But that’s just the tip of the savings iceberg. Use these strategies to help cut expenses even more:
Check Your Insurances
When was the last time you checked in with your insurances? I was always the person who just paid my insurances when they were due and that was it. BUT, you can save SO MUCH money by actually spending some time assessing your insurance policies and making sure they are right for you.
You might find you’re over insured, are paying for things you don’t need, or have an old, outdated policy that is more expensive than it needs to be.
We check our insurances each year and this last year I was able to save another $200 by switching our car insurance to another provider.
Re-Evaluate Your Phone Plan
This is another one of those things where I just kept paying my bill without giving it much thought… Now I check in on this regularly because there’s always new plans with new offers!
The first time I did this I cut my monthly bill down from $160 to $80! That’s almost $1000 a year saved. Crazy!
Sometimes I don’t actually save money but I get a better deal for the same price which is always good too.
Ask For A Better Rate
There are so many areas where you can negotiate a better rate, and we don’t even think about it most of the time. But every dollar saved is more in your pocket (or towards your finance goals). These are some ideas for negotiating better rates:
Personal Loans – If you have any loans for cars, general loans, or even student loans, you can negotiate a better interest rate, often you simply need to ask.
You can usually get a better rate if you have a history of making your repayments on time, or if your credit rating has improved since the start of your loan.
Mortgage – One of our biggest expenses is often our mortgage, and while interest rates are fairly low at the moment, you may be able to negotiate an even better rate, or if need be, move banks in order to secure a better rate.
This can be highly dependent on your individual situation so work out how much interest you’re currently paying and if moving banks would actually be worthwhile for you.
Rent – So many people are surprised to learn that you can actually negotiate your rent! When your lease is up for renewal, rather than just renewing it, request a reduction in rent for a renewal.
Changing tenants costs money because it can often mean a home is left without a tenant (and therefore without rent) for a period of a few weeks. You can be super clever about this by doing some research and finding out how long homes in your area take to release or retenant and use that as a negotiation point.
For example, if you pay $1500 a month in rent, and it takes a month to find and retenant a home, then you may be able to negotiate a reduction of $100 a month ($1200 a year) which is still more cost effective for a landlord than finding a new tenant.
If you’re really serious about cutting down your expenses, you may find that moving house is a good option.
If you’re renting a home at the moment that is too big for you (we all love big spaces, but do we really need them?) then you may find that making a change to a smaller home can actually save you a ton of money.
Keep in mind the cost of moving though. If it costs you $1500 to move and you’re only saving $1000 a year, then you might find you’re not actually any better off.
Fees would have to be one of the biggest wasted expenses I could think of… especially overdue fees, or overdrawn fees – so frustrating!!!
Do you know what you’re paying fees for?
Most bank accounts and credit cards come with fees so grab your statements and go through them, highlighting your fees and work out how much you’re actually paying.
You can find bank accounts with no fees, credit cards with no fees (check to see if their interest rates are higher though and check to see if it would be the best option for you) and be sure to pay your bills on time to avoid unnecessary fees!
Sell Your Car
Before you balk at this one and keep scrolling past, just hear me out.
Do you know how much your car costs you each year? While every country is different, here in Australia we pay registration, mandatory insurance, comprehensive insurance, road side assistance (optional) and that’s before you even take into account fuel/gas, and any loan repayments and interest rates if you have a loan.
Cars can be so expensive… so why do we need them?
Yes, transport… of course. But have you stopped to think about YOUR needs.
For a long time we were a two car family, because… well… that’s what you do. You have two adults, you have two cars.
But then we had some big financial goals we wanted to achieve, so we reevaluated everything and we realised we really didn’t need a second car.
Before selling the car we decided to see if we could go a month only using one car and it was a breeze.
So we sold it. And that was a huge step towards achieving our financial goal.
If you live in a city with amazing public transport you might not even need a car at all! Of course you’d have to weigh this up with the cost of public transport for your needs, but it’s definitely something to consider.