Here are ten things you can do, while at home, to save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. These are all actions that I completed to get myself out of debt and to a point where my husband and I could quit our full time jobs in 2017. We continue to live a frugal life which allows us to travel and work minimally. No matter how big or small the changes you take on from the list below, you will end up with more money in your pocket.
1. Cancel Streaming Subscriptions and Cable
Cable is insanely expensive. This should be the first thing you cancel if you are having trouble paying your bills or are in debt. Use your TV’s digital scanner and you will be amazed by how many stations you can pick up for free. No matter how inexpensive your other streaming subscriptions are, cancel them and adapt. Chances are, you won’t miss a thing, other than the bills. The weather is getting nicer, this is a great time to cut down on TV watching and spend more time outside.
2. Change Your Cell Phone Plan
Chances are, you are paying way too much for your cell phone plan. There are frugal options that still provide excellent service at a fraction of the cost. I am a fan of Google Fi. Click here so we can both get $20 off. Dust off the calculator and crunch the numbers. Worried about service? I travel throughout the US and internationally and it works great. Google Fi works in multiple countries without having to switch sim cards.
3. Negotiate Services Like WiFi and Garbage Pick-Up
If you have never called your WiFi provider and garbage pick-up to negotiate a lower price, you are paying too much. Call your WiFi provider and ask for the least expensive option without any bells or whistles. You may need to ask for it a few times before they give it up. Providers tend not to advertise the cheapest WiFi options. The sales rep will try to convince you won’t be able to stream movies or do what you need, but it is a bunch of malarkey. Also, no matter how hard the sales rep pushes, do not get a bundle package of WiFi, cable, and a land line. It is not a deal. They wouldn’t push it so hard if it was the least expensive option. Some providers will buy you out of contracts with other providers. Use the competition as leverage in negotiating.
If your area does not provide garbage pick-up for free, there are going to be multiple companies fighting for your business. Find the cheapest deal and contact your current provider with the numbers, they will most likely match it or undercut it.
Apply this action of calling companies and asking for a lower rate with everything you can. It will work especially well if there are multiple businesses in your area competing over providing the same service. The worst thing they can do is say no. Be polite, be patient, and it will get you far when completing this task.
4. Consider Energy Usage in Your Apartment/Home
Paying for heat, water and electricity can add up pretty quickly. Think of little dollar signs floating out of each plug in your house. Don’t let that money float away. Turn off lights when you are not in a room, unplug unused appliances, turn the heat or AC down and change what you are wearing to adjust to the temperature. Stop using your dryer (or decrease usage) and wear clothing more than once before you wash it. Conserve water by turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth or lathering the soap while washing hands. Fill your washing machine and dish washer to capacity before running them. If there are rooms or spaces you do not use in your home, consider turning off the heat or AC in those spaces and unplugging any lamps or appliances. Turn off your WiFi at night.
5. Negotiate Car and Homeowners Insurance
If you have not changed your insurance in a couple years, you are probably paying too much. This is a time consuming and a super annoying task, but look at your time as money. You will probably save a few hundred dollars by switching insurance companies and negotiating.
6. Get Rid of Stuff You Do Not Need
Go through your home and sell anything you do not need. Gather up clothing and sell it or donate it. Go through the garage and sell tools and equipment. You can even sell things that don’t run anymore. People will happily pay you for non-working items that they can fix and resell or sell for scrap.
7. Negotiate Better Terms on Your Credit Cards
Call your credit card company and ask for them to lower your interest rate. If you maintain a balance on your credit card month to month, this could save you a ton of money if you can get even a percentage point lower on your interest rate. Call and ask, if the first person you talk to says no, ask to speak to their supervisor. Be polite and patient and it will get you far when completing this task.
8. Reconsider Tasks You Outsource
If you have someone walking your dog, mowing your lawn, cleaning your pool, cleaning your house, etc. consider taking these tasks on yourself.
9. Cut Down on Driving
Combine errands to streamline your time in the car. If anything is close enough to walk or ride a bike, do that. Not only will you save money on gas and wear and tear on your car, but you will get some exercise too.
10. Get Creative
Is there anything you can do less times a year to save? Can you let go of coloring your hair or getting your nails done? How about eating out less and cooking at home more? Let go of the gym membership and work out at home or outside. Stop buying new clothes. Think twice before ordering anything on Amazon. Be mindful every time you pull out your credit card and ask yourself if you really need it.