Since I’m still on vacation, I have another great guest post today. If you would like to submit a guest post, please read the guidelines and contact me.
I get a lot of satisfaction in finding ways to cut costs every month It amazes me how many simple ways there are to save money in everyday life. Most of which really aren’t sacrifices at all and just require some time and patience to implement. If you consider yourself frugal by nature or are forced to cut expenses to try and get out of debt you’ll find these tips helpful. Here are my four favorites for 2013.
Reduce Cable/Satellite TV Costs
Tired of paying upwards of $60 a month for 250 channels and still can’t find anything worth watching? Call your satellite TV or cable provider and tell them you want to cancel your service. Typically, they will quickly transfer you to their “Customer Retention” department whose sole job is to keep you from cancelling. They know that once you cancel it’s going to be very difficult to get you back. Because of this, they will offer you a reduced bill which is often similar to their introductory package. If you are brave enough, play along a little bit and say “No, that is not good enough, I still want to cancel” and they will typically sweeten the pot even more. I have personally done this twice with DishNetwork and each time they have lowered my bill $15 a month. Annual Savings: $180.
If you can learn to do a lot of basic home maintenance and improvements yourself you can save a lot of money every year. Having worked at The Home Depot in college, I have a secret to pass along. Did you know that they hire an expert in every department who trains the other employees? For example, the Home Depot I worked at actually employed a licensed plumber who was semi-retired. So if you have a leaky toilet go to the plumbing department at your local home-improvement warehouse and start asking questions. You’ll quickly discover who that expert is. Get to know them by name and you’ll quickly discover that their expertise will save you countless dollars and frustration.
Brew Coffee from Home
This one seems obvious but did you know that daily coffee drinkers can easily spend over $800 on coffee every year if they hit their local Starbucks on the way to work? I actually had a friend who avoided Starbucks for one year and saved enough money to take her family on a vacation. So brew it from home and save some dough in 2013. The kind of coffee you use it up to you. Ground coffee will save you some time, but the coffee purists may go for whole bean. According to a report from DailyFinance.com a cup of java brewed at home will cost you .17 cents a cup compared to $1.65 for the cheapest cup on the Starbucks menu.
Analyze Insurance Coverage
Right now is an excellent time to pull out your insurance policies and analyze them for possible savings.
Here is a list of important questions to ask:
Does your company offer discounts for being a paperless customer? Many insurance companies are doing this now but require you to enroll to get the savings.
Does your auto insurance offer a good driver discount that you’re not currently enrolled in? Make sure you aren’t leaving any discounts on the table.
When renewing any policies, are you comparing competitor pricing? Don’t assume that last year’s best deal is still the best deal in 2013.
Are you getting the highest deductible you can afford? The higher the deductible, the cheaper the plan. If you’re in a situation where you can afford to pump your deductible from $500 to $1000 the reduction in premium could be very significant.
Do you have more insurance than you really need? Make sure you are matching your coverage to your needs. For example, if you drive a 15 year old Honda that is worth less than $4,000 you shouldn’t be buying comprehensive auto insurance.
I challenge you to look for ways to reduce costs in 2013. In terms of financial peace of mind, you couldn’t give yourself a better New Year’s resolution. The money you save can be used towards retirement, college planning, or an emergency fund.
Do you consider yourself someone who looks for ways to cut costs? If so, what is your favorite money-saving tip?
About The Author: Kyle James owns and operate a website called Rather-Be-Shopping.com (http://www.rather-be-shopping.com/) which lists and organizes online coupons for over 800 stores, organized in 25 shopping categories. He also produces a blog (http://www.rather-be-shopping.com/blog/ ) where he writes about frugal living, personal finance, and the mis-adventures of raising three active children.
Kim’s Comments: When we were working on our rental house, I wanted to use these metallic tiles as a backsplash, but it would have been about $200. I asked one of the Home Depot employees if he had a cheaper option, and he looked at several things and found a piece of water resistant paneling that looked as good as what I imagined, but it was only $25!