Friday, February 5, 2010

A few money saving tips

Monthly bills can add up quickly. $10 hear and $30 there and before you know it those small monthly payments are eating up your hard-earned money. Here's a few tips to save on common monthly expenses.

Power Bill:
  • We've been hearing for years that we're not supposed to leave lights on and switching to energy saving bulbs will cut down on but it's true.
  • Try to only have the lights on in the room you're in.
  • Keep the lights off for as long as possible and open up your blinds and curtains. Natural light is not only free but better for you. If you like to read in the afternoon set up a cozy chair near a window. Place a lamp nearby so you only have to turn on one light to read rather than the lights for a whole room.
  • Let your laptop battery completely drain out before charging. This is not only good for your power bill but it's also good for your computer battery. Make sure you unplug the charger when your computer is not connected to it.
  • Use power strips. These are easy to switch off so you can power off all TV or computer related appliances and so on. It works great in the kitchen for all your breakfast stuff too. Keep the toaster, coffee maker and bean grinder plugged into the same power strip and remember to flip it off before you jet out of the house.
Cable/Internet/Phone Bill:
  • Don't let the cable company jerk you around, they're always offering great promo prices for new customers but treat their loyal customers like shit. Call and ask for a discount. Threaten to go to their competitor, especially if they're advertising against them. If you have Comcast, threaten to go to AT&T. They usually will give you the new customer pricing or something similar. If they don't, go to the competitor and get their new customer price.
  • Completely drop your cable TV. With resources like Netflix and hulu and the new free digital TV you can get caught up on almost all your favorites, even Jersey Shore. MTV offers all of it's shows online for free. I've watched so much TV on DVD that when I do get into a show on regular TV I can barely stand waiting a whole week to find out what happens next.
  • You don't need a landline anymore, unless you live in a VERY rural area where cell reception is non-existent. There's no reason to have more than one personal line.
Wireless Phone:
  • I had a BlackBerry and I loved it, but it wasn't very practical for me. So I downgraded to a simpler phone with a cheaper plan. Take a second look at your phone bill and compare it to your usage. Many services via mobile web are also available via text. In Chicago CTA bus tracker recently became available through text messaging. Each bus stop has a code that you text with ctabus to 41411. Use online bus tracker to look up the code. I have my most used stops saved as quick texts and make a list of other stops I might use in a note in my phone. And Google has been offering a KGB-like service for years for free via text message. Just text G-O-O-G-L-E (466453) with something like temp 60605 to get the weather for Chicago.
  • Minutes and texts: Most of us text more than we talk these days, and with services like those mentioned above, it makes sense to have unlimited messaging. But with increased texting comes decreased talking. Most people my age can get away with the fewest minutes possible, especially if you take advantage of free night and weekends and the"my circle"-type services offered by many carriers. And all major cell companies offer free mobile-to-mobile, which means that all calls to friends that use the same carrier are free. If a good friend or significant other isn't happy with his/her service recommend your company, especially if they've expressed interest in your phone. Your carrier will most likely give you a discount for recommending a new customer.
I hope these few tips help. If you have any other great tips share them in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment