or other streaming services which are a fraction of the cost.
Worried about the games? Go catch them during happy hour. It’ll cost less if you’re not going wild and you can spend time with friends!
Reduce (or Eliminate) the Vices
It’s difficult to cut vices like alcohol and cigarettes when our culture has them so engrained. It’s so darn hard to quit when your social circle always suggests some form of activity that includes drinking.
I’m not going to tell you to go cold turkey – to each their own – but I do want you to keep track of the expenses so you can fully understand how much you’re spending on those vices.
There will come a point when you’re ready to commit.
In the meantime, I would suggest:
· Reading helpful books on quitting smoking
· Talk to loved ones about the issues
· Practice mindfulness to help retain focus
Elimination of these two common vices will save you thousands of dollars every year.
I would recommend that you set a date to renegotiate with providers each year.
You have more control than you may think – they’re willing to lower costs because it’s better to earn something than giving it to the competition. The same goes for shopping around and finding alternatives versus being locked into a legacy plan you always thought was beneficial.
What actions have you taken to help save the most on your journey to financial independence?