One simple way to make money is to save it. If you’re maximizing your money-making power in the workplace and at home, putting in long hours and working over the weekend, you should make sure that your hard-earned dollars aren’t being thrown away on bills. Try out some of these personal finance tips to make sure that you’re retaining as much income as possible.
1. Compare electricity prices. In most areas, there’s more than one option available, so shop around to find out how you can get the best possible rate. You might consider asking frugal friends and neighbors which electricity providers they’ve chosen to help you make the best decision. If you find a cheaper option but want to stay with your current company, call and let them know that you’ve found a competitive rate. Often, you’ll be able to get the same lower rate from your current company.
2. Use energy efficient light bulbs in your home. Look for the Energy Star seal and keep your eyes open for good deals. You can often buy in bulk online or find extra-low discounts at Salvation Army stores or outlets.
3. You can lower your car insurance bill if you pay by the year rather than by the month. You’ll get a discounted rate for paying up-front because you’ll be saving your insurance company the trouble of monthly billing. Another way to lower this bill is to take a defensive driving class. This costs $25 in most states, but you might want to call your insurance company and verify that the discount will be worth your while.
4. Compare insurance prices, then bundle your insurance. Insurance companies offer multi-policy discounts, so take advantage of this by using the same provider for both car and homeowner’s insurance.
5. Cancel your home phone line and use your cell phone exclusively. Just check to make sure that it supports your local emergency services before you disconnect your home line.
6. If you’d rather keep your home phone line, call your provider and ask for help reducing the cost of your phone plan. Most companies are happy to help you find and cancel superfluous charges because it’s better business than losing a customer.
7. Cancel your gym membership and walk or run instead. You can also purchase your own free weights and other exercise equipment, which will save you money over time. A one-time purchase is almost always preferable to repeated charges.
8. Limit your credit card use. Keep only one or two cards, using them for large purchases, emergencies, and travel only. Make sure you pay them off every month to avoid being charged interest.
9. Cancel monthly subscriptions that you can do without. Even if you’d like to keep a few, you can get a better rate by subscribing to online versions.
10. Pay all of your bills online to save on postage and checks.
Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident education blogger and performs research surrounding College Scholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.