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4 Money Saving Resolutions for 2013

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.

Get Handy

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!

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. Great tip on your cable bill. I think i’m going to have to give it a go as we spend way too much on cable TV.

  2. I feel your pain on Cable TV. I just wish they allowed you to buy channels ala carte as we probably only watch a handful of channels 95% of the time. We’re big on brewing from home and it saves a good chunk of money…that and Starbucks really is not that good anyway.

  3. We have definitely used the experts at home depot. It’s usually the old guys who don’t spend a lot of time stocking shelves that know the most!

  4. I try to negotiate on as many things as possible and call my broadband company every year to keep my yearly discount. You can set alerts on comparison sites that will tell you if there is a new and better deal on broadband/utilities/cable. And set a calendar reminder a month or so before those deals expire to look for new ones.

  5. Getting rid of DirectTV was a big deal for our family. We were pretty much able to fulfill our media needs through other sources (Podcasts, Itunes, Netflix, and other online streaming services) at considerably less cost. Plus, the added benefit is you don’t get sucked into watching everything that is on Cable TV. We found a lot of the shows we liked we really didn’t miss watching. It freed up a lot of valuable time to then devote to family and other projects.

  6. I buy the preground French Roast coffee from Costco (Kirkland brand). A big can costs $10 and lasts 2-3 months. I think it tastes pretty good and it saves a lot of money versus buying coffee out. I do splurge and buy real half-and-half (the powdered stuff is gross) which is probably overall more costly than the coffee itself, but I still think I’m coming out pretty good versus people that hit Starbucks or the drive thru every day for their cup.

  7. I routinely shop my fixed expenses particularly insurance. Isn’t it sad that you have to threaten cancellation to get a more reasonable cable bill?

  8. I started brewing coffee at home and it made a big difference. I had been spending about $1.50 per day getting some on the way to work every day. It adds up quick!

  9. Great tips Kyle. I brew coffee at home, though I am guilty of going to coffee shops from time-to-time (I do what I can to get discounts there, though). I also recently lowered my cable bill by threatening to go to a different provider. I ALSO have been learning a ton about DIY home projects because we have a new home that is in need of some cosmetic work. I appreciate you mentioning the fact they hire experts for each area, because I do hope to do some electrical and plumbing work but really want the input of an expert in each area. I am having fun learning more about home improvement because it should be valuable information that will pay off long-term, as well as allow me to help my friends when they buy a home.

    Kim – Hope you are enjoying your vacation, I am headed on one in February.

  10. Nice job Kyle. I cancelled our cable because Time Warner was being too pushy. I always go to the retentions department and it works most of the time. All the other are great tips to save money.

  11. We definitely brew coffee at home. We’d go broke if we didn’t! Coffee is like another member of the family 🙂

  12. Great tips. A lot of companies will be out the stops once they realize you’re ready to leave them, which is sort of sad, you’d think there should be some reward for being a loyal customer! It’s so easy to forgot how much a cup of coffee adds up over time. A good reminder.

  13. I totally agree on brewing coffee at home. A medium hazelnut latte at McD’s runs around $2.79. However I’ve found if you buy the hazelnut creamer from the store and brew the coffee at home I can save a ton over year.

  14. Every time I look at my car insurance, I realize I should be raising it. After my accident last year, I came within $100 of the property damage limit and I’ve been informed that I am in danger of exceeding my personal injury limit.

  15. We have already unsubscribed from our cable TV two years ago. It was a big deal for my husband and kids who love watching movies and cartoons. But when I showed them how much money we can save, they all agreed. We used the money we saved to pay our credit card debt. And it worked!

    • We have Dish Network, the Introductory Plan which is available to everyone. It runs $14.95 a month and we get about 55 channels. You have to call them to get it as they don’t advertise it as it is so dang cheap. We enjoy the channels we get, including all locals in HD and it is easy to justify the 50 cents a day.

  16. People would be well served by performing a what if scenario comparing the premium savings associated with a high deductible plan. It all comes down to probabilities.

    In most cases the premium saved (a certainty) is less than the increase in deductible (a possibility). You have to be pretty sure to eclipse the deductible before a HDHP does not work.

  17. I’d like to say I’m a fairly handy guy around the house so I save money there along with utility bills and tv.internet,cell and home phone. One area I save a tonne of money is brewing my own coffee. I just picked up 10 950g pots of ground coffee reg $12.xx on sale for $6.99- $1.00 coupons we had and that will do us for a year of coffee at home for under $70. Sounds good to me!! Hope you are enjoying your time away. Mr.CBB

  18. We’ve spent time analyzing our cable bill and looking at alternatives … hulu.com, Amazon prime instant videos, Netflix, etc. We were able to reduce the type of cable plan and my husband was still able to get the shows he likes to watch. Nice savings there.

    I appreciate the tip about the experts in the background at Home Depot. We’re doing a lot of remodeling on our old farm house. I agree, getting a tip from an expert can save a lot of time and money.

  19. Looking at your insurance coverage is always a money saver. It can lead to serious savings if you bundle packages, as well.

  20. Great tips! I also look for ways to cut our energy bills and gas bills as much as possible. Why throw money away on things like that? Just a little planning works wonders!

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