When money always runs out before the end of the month and you feel like living paycheck to paycheck is a struggle, you might be tempted to ask your boss for some overtime or to take on a second part-time job. But let’s face it — you’re busy enough as it is.
Between the demands of your job, family and other responsibilities, you most likely don’t want to spend more time away from home and loved ones.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to have more money at the end of the month, and it starts with spending less on or eliminating some of your existing bills. To successfully reduce your monthly expenses one bill at a time, check out the following tips:
Drop What You Can
Chances are, you are spending some of your hard-earned money on services you hardly ever, or never, use. Remember that gym membership you bought back in January and used a few times? If you can’t recall the last time you hit the elliptical, go ahead and cancel the membership and pocket the savings.
You might also be paying for premium cable channels you never watch — it’s common to sign up for these “free” deals when starting with a company and then get charged for them after a few months. If you have a landline and a cell phone, you might also want to consider dropping the landline, which GoBankingRates estimates will save you about $30 a month — not too shabby.
Cut the Cost of Your Smartphone
Now that you’ve said sayonara to the services you never use, it’s time to focus on paying less for everything else. Your smartphone bill is a great place to start. Take a close look at your bill and see if you are using anywhere near the data and minutes you are paying for, or if you are being dinged for excessive data streaming to watch movies.
If your phone has seen better days, consider trading your old device in for credit and sign up for a plan that will save you money. For example, the LG V20 on the T-Mobile network is a great phone that can help you reduce your cellular and entertainment expenses. Ask about their BingeOn offer, which allows you to stream video without using any of your data.
Lower Your Credit Card Rates
Many people believe that their credit card interest rates are set in stone, but this is simply not the case. As Clark Howard notes, if you are carrying some credit card debt, high interest rates can really make it hard to chip away at the total balance. If you have been great about paying your bills on time, set aside an hour or so and call each one of your credit card companies and ask for a lower interest rate.
Let them know that while you like their company and any perks your card may provide, you would like to lower your APR, and point out that you pay your bills on time and have been a customer for some time. It is not uncommon for credit card companies to agree to a lower interest rate to keep you as a customer; this will help save often hundreds a month on interest and allow you to pay your card off faster. If they are reluctant to trim your APR, look into transferring your accounts to a card that offers zero interest on balance transfers.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
I’ve accepted that for the foreseeable future, I will probably never have a home that will be featured in a Martha Stewart magazine—with kids, a hubby and 5 pets we have a lot of “stuff” in our home. I’m still working on accepting that my kids are getting older and some day they will move out….which means maybe I will get a shot at that Martha Stewart photo shoot one day!
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I have learned to appreciate that I’m a good friend to people and that I’m always there for them when I need them. I think I’m still working on appreciating how stepping on Legos at 2 a.m. in bare feet just means you have happy kids in the home who enjoy playing with their toys.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
My most rewarding achievement by far is being a mom. My two sons make me so proud and I love being with them. As for goals and dreams, I would love to rent an RV one day and drive around the country with my family.
4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
My main imperfection that comes to mind is that I’m not great at getting enough rest. I have one son who is an early bird and one who is a night owl and so to spend time with each of them I’m typically up early and up late.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
A dear friend of mine once told me, “You should never say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say to a best friend or your mom.”
I really took this to heart and strive to avoid all negative self-talk, even when said in jest. So, I love my positive self-talk!
Featured photo, “Piggy Bank In A Row” by ddpavumba