Saturday, October 26, 2013

Part 2 Living paycheck to paycheck

Increase your income
Cut your cell phone plan
Have you looked at your cell phone history lately? If you’re using less than your allotted minutes, text, or data, switch to a lower plan. Comb through your history and bills, then ditch anything you’re not using.
Ditch the landline
It may be time to cut the landline. Cutting your landline service can save $25 to $30 a month – around $300 a year.
Take a staycation
Staycations are all the rage lately for one reason: They’re a lot cheaper than regular vacations. If you’re trying to stash away an extra grand this year, consider staying home and living like a tourist in your own city for a few days.
Raise your deductibles
Raising your insurance deductibles will lower your monthly payment. For example, raise your car and homeowners insurance deductibles from $200 to $1,000 and you could save hundreds in premiums. Just make sure you don’t raise the deductible higher than you can afford if you need to file a claim.
Drop your cable or at least turn off the premium channels 
Use NetFlix to to watch your favourite shows but If you want to keep your cable, at least ditch the premium channels. HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime each cost about $13 a month or $39 for all three. If you cut them off today, in just six months you’ll be $234 richer. 
Cut out ATM fees
My old bank didn’t have nearby ATMs, and they charged a convenience fee when I used one outside of their network – so I spent about $5 for every ATM withdrawal. Going to the ATM once a week was costing me $20 a month. So I switched to a bank with more free ATMs in my area, saving $240 a year. If you’re paying for access to your own money, you should do the same.
Buy out of season
Buying out of season (swimsuits in January or Halloween decorations in November) can save you a ton of money. 
Sell what you’re not using
Want a painless way to beef up your savings? Go through your house and toss everything into a box that you haven’t used or worn this year. Then sell that stuff and put the money you make into saving by  going the old-fashioned route with a yard sale or a visit to a consignment shop.
Buy generic
Many products are the same, no matter the brand name. Skip the name brands on pain relievers, water, milk, margarine, bleach, cleaning products, and spices. They all worked as well as their name brand counterparts, and you could save up to 60 percent.
Use coupons
Vow to always use coupons, and not just on your groceries. With sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, you can snag deep discounts at local retailers. 
Quit smoking
Smoke a pack a day and you’ll spend $144 a month. In a year, you’ll spend $1,733 on cigarettes. Quitting isn’t just good for your health, it’s good for your wallet. But if you’re not going to quit, at least save some money on the smokes you buy for example buying in cartons 
Reduce your energy use
According to The White Fence Index, U.S. consumers spend an average of $96.55 a month and $1,158.60 a year on electricity. If you reduced your bill by 30 percent, you’d save $28.96 in a month and $347.58 a year.

That isn’t hard to do – just install a few CFL light bulbs, turn up (or, when it’s cold, down) your thermostat, and flip the switch when you leave the room.

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