Let's face it - we can all use a little extra money in our pockets. While getting a raise or finding a higher-paying job may be in the cards for some of us, for the rest it's not as easy. That's why it's important to review your existing expenses every once in a while to uncover new ways to 'trim the fat'. Below are three areas you might want to target first:
1. Car Insurance: As is the case with mortgages, when it comes to renew their auto insurance policy, most car owners opt to blindly renew with their existing insurance provider, rather than shopping around. If your policy is up for renewal in the coming months, you may want to do a bit of shopping yourself, or ask your insurance broker to do the legwork for you. Some policies differ by as much as $600/year or more - and if you switch your home insurance to a packaged policy, the savings can be even greater.
2. Communication Services: Most households spend the bulk of their discretionary income on communications - such as phone, cable, internet and cell phones. If your communications bill has ballooned to a larger number than you'd like to see, it might be time to give your communications provider a call. It seems every week they're offering a different promotion that could end up saving you significant cash. Just call their customer service line and, if you have more than one service with them, ask if they can walk you through each one to make sure you're getting the best possible deal.
Another option is to re-evaluate your services. If you haven't watched the movie channel in months, or could realistically get away with just using your cell phone instead of both a landline and a cell phone, trim away!
3. Bank charges: If you're the type of person who gravitates towards the nearest ATM - regardless of whether it's your home bank's or not - you may want to spend a bit of time tallying up your bank fees. If you're racking up ATM fee or overdraft charges, it may be time to re-evaluate the type of account you're using. For an additional monthly fee, many banks will increase the amount of times you can use Interac or external bank machines. Depending on how much you're currently spending in bank fees, the higher package may be worth the extra cost.