If you are looking for ways to save money, it can be tough to get started. Here’s a list of 12 ways to start saving.
- Review your current spending—it’s tough to set an objective to save if you don’t have a clear picture of where your money is going
- It’s easy to fall into the trap of “set and forget,” but frequently comparing your options can save you money
If one of your goals this year is to save money, we hope this list will help you to get started. There are lots of ways to cut down on expenses, and after the excess of the holidays, it can feel good to discover new paths to savings.
By category, here are a dozen ways that you can save money in 2022!
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Review Your Overall Spending
The best place to start finding places to save is to take a look at where your money is going. While it’s best to have the most accurate picture possible, don’t make collecting the data too much of a chore. Take a look at a few months’ worth of receipts and payments. If you use online banking or other budgeting tools that make it easy to look back over the entire year, that’s great, too!
Here are some areas of spending to consider:
Review Your Automatic Payments
Many of us have signed up for subscription services that renew automatically. Automated payments are a big convenience, but when you put spending on autopilot, it can add up quickly without you noticing.
Review all of your automatic monthly charges and make sure that you’re really getting the value you expect from the purchases. Cancel any that no longer serve a purpose or meet your needs.
1. What You Watch
Television has changed a lot over the last decade, and there are now unlimited choices when it comes to watching your favorite shows.
Maybe you signed up for one service to watch a hot new show, but you rely on another for most of your entertainment. If you have a cable subscription, you’re paying for all of those channels, too.
Pretty soon, you’re paying monthly for streaming services you’re no longer watching. Take a look at your credit card statements — keep an eye out for annual charges as well — and carefully evaluate which television shows you can’t live without.
Cancel streaming services you aren’t using, or if you’re streaming and not watching cable much at all, consider canceling your cable service altogether.
2. Gym Memberships
January sees a lot of people making resolutions to get into shape. It’s an important goal, and if you’re using those memberships, great!
But if you aren’t, it’s time to reconsider whether a fitness membership fits into your schedule and budget. Spending hundreds or thousands of dollars each year on a gym or yoga membership that you aren’t using is money you could be putting to work elsewhere.
3. Mobile Phone Plans
It’s a good idea to review your cell phone agreement periodically to see if there’s a plan that might work just as well for you but at a lower cost. If you have multiple users in the same house, a family plan might work best.
If you opted for an unlimited plan, check your usage statistics online and see how much data you are actually using. Is it really worth it to pay a premium for a high data plan? Some companies even have online tools that can suggest different plans that might work better for you.
4. Magazines, Newspapers and Periodicals
If you enjoy reading magazines and newspapers in print, see if there are any savings available from publishers. Sometimes there’s an online or print discount available if you receive both formats. Again, a little legwork goes a long way.
If you find that you’re only reading a magazine online and not using the print version at all, it might not be worth it to receive both — even with a discount. Compare pricing, and only pay for what you actually use.
How to Save on Insurance
Don’t ignore this important part of your budget. There are lots of possible ways to save on your property insurance costs, whether you are an owner or renter.
5. Bundle Your Policies
Bundling multiple insurance lines with one insurance company is one of the fastest ways to save money on insurance. If your policies are already managed by one insurance company, you might already be receiving a bundling discount.
However, if you currently have policies with several different insurance companies, you need to do a little homework. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- List all of the insurers with whom you currently have policies. Develop a comprehensive list of policies, whether they’re for auto, home (or renters), life insurance. or valuable personal property.
- Determine if any of those companies offer all of the policy lines. Some companies only offer auto insurance, for example, so they wouldn’t be able to offer you a way to bundle your property insurance.
- Add up your premiums to get your total annual premium cost. You need to know this number to verify that bundling is the best deal.
- If none of your insurers offer all lines that you need, it’s time to get some quotes. Call or go online for bundled insurance quotes from providers that offer multiple lines of insurance.
- Make sure the quotes you get offer the same (or better) coverage that you’re already receiving — that’s the best way to make a fair comparison.
- Compare what you are paying now to the quotes you’ve received, and see if bundling will save you money.
6. Compare Prices
If you only have one or two lines of insurance, you might be able to save money on your insurance by shopping around. With bundling, the more lines of insurance you have the more you may save.
If you don’t have multiple lines of insurance, you might be better off finding the best discounts just for the insurance policies you need. Getting an insurance quote online makes it easy to find a great rate.
Just make sure that you are comparing prices based on the features and coverage that you actually need. You’re not really saving money if you sacrifice proper coverage simply to get a low rate.
7. Increase Your Deductible
If you assess your monthly budget and savings and see that you’re in good shape, one additional way to save money on your insurance policies is to increase your deductible. A deductible is the amount that you are responsible for paying out-of-pocket if you experience a covered event.
With a higher deductible, you’ll be shouldering more of the initial cost of the damage. Insurance companies typically recognize this by offering a lower premium for customers who are willing to take on this increased responsibility.
Before raising your deductible, however, make absolutely certain that it’s an amount you can comfortably manage in case of an emergency.
8. Ask About Discounts
Insurance companies offer a range of discounts on insurance products. Car insurance companies sometimes offer discounts for customers who complete safe driving courses, while home insurers reduce rates if you install smart home systems that can detect things like water leaks before they cause serious (and expensive) damage.
Not sure if you qualify for discounts? Talk to your current agent or connect with an Expert Agent today.
Ways to Save Around the House
A household budget can often feel set in stone — without much room for trimming. However, there are ways to save. From groceries to your heating bill, here are ways to keep your money where it belongs: in your pocket.
9. Conduct an Energy Audit
An “energy audit” is a fancy way to describe checking to make sure your home is airtight. In the winter, any cold air that gets in means that your furnace is working that much harder to heat your home. Same goes for summer: You want to keep cool air in so your air conditioner gets a break! Check around windows and exterior door frames to see if any air is coming in, and if it is, check with your electricity provider for ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
A lot of energy companies have resources — and even incentives — available to help consumers make their homes more efficient, including the installation of smart meters. With fuel prices on the rise, these savings could be considerable.
Inflation is hitting Americans hard, and rising prices are especially evident at the grocery store. Consumers are switching brands, changing stores and buying less in hopes of stretching their dollars.
Get in the habit of checking weekly sale items, considering generic equivalents, purchasing in bulk (if you have room to store large purchases) and using coupons. Proactively planning meals can help to reduce impulse purchases and reduce food waste — which will save money.
“Reduce, reuse, recycle, repair” is a classic sustainability mantra. While following those suggestions will help to decrease the amount going to landfills, it’s also good advice for saving money.
11. Borrow, Barter or Rent
Rather than buying something new, think about whether it is something you really need to purchase. For home improvement tasks that you might only tackle periodically, investing in new equipment might be an expense you don’t need to take on (plus, you’ll need to find somewhere to store it).
Borrow from a family member or friend, barter a task with a neighbor or rent the equipment from a home improvement store. You’ll complete the task at hand without incurring the cost of a purchase and a commitment to store and maintain the equipment.
12. Check Out your Local Library
Rather than buying books and movies, visit your local library. You might be surprised at how much they have to offer for free, including video games, audio books and movies. If you’re thinking of buying a new cookbook, see if the library has it so you can borrow it first and give the recipes a test run. If you fall in love with it, you can always purchase a copy.
Library bonus: Many libraries have book sales where you can buy gently used donations and books decommissioned from the library’s collection. It’s a great way to get books at a steep discount from the cover price while also supporting the library’s mission.
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The Bottom Line
It’s never too late to examine your spending and build new habits. With automated payments, keeping up with your bills has become easier than ever — but that means it’s easier to lose track of where you are spending your hard-earned money.
The common thread throughout all of the above recommendations is to be thoughtful and mindful about your spending. There are many ways to save; some tips will take a little research, such as making sure that you have the best rate on your insurance products. With a little bit of time and effort, you could be on your way to substantial savings in your household budget.
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