I am ready to start posting about some non financial stuff so I am happy that my series in managing finances is coming to an end. I have already covered big ticket items like mortgages, education expenses, car insurance, and credit cards in other posts so my focus this time is on smaller items that add up over time. Here are some of my tips for managing other expenses that can lead to big savings over time. A lot of this may be common sense but I find common sense is not as common as I once thought so I’ll post them anyway.
- Play your internet/phone/tv provider against the competition right before your rates are set to go up (or when you notice the supriingly bigger bill). I regularly did this with Comcast vs. Verizon and always got the lower rate without switching until this past year. I must have acquired a reputation with Comcast as all talk and no action and they were unwilling to renegotiate this past March. I took my business elsewhere and saved 40$ per month for the next two years and I’ll switch again if I have to.
- I get a few hotel nights a year from my regular purchases on my Marriott Black Card. The $60 annual fee is more than worth the one free night since I will use it in a high cost place that will cost at least $149 a night.
- Try a few different local online deal providers such as Groupon or Living Social. They are a great way to save 50% on stuff you’d buy anyway but be sure you’ll be able to use it before it expires. Avoid becoming one of the suckers that make these entities billion dollar companies.
- I would say Redbox vs. video stores, but do video stores even exist these days? Unless there is a hot chick at the counter I wouldn’t even think of going in these days.
- If you go out a lot learn the weekly specials and frequent the good spots at the right times. I drink 2$ Guinness and Kilkenny’s on Friday with 50% off appetizers and do not sacrifice and ounce of quality scenery.
- Book your flights at least 21 days ahead of time unless you are able to take extreme values. My cousin violated this principle recently due to poor planning and paid more than 50% more than he should of if he was a better planner.
- I turn down my thermostat to ~ 60 during the days I am not in the house during the winter. Helps lower those massive winter heating bills in the North East.
- I work from home when 2-3 days a week since my company is ok with it and it helps save a bit on gas and gives me and extra hr each day to be productive.
- When grocery shopping I shop around and know the relative costs of high ticket items such as beef or seafood. I live close to nearly all the supermarkets and buy what is on sale without getting ridiculous about it.
Saving money does not have to be soul sucking and fun draining. You can do it by making small lifestyle changes and realizing you work hard for your money so should get the most out of it. How are you making your money go further?