Do you ever feel like there’s some sort of conspiracy among corporations to deprive you of as much of your hard-earned money as possible? That’s not too far from the truth. Banks, stores, service providers and utility companies are all in it to make money. Some are more aggressive than others in the pursuit of the almighty dollar, but they all need to turn a profit to survive.
With costs rising everywhere, consumers have begun to search for ways to beat the system and save money. It takes some work, but there are ways that you can save on your everyday bills. Here are some suggestions.
* When it comes to banking, it pays to shop around. Some banks charge all sorts of fees just to maintain a checking account, while others have free options. Check with your bank to make sure you’re getting the best deal they have. If that’s not good enough, look elsewhere. Some banks will even pay you to switch!
* Look at all of your communications options. Many households have a landline and multiple cell phones. Could you do without your landline? If you truly need a home phone, consider dropping your long distance service. Many cellular service providers include free long distance in their packages. Calling cards may also be a cheaper option depending on your calling habits.
* Consider bundling services. Companies often offer packages that include phone service, cable and high-speed internet at lower prices than if you purchased them separately.
* When it comes to electricity, the best thing to do is conserve, conserve, conserve. Switching to a cheaper electric company isn’t an option, so it’s important to find ways to use as little juice as possible. Turn off lights and televisions when leaving the room, unplug TVs, DVD players and other electronics that use power even when turned off, hang clothes out to dry when possible, and purchase energy-efficient appliances. These easy changes can make a noticeable difference in your bill each month.
* Make a habit of getting auto insurance quotes once a year. Changes in the way an insurance company calculates its rates, or changes in your driving record, could make a difference in the rate you would be charged. It’s also wise to get quotes on homeowner’s and other types of insurance on a regular basis.
* Keep a close eye on your credit cards. Even if you had a great interest rate to start with, you might be paying more now. Late payments (either on your credit card or other bills) can trigger rate increases, and until new legislation goes into effect preventing it, card issuers may raise your rate for no reason whatsoever. So pay attention to any notices you receive, and confirm your interest rate every now and then. If you find that you’re paying too much, look for a new card with a lower rate.
When looking for ways to save money, we often overlook everyday expenses. But by examining them closely, you can almost always find a way to save at least a few dollars each month. And those few dollars can add up to hundreds in a year’s time.