Ways to Cut Spending So You Can Save More
The February issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance has a story about a couple who wants to know the best way to invest after fully funding their tax-deferred retirement accounts. If only we all were in that enviable position. So what can you do to save more -- or even get started saving?
Sure, there probably are lots of little things you waste money on -- and cutting those out could net some savings. But reusing plastic sandwich baggies to save a measly $20 a year won't fill your retirement coffers.
For bigger savings, start by following the steps below.Adjust your withholding. If you've been getting a fat tax refund check each year, you've been letting the IRS hold your money interest-free all year. You'd be better off adjusting your withholding to add money back to your paycheck each month. You could stash that extra money into a retirement account -- or even a high-interest savings account -- and watch it grow. Use our withholding calculator to see how much you can add back to your paycheck.
Raise your insurance deductibles. Raising the deductible on your homeowners insurance policy from $250 to $1,000 or $2,500 can lower your premiums by 15% to 25% per year. Increasing the deductibles on your comprehensive and collision coverage from $500 to $1,000, or even $2,500, can reduce your auto insurance premiums by 12% to 18%. For more tips, see Save Thousands on Insurance.
Cut out cable. Last summer, I canceled my expensive premium cable package, opted for the cheap, basic service and started saving $80 a month -- more than $950 a year. See Cut the Cable Cord for sources of free or cheap programming and movies. (Note: I kept basic cable service to score a discount on my phone and Internet services.)
Bundle telecom services. Can't live without cable? Then make your addiction to HBO or ESPN work in your favor by bundling your phone and Internet service with your cable service to get a discount. All those services can easily total more than $150 a month if billed separately, but a standard package of three runs about $99 on average.
For even more ways to cut your spending by hundreds, even thousands, of dollars, see Save Money on Practically Everything and Save $50 a Day. Then take all the money you save and start stashing it in your retirement account.