This week, I asked my friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter to submit their best ideas on how they are cutting expenses. I also received some great ideas from callers to my podcast. These ideas, along with my own will provide you with an arsenal of weapons to start cutting your expenses right away.
1. Use Skype Instead Of A Landline
Skype is an online phone service. If you have Internet access, you can make and receive phone calls online. I have unlimited Skype with my own inbound phone number for about $6 per month.
2. Use Skype And Drop Your Cell Phone
For a about $100 you can purchase a Skype Wifi phone. We purchased one to test it and it really works! The same size as a cell phone and works anywhere there is WI-FI. It will work from you existing Skype account (as outlined above). If you live and work in an area with plenty of wireless Internet access, this might be a great replacement for your cell phone.
3. Re-Shop All Insurance
There are plenty of insurance shopping websites you can do this with, make sure you have the best deal. I do this at least once per year.
4. Raise Deductibles On Insurance
By increasing deductibles, you can save 30% or more on auto and homeowner’s insurance.
5. Cancel All Unnecessary Insurance Coverage
Specialty insurance may be nice to have, but in this economy you may have to get by without cancer insurance, disability, supplemental health, vision, and dental.
6. Don’t Pay ATM Fees
Instead of paying $3 to get money from an ATM, take cash back on a purchase. I have many times just run into a grocery store and bought a can of soup or something that I know I would use and used the ‘cash back’ option to get the money I need from my account. No $3 fee and I got something for lunch later that day. Of course, the other alternative is to make withdrawals from only your own bank’s ATM.
7. Give Blood And Get Free Stuff
Many local blood banks now offer free movies tickets or even $20 gift certificates for local restaurants. This is a great way to give to your community and get something back that will save you a few bucks.
8. Find Free Entertainment
Most local newspapers have a section that lists the local free community events. I make it a practice to go through this section of the paper each week to make a list of free activities my family can enjoy. Art fairs, concerts, church events, expos, are many times free or just a couple of bucks and make for a low cost day of fun.
9. Drop Cable TV
There are two options on this rather than going completely without TV. First, with the transition to digital TV you will be amazed at how nice of a picture you can get with your own antenna. If you don’t have a digital TV you can get a converter box for about $50. There is even a program that will provide you with a coupon for $40 toward the purchase of a converter. The option is Apple TV, which will allow you to get a virtually unlimited amount of content to watch through the Internet. What’s great is that it only costs about $230 for the unit. Some content is premium and does come with a cost to watch, but a large amount of the content is completely free. In any case, with the high cost of cable TV this seems like a big money saver.
10. Use Grocery Coupons
I just wrote an article on grocery coupons and I have become very enthusiastic about this myself. I have become a real hawk looking for the buy one get one free offers with my rewards card at Winn-Dixie. Here is a link to my recent article on grocery coupons.
11. Take Advantage Of Restaurant Coupons
There are some very easy ways to save while still being able to eat out. In a recent article I offered a number of strategies on how to eat out on a limited budget.
12. Negotiate With Your Bank
If you signed up for the free checking deal, make sure you really have free checking. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts on other bank services or move your account. This includes asking for a better deal on your credit card, ATM fees, auto loans, etc…
This is part one of a two part series. Look for the remaining 13 ways to cut expenses in the coming days.
Helping you make the most of God’s money!