Regular monthly expenses are the ones that we have gotten used to and have budgeted for so that there are no surprises. Most of us don’t even realize that we can reduce our regular monthly expenses without too much effort. Rent, mortgage, phones, insurance and utilities are all among expenses that are usually paid by the month and they can be reduced.
Insurance is probably one of the areas for regular monthly expenses that can see the most obvious reduction. Reexamining insurance coverage to make sure that you are not over insured; that is paying for coverage that won’t benefit you or costs you extra without the actual possibility of being used or the payoff doesn’t come near the total of yearly payments should something happen. Homeowners and automobile insurance are two types that can be paid monthly, semi-annually, yearly or in installments throughout the year.
Examining the payment options for these policies will show you that you can save money each year by paying them less often. This means that the average amount that you pay each month is automatically reduced so that you can put back less for these and see a few dollars of savings each month. You will also have the money to pay the premiums in full when they come due. Be sure to ask about discounts when you carry your homeowners and auto insurance with the same company. You can easily save about a $100 a year on insurance by paying attention to what you are paying for and how often.
Phones are an area where more people are going to cell phones but they are keeping the landline just in case. The phone bill for a landline can run $40 for basic service without including long distance then add another $40 for the basics on one cell phone and your spending $80 just for phones. Consider cutting off the landline if you don’t get your calls on it and save that $40 a month. If you don’t use either phone that much re-examine the cell phone you might be able to cut that bill as well. Look for a plan that the minutes roll over on so you don’t lose the minutes that you have paid for.
The rising costs of energy and increasing temperatures can cause utility bills to easily reach $200 a month or more. This expense can be cut easily by signing up to budget billing to ensure that you know what you spend on electricity each and every month. You can also take matters into your own hands and reduce the light bill by paying attention to the way that you use electricity and making a few simple repairs. There are little things that you can so such as sealing leaks, turning lights off when you aren’t using them and turning the thermostat up a few degrees while using a fan to circulate the air are all easy ways to reduce the monthly expense for utilities.
Credit cards are often a monthly expense that adds interest over time. Paying them off will greatly reduce your monthly expenses. When you put the credit cards up and stop purchasing items with them you will find that you have one less bill to pay each month.
What about your Internet and cable bills? Do you really watch all of those channels? Even basic cable can be $40 a month and if you have a broadband Internet connection that’s at least $50. $90 just for entertainment seems like a lot, re-evaluate your use maybe a slower connection will meet your needs or few cable channels. This will prevent you from paying for services that you aren’t actually using.
Groceries are another monthly expense that can be reduced. Taking advantage of sales, generics and coupons will assist you in this area. Make a list of anything you may be out of and ingredients for the meals that you plan to have the next week will assist you in avoiding trips for things that were forgotten. Having a rough menu for the week and knowing what substitutions can be made should the items prove too expensive will help.
When ever you go shopping take cash, leave the credit cards and checkbook out of the equation. You can’t spend more cash than you have with you. Putting yourself on a gasoline allowance will help as well. Setting a budget for no more than four tanks a month or one a week will assist you in remembering what you need when you leave the house and ensure that you are paying attention to the prices at the pump. A quick Google search will bring up the lowest gas prices in the area so you can plan trips accordingly.
There are a number of ways to reduce regular monthly expenses. They simply require you to pay attention to what you are doing. You must also set a budget and goals as you see the goals being met you will have even more motivation to find ways to reduce the regular monthly expenses that are incurred.