The holidays are over, and now could be a great time to tighten your financial belt. In my world, January is the time I start making up for gift splurges and the weight gained. On the financial side, here are some great tips on what you may be able to change now to save you money:
Change Your Electric Provider
Look into changing your utility providers. I saved $300 last year by switching my electricity provider. Just 1 cent per kilowatt hour saves you between $10-$20 a month depending on your usage! I used http://www.powertochoose.org/ to look up competing rates in Texas. Check to see if your state or country has something similar to save you time.
If you have problems with bank fees, look at why. If it's because of overdrafts and things you can control, look into adding some padding to avoid those fees in the future. If your bank is simply fee-happy, look into changing banks. A great combo could be using a local credit union for your brick and mortar option and keeping savings or your main checking account at CapitalOne360, Ally, or another online options.
Are you paying for subscriptions that you don't use/need? This is the time to finally cancel an unused gym membership, a magazine subscription for one that you don't really read anymore, or even cancel small charges like Netflix if you are not getting the value from it that you expect.
Credit Card Balances
Are you carrying a credit card balance? If so, this is the time to transfer that balance if you can find a 0% interest credit card deal on another card. That can save you big bucks on interest charges AND allow you a set amount of time to throw all of the money you can at principal balances instead of interest charges.
Look into cutting cable if you can make do with other options instead. An antenna can get you 20-30 channels, Hulu Plus and network sites can cover current shows, Netflix can cover many past seasons of shows and movies, and Redbox kiosks can cover new movies. There are even some sports sites that allow you to subscribe annually and old sports games are on YouTube. An HDMI plug between your laptop and tv/receiver/projector can even mean that you can watch this online stuff on the big screen in your house anyway. Overall, you may end up making a small sacrifice in exchange for $600-$1200 a year. We're thinking about it now that we have a laptop with an HDMI port…
Overall, there are a ton of ways to save some money right now. Look at your options and see if any of them make sense for you. 🙂