5 easy ways to cut costs
You can find easy ways to cut costs without drastically altering your lifestyle. These simple changes can leave you with extra cash to boost your retirement contributions, set aside money for your kids’ college educations or save for a nice vacation.
1. Drive more efficiently
There are a number of ways to save money driving: Batch your errands to save time and gas. Drive a more fuel-efficient car on long road trips, or make your car more fuel efficient by eliminating extra weight. Consider apps that find shorter routes or search for the cheapest gas nearby. You might also consider a rewards credit card that gives you cash back when you purchase gas.
2. Review your insurance policies
Shopping around for home and auto insurance can save you money. Consumer information site Insure.com recommends getting at least three quotes when looking for auto insurance. You may also consider bundling, which can save you 3–22 percent. It’s a good idea to ask about discounts, too. Many insurance companies offer lower rates for people with good driving records or who drive fewer miles.
10% of Americans
who compared premiums on their auto insurance found that they would save money by switching insurers.
Source: Consumer Reports, 2016
3. Cut energy costs
For a total overhaul of your electric bill, you can request an energy audit from your power company and get specific, customized tips on how to save. Or consider a programmable thermostat, which automatically adjusts your settings when you’re asleep or out of the house. In the summer, one simple tip is to replace or clean your air filters routinely—your air conditioner will use 5–15 percent less energy, lowering your bill.
Save up to 10%
on your heating bill by lowering your thermostat 7–10° for 8 hours a day.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy
4. Get media savvy
There are ways to save on entertainment by using technology. Check out online subscriptions to your favorite newspapers and magazines; digital access may cost significantly less. Libraries have gone digital, too; your local branch may offer free downloads. What about your cable bill: Are you really watching all your channels? You may be able to lower your bill by downsizing or switching to a digital subscription model that lets you select channels à la carte. Consider your entertainment habits carefully and do some research to see if technology might be able to help you save.
5. Look for deals on everyday items
From finding coupons to looking at cost per unit, finding ways to save on everyday items can add up. Start with a shopping list—this helps keep you from buying things you don’t need. There are numerous ways to access coupons and deals these days, from traditional circulars to loyalty cards and mobile deals. For more tips on how to save on everyday expenses, we put together a video.