Here are 5 Ways to Lower Your Bills RIGHT NOW! These quick and easy tips can save you thousands of dollars this year alone, which means more money in your pocket. Remember, it’s not just about what you earn, it’s what you keep.
1. Get quotes on insurance
If you’ve been with the same insurance agent since the 90’s, looking elsewhere for a better rate is a quick way to free up a LOT of cash. You should shop around for new insurance at LEAST annually. There are many companies that want your business and are willing to give you a great deal.
Here are coverages that you may have in place and should be getting quotes from once a year:
Auto/Motorcycle/RV/Boat – Make sure you have minimum legal requirements in place and that you’re not OVERPAYING for what you need. For instance, if you own a car outright that’s worth less than $2000, there is probably no point in carrying comprehensive coverage. You need a lot less insurance when you pay cash for vehicles. One thing I would check into is getting emergency roadside assistance through your insurance rather than through AAA. When I compared the costs, my insurance company’s cost was less than half of AAA. Unless you consistently use AAA for big travel discounts and their other services, this may be one bill you can cut. Your credit score matters when shopping for insurance, so having a good one will work in your favor. Look for bundle discounts, but don’t assume bundling will give you a better deal. I’ve consistently found that in our case, bundling several policies with one company was always MORE expensive.
Homeowners/Renters – Make sure you have a current replacement cost policy, not just covering what you paid for your home. Flood insurance is extra, but from what I’ve heard, worth it. Renters – your stuff costs a lot more to replace than you might think, plus, most renter insurance policies cover living expenses for up to a year in the case of a disaster!
Term Life – Only needed if you have a dependant. Buy 10X your income for 20-30 years. You most likely don’t need more, you might be able to get away with less depending on if you have children/spouse/family.
Long-Term Disability – The American Council of Life Insurers claims that one-third of all Americans between the ages of 35 and 65 will become disabled for more than 90 days. Most employers, if you’re lucky, only cover 90 days of disability. What if you’re in an accident and can’t work for years? Most long-term disability policies cover 66% of your typical income. For example, if you make 50,000 a year you’d get 33,000 a year. Unless you have ten times that amount, or $330,000 in liquid assets to pull from in the case of a serious accident, you NEED long-term disability insurance.
Health – If you don’t have a company plan, or if it’s costing you more than $400 a month for a family, you should be looking into other options such as Christian Healthcare Ministries, Christian Care Ministry, Medi-Share and Samaritan’s Ministries. Or, all the options I’ve listed for freelancers here.
2. Unload vehicles, check tire pressure, drive sensibly.
According to FuelEconomy.gov, an extra 100 lbs in your car equals 3 cents per gallon in waste, so get the extra stuff you’ve been hauling around needlessly out of your car!
Underinflated tires can cost 1.2 percent more fuel at just 15% underinflation. If you over inflate them, your car will use 6.2% less fuel! Over-inflated tires can potentially cause a blow-out, so err on the side of side of overinflatedlated. This was tested and verified by Mythbusters!
Most importantly, FuelEconomy.gov reminds us that:
“Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.1 Driver feedback devices can help you drive more efficiently. A recent study suggests that they can help the average driver improve fuel economy by about 3% and that those using them to save fuel can improve gas mileage by about 10%.2 That’s like saving about $0.08 to $0.27 per gallon.”
Stick a post it note on your steering wheel to remind you to be a better driver!!
Better yet, take a driver’s education course and save even more money on your car insurance!
3. Stay home one more day per week
If this is at all possible, pick a day each week that you don’t leave home. If you already have one, pick another. If you typically drive, you will save on wear & tear on your car and gas costs. Every time you drive you are adding to the maintenance costs AND adding miles that depreciate your car faster. Even if you would walk to the store or run errands and grab a bite to eat out, you are removing the expenses of impulse purchases.
4. Give yourself a raise by removing waste
Take 20 mins and go through your bank and credit card statements for the past 3 months.
Highlight everything that fits into these categories:
- You can’t remember what the purchase was for
- Unplanned/Impulse purchases
- Service or Subscription you don’t really need or forgot about
- Continual purchases that don’t add value to your life
- Duplicate charges/incorrect amounts
Now, add up all of the highlighted amounts and quadruple it to see you’re probably wasting each year. Take a good hard look at that number.
Give yourself an instant raise and a big boost in income by removing that wasteful spending.
If you’re at home, do these 5 money saving tricks right now.
- Turn off all the lights except for those absolutely necessary to the task at hand.
- Unplug everything that you are not using.
- Turn down the thermostat if it’s winter, by 5 degrees and put on an extra layer. Turn up the thermostat by 5 degrees if it’s summer and run a fan instead of the air. Better yet, change the temperature 10 degrees and hang a hot/cool pack around your neck for comfort.
- Now set a reminder on your phone everyday to notify you because if you’re like me, you’ll probably forget!
- If you’re hungry, stressed, worried or bored then unplug from the computer and tv. You’re more likely to make impulse purchases when bombarded with ads in these mental states. Go read the bible, a new book or call a friend. Those are FREE and will remove the temptation to spend money on stuff you don’t need.
Try one of these kits if running around and unplugging all the time seems like too much of a hassle.