We each have a list of monthly expenses that we need to pay in order to live our lives the way we like. While the items on the list and the exact amounts will vary from person to person, most people have expenses for their cell phone (with or without a data plan), for their cable or satellite, for their internet, for food, and so on.Really, these items are essential for life as we know it and no one should tell you to get rid of any one of them. However, many Americans are watching large amounts of money go unnecessarily down the drain each month because they are simply paying too much for the services that they love. So the solution is not in cutting the services and in reducing the quality of your life; the solution is finding a comparable product or service for less money. Let’s look at an example.
Let’s say that you currently pay $85 for cable (not including internet or phone service). You like watching your TV shows and movies, so let’s not take that cable service away from you. But what might happen if you do a little research? You may be surprised to find that another cable provider in the area can provide you with the exact same channels for only $50 per month. Is it worth the hassle to switch over? ABSOLUTELY. Think about what $35 per month ($420 per year) could add up to over the course of five or ten years. Think about the investments that you could make with that money and what kinds of returns you could reasonably expect to see.
Let’s look at another example. In your town, chances are that there are several places to buy gas for your car or truck. You have probably noticed that the price of fuel is going up and if you have to use your vehicle on a regular basis, it can translate into a big hit on your wallet each month. Simple things like buying your gas where the fuel is cheaper or where you get a bonus for purchasing with the company’s credit card and being sure to give regular maintenance to your vehicle thus optimizing its fuel efficiency are all ways to save money that can be used for investments later on.
Consider one more example. In today’s world, it is illegal in most areas to drive without car insurance and irresponsible to live without health insurance. But insurance providers are private companies that must compete with one another to get clients. And where there is competition, there are savings to be had. Taking a few hours to find a comparable insurance policy for a lower payment can mean more money freed up at the end of each month.
And think about other monthly expenses that you might reduce by buying food in bulk, buying high-quality clothes at the end of the shopping season, and even having a backyard garden to cut down on produce purchases. Even small steps like these can cut down on your monthly expenses without adversely affecting the quality of life that you have grown accustomed to. While simply trying to make more money is always an option, better using the money that you already make just seems logical.