8 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Monthly Debt
Trying to save money can be daunting when it seems like your entire paycheck is out the door the minute it lands in your bank account. Between the mortgage, groceries, kids’ school expenses and putting gas in the car, the outflow of cash can sometimes feel like a river. But there are ways you can save and cut monthly costs, some of which you may not have considered, and all of which don’t have to have a huge impact in your daily life.
Here are eight easy ways to reduce your monthly debt.
Review Your Car and Homeowners Insurance Policies
Chances are, you haven’t taken a look at your insurance policy for your home or car in quite some time – maybe not since you got the policies. Contact your insurance agent and see where you might be able to shave off some of the cost of your premium.
Sometimes it’s more cost-effective to raise your collision deductible, or you can see if there are discounts for accident-free driving. And don’t hesitate to shop around and see if another insurance agency can offer you a better deal than the one you’ve always used.
Change Your Phone Carrier
Like insurance, it’s easy to get complacent with your phone carrier and the idea of changing over to a different service might feel like more aggravation than it is worth.
But with so many carriers out there offering discounts and specials to new customers, it could mean big savings for you to take the time and switch. Many new plans will let you keep your old phone number, and some will even buy you out of your old contract in order to get you to sign with them.
Eat at Home
Statistically speaking, the average American family spends more than $3,000 per year on eating out. Constantly going to restaurants or even getting take-out regularly can have a serious impact on both your wallet and waistline, as it’s not only expensive, it can also be unhealthy.
Making simple meals at home and saving restaurants for a truly special occasion can save you thousands of dollars a year, and managing your own portions and ingredients can result in both a healthier and wealthier you!
Use Coupons and Buy in Bulk
It seems like a hassle, but using coupons can actually be a great money-saver. Take that extra five minutes to clip coupons from your local grocery flier, or download a coupon app like Grocery IQ, which not only helps you make a list, it pairs available coupons with the items you need.
Grocery stores such as Kroger and Safeway also have coupon apps that can be easily downloaded to your phone. Shopping at warehouse stores like Costco can also help you save, as you can purchase bulk household items for a much lower price than the grocery store.
Buy Gently Used Clothes
The amount of clothing that ends up in landfills every year is astronomical. Why not reduce your impact on the planet by buying used over new?
Grow a Garden
The cost of produce is getting out of hand, but you don’t need a huge yard or a ton of space to grow a garden and enjoy your own fresh veggies at a fraction of the cost. Container gardens can work on a small balcony or porch, and are very easy to maintain.
Consider easy-grow vegetables like lettuce or cherry tomatoes, both of which do well in small pots, or try peppers if you have a warm and sunny space for them. You’ll be able to pick your own salad fixings every day in the summer, save money on more expensive produce and get the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re eating your own fresh, organic fare.
Cut out Cable
With so many options available for television these days, you don’t have to go with the standard (and often expensive) packages offered by your local cable company. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime offer the newest in movies and network shows, and most are a fraction of the cost of premium cable.
And streaming services aren’t just for the television, as you can access your account on your laptop, iPad and even your phone. You’ll be able to watch your favorite shows anytime you want, all without that expensive monthly cable bill.
Pay Cash for Cars
Vehicles are one of the most inflated and pointless expenditures we choose to add to our monthly bills. Sure, we all want a reliable car. We all want a nice car. But a car is not an investment, it is an expense.
Cars do not appreciate in value; in fact, it’s commonly said that a car will start losing value the minute you drive it off the lot. Think about buying a decent used car over brand new, and when you get a car, keep it. The expense of maintaining and occasionally repairing an older car is often much less expensive than costly monthly payments on a lease or loan.