There's something peculiar about having spare money. . . it burns a whole in our pockets and we can't wait to spend it on something, and often it's on something we simply don't need. We merely desire it. But when times are bad, it's a burden to continue paying those bills.
Here are the Top 7 tips to reduce unnecessary bills:
1) There's no roam at home.
Do you really need a cell phone? If so, it's doubtful you need the fancy ringtones you've been downloading for 99 cents a pop. Itemize your cell phone bill, and see what you can eliminate and where you've been wasting money. If you pay per call, use your cell phone only for dire situations, not for idle chit-chat.
2) Was that trip necessary? Make every trip count to save gas and reduce vehicle wear-and-tear.
Consolidate your errands so you can take care of more than one task. For example, schedule your grocery shopping on the same day/time you pickup your prescription medicine.
3) The good old days. Remember long ago when your mother hung clothes out to dry? Believe it or not, solar drying still works. Since natural drying won't remove lint or wrinkles the way a dryer does, you can still dry clothing such as undergarments on a clothes line. Don't forget about natural sunlight to illuminate your home instead of using your lights.
4) To your good health. Not only costly, but cigarettes, alcohol and dining-out at fast food restaurants can be unhealthy, which can also cost you additional medical expenses.
5) Don't forsake insurance.
For some reason, insurance is one of the first bills people will dump when they suffer financial hardships, which is precisely the time they need the protection insurance offers. Instead, drop the non-essential bills such as your cable or satellite connection.
6) Surprise, surprise. Know what you earn, what you can afford, and how purchases will affect your finances down the road.
When you discover you have an extra $20 left over from payday, don't spend it on a whim. In a week or two, you may need that 20 bucks. Project all your bills and plan for unexpected expenses such as a replacement tire for your auto.
7) Budget, don't fudge-it.
The most important item we saved for last, for fear if you read it at #1 you would have skipped this article as re-hashing what you've already heard time and time again. But it's true. A budget is necessary if you want to earn good credit, save money, and get the things you really need.
Article by Toni Phelps of Credit Federal, which offers a free debt-to-income calculator to reveal how much of your money you spend on bills per week, month and annually, as well as a breakdown of gross and net income.