Are you counting and budgeting every penny but still finding it hard to make ends meet? It is a familiar tale that is playing out in households across the country as the financial crisis drags on: no matter how hard you try to save money, it seems to just disappear right out of your bank account. If you truly want to cut back and make ends meet, then you need to look deep and find out where your money is really going. Here are just a few bills that might be putting a secret extra strain on your wallet, and some tips on how to cut out the hidden and unnecessary costs.
Gas and electric unit prices are higher than ever, so the cost of running your electronics and heating your home can be a significant drain on your resources and is likely to be one of your biggest bills. Many people however do not realize that they could get a better deal either from their current provider or from an alternate provider. Do a little internet search with your latest bill in hand and find out if you could be getting a better deal elsewhere. Armed with the knowledge, ring up your current provider and see if they are willing to match the deal you’ve found. If not, switch providers. That might sound scary, but switching utility providers is actually not particularly difficult and is worth any hassle if you save some money. Best of all, you don’t need to change your lifestyle in order to save some cash!
The first instinct of many trying to save money is to cut their insurance policies, but such a move is incredibly risk and generally not advised. If you get rid of your home insurance for example, a weather event could strike and leave you completely penniless and perhaps even push you into bankruptcy. Paying for a ‘maybe’ may seem annoying, but it is better to be safe than sorry and is more financially prudent in the long run. Instead of getting rid of your insurance policies, make sure that your policies are up-to-date and again that you are getting the best deal from your provider (Homeinsurance.com is highly recommended). If not, look at those deductibles and see if you can get a better and more comprehensive deal elsewhere.
Saving money on groceries does not require a massive change to your diet: all you need to do is make sure you plan your meals well. Make a list of all the meals and food you will need in a particular week and then shop around to find where you can buy it cheapest. Even little adjustments like eating chicken leg instead of chicken breast can save you a lot in the long run.
Whether you are staying in or heading out, entertainment will end up costing you some amount of money. Unfortunately while it is easy to budget how much we will spend on groceries, it is less easy to plan for entertain bills because they are often unplanned and ad hoc. To make savings in how much you spend on entertainment, you simply need to slightly adjust the ways in which you are entertained.
For example, you may think you are saving money by staying in and watching TV but how much are you spending on your cable TV subscription? The thought of canceling your subscription may fill you with horror and leave you with nightmares of sitting on your sofa and staring at your hands all night, but there are other (cheaper) options. For example, subscribing to an internet streaming service like NetFlix instead of a conventional cable or satellite TV package can save you a massive amount monthly, while giving you more choice and more portability. You can choose from hundreds of films and TV shows, and you can watch them on any device – be it your TV, computer or tablet. Simple!
At the end of the day, if you still can’t make ends meet then you need to look at your outgoings and figure out how to make them smaller. As shown above, you don’t need to radically change your life to save a radical amount of money. By wising up and making sure you’re getting the best deal, you’ll finally find those hidden costs in your life.
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