We can all use a little more cash in the bank. And if finding a higher-paying job or winning the lottery isn’t in the cards for you right now, you’ll need to do more with what you’ve got.
Say you want to save $1,000. That’s about $84 a month, an amount experts said is doable for most of us. It just takes a little planning and some small habit changes. (Click here to read the entire article.)
Here are five moves money experts said can bring significant savings:
1. Trim your monthly bills: I’m quoted as saying, “Too many people pay monthly bills without knowing exactly what they’re being charged for.” “And people often pay for more services like phone, internet, cable or even utilities than they need, or pay extra for a device they don’t use or a protection service that isn’t worth the money. Re-evaluate what you need and aim to only pay for services you actively use. For example, how often do you use your landline phone? How much data are you using on your smartphone?”
2. Eat in more than out: This might seem like an obvious move, but experts identified dining out as a top budget eater that people underestimate. “If going out sets you back $60 while making a meal at home costs $30, shifting just three meals a month will get you the savings you want”, suggests J.J. Montanaro, a certified financial planner with USAA.
3. Become a ninja shopper: Taking small steps in your shopping habits like using coupons, buying generic and limiting impulse buys can add up to $84 a month, if not more. One way to avoid making impulse purchases is to write down everything you need and stay laser-focused on your list while in stores. “With bigger purchases, do an analysis first. Measure the cost against what you earn. You may find it’s not worth it”, says Jean Wilczynski, an investment adviser at Exencial Wealth Advisors in Connecticut.
4. Take full advantage of employee benefits: “Many full-time workers at large companies have access to benefits and discounts from an employer, like subsidized cell phone bills or gym memberships, but too many people ignore them, leaving money on the table”, added Wilczynski.
5. Avoid being over-insured: “As your life circumstances change, so do your insurance needs. Car insurance is as good place to start”, stated Dave Abate, a certified financial planner with Strategic Wealth Partners in Ohio. For example, older cars might not need as much insurance. As a vehicle ages, it could make sense to increase the deductible to lower premiums. (If you do bump up a deductible, make sure to have enough cash on hand to cover the higher deductible if an accident occurs.)
The amount of life insurance coverage you need tends to decrease with age as well, as less people are reliant on the income.
If you have questions or need help in these areas, schedule a Eureka session today!