Strategies to Cut Back Your Bills

4 Tips To Shrink Your Monthly Payments

BRIEFCASE OF CASH

Short of earning a raise at work, the only way to suddenly sprout some spare cash is by reducing the amount you’re spending. Many sources advise people in their 20s and 30s to save about 20% of their income, and that percentage grows higher as retirement age grows nearer.

Chances are, if you’re looking to budget, you’ve already cut out luxuries like cable TV or a housekeeping service and have put the kibosh on frequent shopping trips. To free up even more cash to bolster your savings account, try these tips to trim back your more necessary bills.

Revisit Loans

Do a bit of research into your outstanding loans and lay out your options. Is refinancing a possibility for a home or auto loan? If your credit has improved or if national interest rates have fallen since you took out the loan, you could end up lowering your monthly payment and saving hundreds or thousands over the life of the loan. If you have student loans, pay close attention to the interest rates. Consolidating could lower your overall interest rate and combine all of your loans into a single reduced monthly payment, and many loan servicers also offer a small reduction in interest rates for enabling autopay.

Buy in Bulk

If done properly, and with the right items, buying in bulk can save your household money and waste. Nonperishables, such as toilet paper, soap, laundry detergent, paper towel, and shampoo, can be enormously cheaper if you buy them en masse. Even some food items bought in bulk, such as applesauce, canned goods, or yogurt, can be portioned into glass jars and/or saved for future use.

Meal Planning

Food is one of the largest expenses in a household, after housing, transportation, and personal insurance, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The easiest way to fastidiously enforce your food budget is to plan your meals in advance. If you can sketch out a menu for the week that utilizes similar ingredients, you’ll have a more focused trip to the grocery store and you’ll end up throwing less away weeks after it’s been shoved to the back recesses of the refrigerator. Instead of running to the store and perusing potential ingredients, look in your refrigerator first and use that information to decide your next meal. Making a conscious effort here saves you money and it keeps food waste out of landfills.

Energy Conservation

Lowering your energy consumption is a low-hanging fruit when it comes to cutting monthly expenses. The small changes of swapping incandescent bulbs for CFLs or LEDs can save you money on your utility bill, plus LEDs last roughly 25 times longer than traditional bulbs, dramatically cutting replacement costs. Even while they’re turned off, plugged in electronics continue to pull energy. To stop the drain, plug your TVs, computers, and other devices into power strips that can be easily unplugged when not in use. Cut back on water usage by taking shorter showers, washing only full loads of laundry, and using your dishwasher if you have one — doing dishes the old-fashioned way can use 6 to 12 gallons more.

Some of these tips might take weeks to accomplish — such as researching your loan options and refinancing — but others can deliver results almost immediately. Keep a close eye on your daily habits as well as your checking account for even more opportunities to save.

Sam Radbil is a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace. ABODO was founded in 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. And in just three years, the company has grown to more than 30 employees, raised over $8M in outside funding and helps more than half a million renters find a new home each month.

 

 

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit, Money.com, India TV, News.com Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money, SUCCESS.com, Inc.com, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider, Credit.com, Bankrate.com and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
 
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