Are you a New Year’s resolutions type of gal or guy? Personally, I like making resolutions. We’re all imperfect creatures, and I think setting intentions for positive change is a worthy undertaking. Working toward improving financial security is a common resolution. If it’s one on your list, I have a few ideas for simple and painless ways to trim your spending in 2020.
- Cancel memberships. While January is typically the time to go out and get a gym membership, I suggest you cancel the one you already have that you don’t use. If you’ve been paying a monthly fee for a gym that you visit quarterly, it’s not doing your wallet or your health any favors.
Take an inventory of all the memberships and subscriptions hitting your bank account. Do you get the doodad-of-the-month box? Do monthly restocks of stuff you don’t need arrive via Amazon’s Subscribe & Save? Have an annual pass to the zoo, but haven’t gone in a year? Hit cancel on the things you don’t need or use to save money (and space for tangible items) in the new year.
- Negotiate your rates. Sometimes a phone call is all it takes to save yourself money. Have you changed your TV and Internet provider within the last year? If not, do a price comparison then call your current provider and see if you can negotiate a better rate. If you're a long-time customer, they’ll likely offer you a price reduction to stay, and if not, check out other options. Energy providers are another vendor you should regularly shop around for a better deal.
In the current low interest rate environment, you may be able to save money by refinancing some of your loans. Look up the interest rate and term on any loans you currently have, then compare to current loan rates to get an idea of the savings potential. Does it look like refinancing could save you money? Give our lending team a call (484-223-4216) or fill out the contact form to get started.
- Cut back on little extras. Most of us are pretty careful about big purchases; it’s the little things that can quickly add up before you notice how much you’ve spent. I won’t tell you to give up your fancy lattes or date night dinners out but do pay attention to how often and how much you spend, then set yourself limits. Whatever your guilty pleasure or little luxury is, moderation is key to financial freedom.
- Check for savings before you check out. Never pay full price if you don’t have to. When you shop online, do a quick search for merchant coupon codes to see if a there’s a discount to be had. You can install a browser plug-in such as Honey to find and try all the available coupon codes at the click of a button.
In a physical store, be aware of the business’s price match policy and bring proof of the better price with you. Did you know Target prices some merchandise differently in-store versus online? Just show your cashier the online price at checkout to get your in-store price adjusted. Many stores match competitor prices too.
For bigger purchases, be willing to wait for the right time to buy. You can get better than average prices on cars when a new model rolls out or at year-end when dealers push to hit their numbers. The best deals on houses are usually found at the end of summer.
Most products go on sale eventually if you wait and even a small percentage discount can be a worthwhile savings on big ticket items.
Pretty doable, right? If you want to dig further into financial resolutions, check out our post on budgeting and totally rebuild your financial habits for 2020.
Here’s one final bonus tip for you: If your bank charges you fees just to use your money (ATM withdrawals, card purchases, minimum balance fees, etc.), don’t stand for it another day. Make the switch to GOLD. We’re here to help you achieve your financial goals, not to make money off fees.
About Laura Pruitt
Laura is the Marketing & Communications Director at GOLD. She is responsible for GOLD's communications to Members and future Members. She enjoys making financial information easy to digest and empowering Members to take charge of their financial futures.
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