With all the necessary expenses of daily life, saving money may seem like an impossible challenge. There are, however, a number of relatively simple tricks that can help you shave hundreds of dollars a year off some of those things you can’t do without.
Update Your Cable and Cell Phone Plans
Typically, cable companies, satellite services and cell phone carriers are willing to offer special rates every six months or so, especially if you’re a long-time customer. Although these special “teaser” rates are usually advertised for new accounts, rest assured that these service providers want to keep you as a customer and they’re only too glad to offer you the same discounts.
There is one catch — you’ve got to be the one to make the call. Service providers won’t be soliciting you with these specials, so you’ve got to pick up the phone and do a little negotiating yourself. By investing 20 minutes in a call every few months, you can save hundreds of dollars a year.
Choose the Right Credit Card
If you compare credit cards you’ll find a lot of differences, that in the long run, can save you money. Although looking for the best interest rate is important, there are also other factors to consider.
Does the credit card give you cash back? If not, is there a rewards program offering frequent flyer miles or discount gas prices? Is there an annual fee?
Unless you’re rebuilding your credit and your choices are limited, there are plenty of credit cards available that don’t charge annual fees, so spotting this can result in some real savings. If you compare credit cards, you’ll be able to find the best ones for your particular budget.
Clip Those Coupons
Coupon clipping can be a lucrative way to save money but only if you go about it the right way. Concentrate on coupons for those things you really want or really need; don’t ever buy something just because you happen to find a coupon for it.
Go Internet Shopping
Shopping online can result in substantial savings, especially if you use the internet to purchase items such as CDs, DVDs, books and electronic items. In addition to retail sites, auction-type sites can also offer wholesale prices on many of these items.
Internet sites regularly post coupon promo codes offering extra discounts, so always do a search for these before you make your purchase. As for electronics, as long as you’re purchasing the item from a reputable dealer offering an extended warranty, buying it online poses no risk to you.
Hold On to Your Car
The days of upgrading your car every three years or so are long gone. During an economic recession, experts advise holding on to your car for as long as you can. If your car starts to have mechanical problems, however, you’ll have to make an educated decision as to whether or not the repairs are going to be worth the investment.
In order to avoid problems, keep your car maintained properly and in a timely manner; check the oil regularly, rotate the tires and schedule tune-ups. You’ll find that the time you invest in your car will help lengthen its life, which in turn can save you thousands of dollars.
There may not be any quick fixes for the current economic situation, but there are a number of simple improvements you can make to your own budgeting. All you have to do is make a few phone calls, do a little homework and change some of your shopping habits.
written by: Andreas Nicolaides