A hard fact about me that I have had to come to terms with is that I am terrible with my money. It’s embarrassing to admit that out loud, but it’s true!
But when I started to get real with myself about my financial situation I realized I was spending money in ways that didn’t even realize and it was costing me hundreds each month! GROSS!
Here are the easy ways I saved $250 a month without sacrificing much at all!
1. Got rid of “extras” on my car insurance policy
Yes, I understand this sounds like an odd way to start, but the reality for me is that I was paying too much for my car insurance.
It wasn’t that my insurance company was charging too much for my policy, in fact, due to my longevity and bundled policies with them I was actually receiving a discount. However, I took at look at what my monthly charges consisted of and realized my issue: my coverage included much more than I really needed for the kind of car and amount I was driving.
So I called my insurance company and lowered my car insurance by dropping some extras and raising my deductible for accidents.
I kept my liability coverage high in case of an accident, for other people’s benefit, but since I have a high-mileage car and I barely drive, I didn’t think keeping a low deductible of only $250 for full-coverage on this raggedy heap was necessary right now. I also didn’t need them to help me pay for a rental car if I had an accident.
In addition, due to my current “work-from-home” status, I pointed out that I was now driving much less and was able to qualify for a lower rate.
I kept uninsured motorist coverage, of course, but I raised my deductible on accidents, which lowered my rate by $50 a month immediately, a total savings of $600 a year.
If you feel comfortable with the risk (I don’t drive much, so I am okay with the risk), you should contact your car insurance company to see about how you can get a better rate by potentially adjusting your coverage.
2. Bundled my car and life insurance accounts to save
Like I mentioned above, I have a life insurance policy bundled with my car insurance. I’m not going to lecture you, a grown adult with a brain, about why you need life insurance if you don’t already have it, but I am here to tell you that bundling my car and life insurance saved me enough money each month that the life insurance is almost free.
I love a good almost free when it means my next of kin won’t have to worry about my funeral expenses.
3. Switched my cell phones to Mint Mobile
Ok, this one thing was an incredible game changer for me financially, I can’t even begin to tell you. When I switched to Mint Mobile, I was able to bring my monthly cell phone bill of $139 (2 phone lines) down to just $30 (plus tax)!
That means I am saving a minimum of $100 monthly — which is around $1,300 per year — using the exact same towers I had used with my other company. Mint Mobile uses the same towers as T-Mobile/Sprint, but their plans cost a fraction of these other cell phone companies. How? They don’t have stores, so they have a low overhead.
Check their website for available plans. You can even pay a year in advance for BIG savings, just $180 (plus tax) for an ENTIRE YEAR of cell phone service if you bring your own phone. Their highest-end option, which features unlimited data, is only $30 per month, per phone, which is an absolute deal.
It’s possible that I am biased towards Mint Mobile. After all, Ryan Reynolds, once of the few actors I have a “crush” on, does the commercials and is a part-owner in the company, but switching to Mint Mobile has been a really great way to save a chunk of money each month in a real way.
4. Cancelled streaming services in favor of free options
We live in a world of digital offerings and there is no shortage of premium streaming services available for us to tap into for entertainment in an instant. One or two might seem affordable, but those things little monthly subscriptions really start to add up!
To save some money, I took the plunge and cancelled my streaming accounts, including Netflix. Now, I opt for watching most of the same stuff on YouTube (or other free platforms)…for free.
I know that sounds drastic, especially when so many of us are still sitting in lockdowns without our normal social lives. But cutting out the streaming services saved me a minimum $25 a month, or $300 a year.
And don’t be fooled, I’m not this bookish nerd who hates TV, so this must be “so easy.” This is proven by the fact that I follow the dumpster fire reality show known as “90 Day Fiancé,” religiously, and do not ever intend to stop.
But guess what? “90 Day” is on YouTube, too, because someone always posts it, so I stay up on the antics of idiots for free now and it’s great. I also love the food/cooking shows, political analysis, and access to learning about almost anything and everything — for free on the internet.
And I know I am not the only one who loves a good podcast, which are also FREE.
If you have multiple streaming services, consider cancelling at least one. Replace that paid streaming content with free videos on YouTube or podcasts. There are so many fantastic podcasts out there and there is something for everyone, I guarantee you.
5. Cancelled monthly box subscription
I, too, enjoy looking cute in lingerie for myself, but it can be expensive. SO when I came upon a lingerie company that offered cute plus-sized lingerie sets for “cheap,” I signed up for the monthly VIP option right away.
I was told that I could “skip” any month I didn’t want to be charged for, which seemed reasonable and doable, right?
For some, signing up with the option to skip a month of membership fees would be a no-brainer, for sure. But for me, well, I always forgot to fucking skip. This means I started to accrue a VIP credit that I really couldn’t afford to pay. To make matters worse, you couldn’t cancel the membership online, you had to call them, which in a time of texts is a horrific idea to people younger than me.
But I am a Gen X phone person, so I called them and cancelled my membership officially. I was offered a coupon and other things to stay, but I held fast and declined. This saved me $49.95 a month.
Are you subscribed to any fee-based monthly boxes for makeup, clothing, lingerie, plants, or other cute shit? Cancel it. You don’t need it and it’s probably cluttering up your space anyway.
6. Check to see if you have anything on auto pay you forgot about
Look, I’m gonna be real with you, I have gone through weird periods in my life where I had trouble looking through my bank statement because I didn’t want to admit how much money I was blowing through on bullshit (take-out food, clothing, trips, etc.) I had incredible anxiety and couldn’t physically look at my bank balance.
Which means there have been periods of time where I had no idea what was going out of my bank account if it wasn’t spent on a tangible thing.
Now, I understand that may sound nuts to some, but if it happened to me that means it could happen to you, right? When I came out of this bad period in my life and was able to regularly check my bank balance and comprehend my purchase details (using an app on my phone), I became aware that I was enrolled in memberships and subscriptions I had forgotten all about.
I combed my bank statements for clues that I may be paying for services I wasn’t using and discovered that I was an even bigger idiot than had previously been known: I had been paying full price — $29.99 — for access to an online creative software I hadn’t used in MONTHS, that had started as a free-trial I forgot to cancel!
$29.99 isn’t a ton of money, so I hadn’t really noticed the loss in real-time, but that’s still $179.94 in 6 months, $359.88 for a year!
I also found I was paying for apps on my phone for $2.99 each, which I also cancelled. That’s a total of almost $36 saved each month and I didn’t sacrifice a thing. Check to make sure you aren’t paying for something small that you aren’t even using and cancel it.
7. Unsubscribe from the marketing emails and newsletters
I am human and I like to buy things. Other humans have become very good at figuring out how to get me to buy things. I wanted to buy less, so I decided to not let them have full-access to selling me things by unsubscribing myself from…their emails.
Not her emails, we don’t care about those, I mean unsubscribe from their emails. It’s really easy for my favorite companies to entice me to spend if I get their marketing emails each week.
I’m a sucker for a witty ad, what can I say, and nothing catches my eye more when I am trying to work than a cute ModCloth ad in my inbox. So, I’ve decided to unsubscribe.
Unsubscribing to these marketing emails has allowed me to avoid even looking at what my favorite sellers want to sell me, and I’ve gone several months now without buying new clothes, which is pretty impressive for me.
Don’t give these companies a way into your brain to sell to you, unsubscribe to company newsletters.
Everyone’s situation is different
Everyone will be able to reduce costs in different areas of their life and I understand that what works for me might not work for others. What other suggestions do you have for us to save this month?? Let us all know in the comments!