“Adulting” means to do grown up things and one of the grown up things that we all hate doing is paying bills. Let’s face it, adulting sucks and it leaves us without a penny to our name! What’s the point of working hard day in and day out when by the time we finish paying the bills and buying food, we end up broke? I am here to save your wallet’s life with these 10 instant saving tips. It’s time to take control of your life and your money.
- Cable, did you mean Netflix?
Cable is one of those things that are getting left in the past with Sidekick cell phones. If you find yourself not watching as much cable as you used to watch and you watch more Netflix than anything else, do yourself a favor and cut off your cable and keep your internet. This will eliminate the extra bill you get monthly and you can watch movies, shows, and documentaries on Netflix, Hulu. you can even watch the news online through “live streaming.” Don’t get me wrong if you still love reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond, no problem you can still save some money by calling your internet and cable provider and asking them if there is a promotion going on. Promotions happen almost so secretly unless you are new to the cable provider company you will really never know until you ask them for their promotions. This is something you can do to get instant savings on your cable bill!
- Resist your coffee and caffeine urges!
I know it’s hard but this habit costs a good penny daily. The truth is, you are going to get caffeine withdrawals and you might feel like death for just a couple of days, but don’t worry it will be over within a week. You can start to replace these urges with smoothies or start juicing, this will make your energy go up like crazy. Besides the energy effects, your health will thank you because juicing vegetables and fruits have been proven to improve one’s health. Overall resisting your coffee and mid-day sodas will eliminate another thing you spend on daily. Let’s say you spend $5 daily Mon-Fri, that’s already $100 a month you can save!
- Switch to term life insurance
Life insurance really shouldn’t be taken off your list because it’s something you need to protect your family’s financial future if something were to happen to you. However, if you didn’t already know this, you can switch your permanent life insurance policy to a term life insurance policy. Term life insurance is the cheapest form of life insurance in the market, it may be coverage for a specified period of time but it is certainly worth switching over. It’s one of those things that you can get the most bang out of your buck!
- Haggle, haggle, and haggle some more with your credit card company!
If you have been to your local swap shop then you already know how to haggle, assuming you’re a pro of course. If you haven’t haggled a day in your life don’t worry you’ll be fine because it’s a piece of cake. First thing you have to know is that yes, you are paying this company to give you a credit card but in reality they are there to help you and to meet you half way so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give them a call. It’s important to know that you do have some power as long as you’ve been making your credit card payments. If you’re paying a lot of interest on your credit cards you could call the company and negotiate your current interest rate. You could also transfer your balance to an entirely different card as well. All you have to do is call your credit card company (the number on the back of your credit card) and explain your request.
- Call around for some car insurance quotes!
Chances are that you are already on your phone looking at this or maybe you just got a Facebook notification, either way, your phone is there so pick it up and call your car insurance company. If you didn’t already know this, you can call your car insurance company and ask for a re-quote after working with them for quite some time. If they offer you the same quote you can go around and call their competitors and share with them the quote you have currently and see if they can do better. Insurance is one of the most competitive fields if not the most competitive, so you can assume that they will fight each other until the end to get you as their customer! Finding the cheapest quote will help you save some dollars in the long run.
- DIY projects should be your best friends!
Do it yourself has become such a phenomenon and it honestly couldn’t have come in a better time! DIY projects are so much fun and it can save you a ton of money doing them. For example, if you ripped your favorite jeans instead of tossing them out you can fix it yourself. Or maybe you are sick and tired of your old coffee table but don’t toss it when you can easily paint it and save yourself some money! Instead of buying your kids toys that can be thrown away when they no longer use it, you could do some DIY projects to entertain them with crafts around the house. You would be surprised how much more fun kids have with a plain old treasure hunt than a new Power Rangers doll that they will lay on the pile of other toys they have! Plus this again will save you some more money.
- Invest in CFLs or LEDs wherever it would make sense
Do your part for the planet and your pocket and replace your light bulbs with some energy-efficient light bulbs. This is one of those things that you can do to minimize your light bill but you will have to invest some money to do this because it costs a pretty penny. However, if you compare the life of a CFL or LED light bulb to the life of a regular, cheap light bulb you would be surprised how much more you spend on cheap light bulbs and not to mention how much it costs on your light bill! You don’t even need to replace every bulb in your house at once but just swapping out four or five most-used light bulbs can save you more than $50 a year! Simply Switch is another great resource for comparing energy prices and savings hundreds of dollars per month by switching to most affordable and suitable energy plans for you.
- Programmable thermostat is the future of savings!
This is yet another investment that you can do but don’t worry you will save instantly once you do this! You should install a programmable thermostat to cut down on energy usage while you’re not home or want to regulate the temperature in your home. This thermostat will ensure that your utilities aren’t being wasted while you’re at work or asleep. Don’t you want to save money day in and day out? Because this investment could save you so much money!
- Save your coupons!
It’s time to save your coupons, I know you see it all the time in your junk mail and think “why would I keep this save $0.05 on something that is $5?” Yes, it doesn’t seem like a big saving at first but you could actually most of the time accumulate these coupons and use it all in one go until the item is free! My sister-in-law is super big on this and I just can’t believe that she walks into her neighborhood Publix and walks out with a cart full of items paying only $15! So it is proven in my eyes that you can save a ton by saving these coupons. If you aren’t looking to save your coupons then look into some quick saving apps for your phone or tablet such as RetailMeNot! This is literally one of the best apps to have in your possession because you can pull it out when you are looking for jeans and see for yourself what stores have the best deal on jeans right now! Talk about instant savings!
- Clean or change out your car’s air filter
If you are not a handy person, like myself, then Youtube your car model and changing out air filter then you can follow along with them and get it done in less than 20 minutes! A clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by up to 7% this saves you more than $100 for every 10,000 miles. In a worse case scenario you could change out your filter all together which you can find at almost every store for less than $10. Savings on your gas? I think yes it’s worth it! Especially if you’re commute to work is far.
Are you ready to take control of your life and finances? Just follow these simple 10 steps and watch your bills minimize every day! It takes one step at a time but don’t give up whenever the struggle against debt feels like it’s too much. Don’t let it pass another day, doing little things daily will get you changing your life in no time. Discipline is the key, once you are more disciplined in your financial life you will be more disciplined in your personal life and so on and so forth.
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.