Money savings is a concern for many people in this tough economy and people are always searching for ways to save on every day expenses. Here are a few little things that you can do to put money back into your pocket.
Cable, Internet, Phone
Big communications companies often impose their wish for us to bundle communications services like cable and phone but if you have a total home package you may be paying way too much for your services. Thanks to services such as Google Phone, Hulu, and Netflix, you can easily lower your monthly costs while keeping almost all of the same features that you currently have. The first thing that you will have to do to make the most of these options is upgrade your internet. Don’t be afraid to get the maximum internet package that your cable provider offers to allow video streaming to be as seamless as possible. Because you’re still continuing service with them, they shouldn’t charge you a termination fee to downgrade to just internet either.
Google.com provides free online phone number that will take the cost out of paying for a home phone service. Granted, you will not have features like call waiting but you have voice mail and can easily forward the number to your cell if needed. Another way to lower your phone bill is to eliminate residential service altogether because most adults and older teens have personal cell phones. With everyone in the household having a cell phone there is little or no need for a landline.
Hulu is a great alternative to traditional television and cable services. You will receive most of the same programming that you do with basic cable and there is no need for a DVR because you can stream broadcast and cable television programming anytime. Even better, it’s only $7.99 a month compared to standard cable packages. For all of those NFL freaks like me, it’s even cheaper to opt just for the NFL package each season.
Netflix is similar to Hulu with a less options for television programming. They offer great movies that you can watch over and over again. My suggestion is to take the combination of Hulu and Netflix ($15.98/month) which still comes out cheaper than a normal cable package.
Unless you’re getting a $600 haircut from Sally Hershberger or Frederic Fekkai, haircuts are a fairly inexpensive annual expense but they can still add up to a pretty decent sum. On average, most households spend about $60 a month per person on hair care needs which adds up to about $720 a year per person. Learning how to cut, color, and style your own hair can help to extend the life of your professional style and help you to cut visits to the barber or stylists in half. Buying the right equipment and products can cost less than $100 if you are willing to put in a little work to do it yourself. It may take a few times to get it exactly right but the savings will be worth the effort.
Most people use 3 rooms in their home or apartment: the living room, kitchen, and bedroom. In rooms that you are not using you may find that unplugging lamps or other appliances not in use will bring your bill down. Even if the appliance isn’t on it’s still using electricity. Also during the day, take advantage of natural lighting and avoid the use of your in-home lighting.
Stop eating out! According to a Good Morning America article, the average person spent $2,505 eating out in 2010 which accounts for $200 per month. Although fast food sounds inexpensive and convenient when you crunch the numbers you’re being charged a convenience fee because you do not have to make it yourself. Fast food is also very often high in fat content which can lead to added medical expenses down the road. The $200 a month can go a long way toward buying healthy groceries and creating filling meals at home. With a little planning you can prepare meals in advance to help save time in your busy schedule.