Lower your credit card rates
A major place to save some money is in the lowering of credit card rates. The unfortunate thing is that many people don’t know how much interest they are paying on their credit card. I have heard of credit card rates as high as 27%, this translates to an annual interest of $270 for every $1000 charged to the card. This is quite alarming if you have this kind of interest rate and you don’t know about it. The fist step to lowering your rates is to find out what your current interests rates are.
Once you know what the rate is, shop around to find what other companies are offering. With these other competitive rates, you should call your credit card company and ask to speak to a key decision maker. The customer service person is not worth talking to because all they’re going to do is read a script to you. Ask to speak with a manager or a supervisor. Whatever happens, keep escalating your request up to the next manager if you do not get the answer you are looking for from the first manager you talk to. Be sure to be persistent.
As you ask for a lower rate on your card, be sure to also ask for all late fees to be reversed for you. They probably will say they can’t do that, and that’s a lie. Yes they can reverse those charges. Remember finance companies make their money from late fees and interest rates. If there is the likelihood that you will leave them, they have to weigh that opportunity cost versus the refund of late fees and lowering of interest rates. Think how much money you can save if you are able to reverse three late charges and a 5-10% reduction.
Phone & Internet Companies
Another way to save some money is to call your cell phone, home phone and internet providers to ask what available deals there are for you. Typically they wont call to let you know that there has been a reduction in the standard rates being charged for your particular level of service. A part of this is also carefully evaluating which services you’re using and which ones you aren’t using. There’s no point paying $12 a month for HBO if you only watch HBO every other week. You can catch up on all your missed shows and movies at a friend’s place who has HBO since everything they have is free on demand with the service.
As the weather changes in the course of a year, energy bills fluctuate, and if they are not watched carefully they could skyrocket and cost you dearly by the end of the year. Over the course of a year, you could save several hundred dollars.
Change all your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL). One CFL bulb uses less than a quarter of the energy that is used by an incandescent light bulb with the same brightness. So think about that, you can save you up to $40 over the course of its lifetime. With 30 to 40 light bulbs in the average home, consider the impact of switching every bulb in your house.
Next, be sure to buy energy efficient appliances. This means that you can rest assured that whatever you’re buying that is faster and sleeker is not sucking energy in a fast and sleek way over the life of the unit/appliance. According to Energy Star, if every washing machine bought this year in the United States was Energy Star rated, we would save 790 million kWh of electricity, 32 billion gallons of water, 2 trillion BTUs of natural gas and about $350 million.
Finally, make the switch to washing all your laundry in cold water. Nearly 90% of your washing machine’s energy usage and two thirds of its greenhouse gas emissions is a result of heating water in order for detergents to work properly. Detergents specifically designed to work in cool water have been proven to clean at least as effectively as traditional warm or hot water washes. Doing this significantly reduces your laundry’s energy costs, there by saving you some money. Another advantage of using cold water washes is that is allays the problem of clothing shrinking or fading.
Convenience spending is the habit of buying things that you need on a whim. When you buy groceries from a convenience store, you are paying about 20-40% more than what you should have paid if you bought at a chain grocery store. This means that you should plan your shopping. Pick a day to buy everything you need at home so you don’t pay the little extra. Think about if you spend $100 of your grocery budget at a convenience store a month, you will save yourself about $17 a month. This includes brewing your own coffee. If you really do like the taste of Starbucks then buy a pack of Starbucks beans at the grocery store and brew it yourself at home. This by itself translates to a savings of about $4 per cup of coffee you buy. Multiply that by the number of cups of coffee you buy in a month, do you thin that helps you save some money?
Another aspect of this is the money spent for entertainment. Did you know that movie theaters really don’t make their money from the movie screenings? Most of the money made is from the sales at the concession stand. The average cost of a concession stand snack (drink and popcorn) is $11. If part of your lifestyle involves watching a movie once or twice a month with a date, that translates to about $16 or$32 a month. There are savings in here if you simply decide to grab a snack before the movie and watch your movie without the food. And there is always the option of watching the movie at home to save some money.