(WHTM) — As costs continue to rise, we’re always looking for a way to hang on to our cash.
We can do that by cutting costs.
Financial expert Andrea Woroch says the first step is going through your budget and taking a closer look at how you’re spending your money.
There’s probably some waste there.
“Go through your credit card and bank statement over the last few months, list out those fixed expenses, and then take an average spend on any fluctuating expenses like gas, food, and entertainment. Then once you realize where you might be overspending, now you can figure out and take steps to start cutting back,” she said.
When going through your monthly bills, look for things you don’t really need.
“This could be as simple as canceling unused subscription services, maybe switching to a lower-tiered mobile data plan based on your actual usage instead of paying for unlimited data when you don’t need it,” she said.
Speaking of those monthly bills, one way to lower them is to negotiate.
“It’s a good idea to get on the phone with your providers at least once a year, ask about any special promotions they may be running, ask about discounts, set up auto-pay or e-billing, and always run a competitor search,” Woroch said. “You want to leverage any deal you see with the competition because your current providers may be able to match that price.”
Many people get intimidated when it comes to negotiating. In fact, a recent study showed one in four Americans didn’t even know they could do it.
“I think a lot of people just think the bills they’re paying for are the price they have to pay and don’t realize that there are opportunities to one – shop around and two- to negotiate,” she said.
There are also opportunities to save with credit cards. Woroch says to use ones with rewards that match your spending style.
“Look at your year-end statement from last year — see where you spent the most and then find a credit card that gives you more cash back or miles or points for that spending category,” she said.
You don’t have to make huge changes in your life to cut costs. You can save on energy just by unplugging gadgets you aren’t using and running appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine during off-peak hours.
“Every bill that you save money on, it all adds up and is really going to give you some extra cushion in your monthly spending so you have a little extra to put towards your savings and to afford higher prices and take a vacation,” Woroch said.
Another quick tip from Woroch is to cut down on wasted food to save money on groceries. Many people buy more food than they actually need. She says making a meal plan and sticking to your shopping list is a big help with that.