Each day of the series offers new tips, ideas and a challenge to start the year with a solid financial plan.
One mistake most people make that has a major impact on their budget is getting stuck in a rut. You go to the same gas station every week, shop the same grocery store you’ve always shopped and use the same insurance your parents did. Without ever giving thought to how much it’s costing you.
Take a look at your budget worksheet, and highlight all expenses in which you could compare prices—don’t stop to consider which stores you like better or what company you think has the best value. Just mark every expense with competition. You can prioritize them, if you’re really sold on a company—just like discretionary expenses—and work from the bottom up.
Insurance is one of the biggest culprits—it automatically renews each year so how often do you actually think about the costs? There are a lot of ways to lower insurance costs, without much impact on your day to day use. Get a free car insurance quote, consider raising your deductible on home owner insurance or drop unnecessary riders on your health insurance.
Last year, when we paid off our vehicles, I alerted our insurance company. Our bill instantly dropped by almost $30 per month. This year, it finally occurred to me that we don’t actually need maternity coverage since we’ve made sure we’re all done having babies. I’ll not add up the amount of money I could have saved if we’d thought of it years ago.
For today’s challenge, just pick one of your insurance policies and look into making one change—if not by switching companies, at least ask about lower rates for deductibles, coverage changes or rate discounts.
I’m not a financial planner or a budget expert. I’ll just be walking you through the steps I take each time my budget needs an adjustment. In fact, I’ll be participating myself!