Between online shopping and discretionary spending like food and entertainment, saving money can seem like an impossible task. And while there are many budgeting techniques to help you control your monthly expenses, you don’t need to alter your lifestyle too much to update your budget. If you’re wondering how to save money quickly, listing your current bills is a good starting point.
Take a look at your bank statements, examine them, and identify where you could be saving. It all starts with understanding why you are paying and why, and then finding ways to save. In the process, you may get rid of an expense that you once deemed necessary. Here are five ordinary money wastes to consider to get started.
1. Cell phone plans
We all have cell phones these days, but regardless of whether you are an iPhone or Android user, chances are you can save some money by negotiating with your carrier. Here are some things to keep in mind:
How much data do you need? If you have regular access to Wi-Fi at home or work, you may not need an unlimited data plan. On the other hand, if you regularly exceed your data limits and pay for additional usage, an unlimited plan might be a better solution. Find out how much data you use and what plans are available so you can find the cheapest option for you.
Can you join a family plan? Combining your plan with others is an easy way to save money. If you haven’t already, check if you can join a family member or friend to save on a family plan.
Is there a more affordable operator in your area? It is not a myth that certain operators have better reception in different locations. But if you can find an inexpensive cell phone provider that works in your area, it might be worth the switch. But make sure You will not sacrifice quality in the end.
2. Unnecessary bank fees
Your bank account is there to help you save and manage your money, so don’t let it be a dropper. Pay attention to the bank fees you have been charged and take steps to make sure they are a thing of the past. The most common bank fees to avoid are:
Account Maintenance Fees: When it comes to checking accounts, many banks charge a maintenance fee unless you meet one of the requirements to give it up. This can be something as simple as setting up regular direct deposits from work or maintaining a minimum daily balance. Some banks even offer free checks. So if you are currently paying your bank account, find out how to waive the fee or find a new house with no fee for your funds.
ATM Fees: Most banks charge a fee to use another institution’s ATM, but not all do. If you don’t have easy access to your bank’s ATMs, check out some local banks that are more accessible and consider a change. You can also try an online bank that will reimburse you for ATM fees.
Overdraft fees: The last thing someone needs when account balances are low is to receive an overdraft fee. Fortunately, you can choose not to participate in an overdraft entirely to avoid fees. Some banks even offer overdraft protection, so if you’re looking for a new checking account, this is a good feature to consider.
3. Annual credit card fees
Paying for a credit card with an annual fee is like belonging to an exclusive club. These paid cards often come with additional benefits that their free counterparts do not have. But if you’re looking for ways to save, chances are you won’t even be able to take full advantage of the card. Regardless of the benefits, you get from your card, you will almost certainly find a no-fee option that offers similar benefits, whether you want travel rewards or cashback. And if you think you’re not paying annual fees, be sure to check. Some cards waive the annual fee for the first year as part of a welcome offer, and after 12 months, it’s easy to forget the fee is approaching.
4. Cable and digital TV
How much television do you watch? Chances are, you’re not getting the most out of your cable bundle all the time. Find out your channel priorities, then call your cable provider to review your options. There may be a limited or seasonal package available. Or, if you are served by a larger provider, you may be able to save by combining cable with other services you already use, such as the Internet. However, your biggest bet to save money on television is to cut the cable completely. It may seem extreme, but with all the streaming services on the market these days, you may still be able to build your ideal package cheaply while maintaining access to the shows and events that matter to you.
5. Endless digital subscriptions
Digital subscriptions can be quite affordable on their own, but if you pile up too much, you could be looking at a giant bill. Make a list of all your subscriptions and determine which one you use. An easy way to do this is to take a look at your credit card details, either on your own or using an online service. In any case, cancel the ones you don’t use or think you could do without. As time goes on, you can continue to select your digital subscriptions so that you only pay for what you need and use.