Watch Your Money This Year
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Let's be honest if you're trying to pay down debt faster, you need to have more money for your debt payments.
There are 2 ways to do that – either increasing your income or adjusting your current expenses.
Taking on a second job or starting a side business can do wonders for getting money, but it's not an option for everyone.
Perhaps you are working plenty of hours already and you don't want to take more time away from your loved ones.
If that is the case, then optimizing your monthly expenses is vital.
Where is Your Hard Earned Money Going?
First off, if you haven't already, go ahead and get a snapshot
You have quite a few options out there right now. Let me share some of my favorites:
- Do It Yourself:If you want use your bank or credit union's online records, go ahead grab the data for the last month or so. Some banks will let you download that information free into Quicken for analysis.
- Mint: Signing up for Mint is easy and it can pull and organize your financial transaction in one spot. Besides warning you when you’re spending too much, Mint also has the ability to keep you keep tabs on your financial goals.
- Personal Capital: If you want to get a detailed report and analysis on your finances, Personal Capital Wealth Management offers a free review.
Going back to the financial snapshot you got, the two of you should try to review all of your expenses to see what expenses you can trim and what expenses you can cut.
Finding Money with Your Bills
If you’re looking at some ideas on where to start, here are a few suggestions:
If you are out of your contract, now may be a great time to slash your cell phone bills.
I signed up with Republic Wireless to get their unlimited smartphone plan for about $20/month.
There are also options like StraightTalk that cut your smart phone bill in half. You can have an iPhone and still keep your bill relatively low.
Cable and internet
I know some couples are leery of cutting cable, but the two of you need to sit down and see if you're really getting your money's worth from it. You may find that having service like Hulu + and Netflix is cheaper and what you really use. You should also call to see if there is a promotional for internet service.
Auto insurance rates
You'd be surprised at how much you can save if you hunt around for a deal.
You can use free online tools like Go Insurance Rates to cut your bills drastically by comparing rates.
While it may not save you as much as auto insurance, find a deal on your home owners insurance can still pay off.
Once you find some expenses that you can trim, that money can be used to pay off the debt.
How much you can save varies depending on your current bills and how much you're willing to hunt for savings.
Thoughts on Trimming Expenses
For those couples who already optimized their expenses, could you please share your tips?
What bills have you already cut back on? Which bills gave you the biggest savings?
Photo Credit: 401K
Trimming the cell phone bills are a huge way to save that I think not enough people take advantage of. Just because it’s not Verizon or ATT doesn’t mean these smaller companies aren’t utilizing the same technologies – in some cases they are actually leasing out the same towers. I also cut the cable cord and trimmed to just internet, no home phone either, and love my Roku for streaming media. One thing that’s also been a huge help is really planning meals for the week – by being really focused on grocery shopping with a purpose it’s helped to make the most out of that part of the budget. And even trim it – mostly because I’m a terrible impulse shopper when everything around me could potentially be delicious lol
Thank you Nunzio for sharing tips that have worked for you. I think many people can try it out and save some money on their bills.
I went 1MB over on my 2GB monthly allotment for some reason this past month, and of course, I have to pay the full $10 more. Hate it when the phone company doesn’t pro-rate the data usage!
Sorry to hear that; that is annoying not to have it pro-rated. Who do you use for your cell phone?
Thanks Elle to share good tips with us regarding money management and useful tools for it. I am already using Mint and recently started to use Personal Capital. Ideas shared under “Finding Money with Your Bills” are more useful for me as first time I came through such ideas.