Whether it’s our morning multi-vitamin or the cable TV we unwind with after a long day, the opportunities to waste money are everywhere. By simply changing our routine or doing a little research, the daily cost of our most essential comforts and necessities can be cut in two. Read on to learn about 5 ways you can save more without much effort.
Your Daily Coffee Run
Oh, sweet addiction. For many of us, this one can be a hard habit to break. But getting your morning fix doesn’t have to break the bank. With the average cup of coffee costing around 2 or 3 dollars, the monthly cost of your daily coffee break can really add up. Once you start brewing it yourself, you’ll find that you not only save more money — but you can get a much better cup of coffee as well. Our simple tip: brew it yourself to pay less than a quarter for every cup.
Don’t Waste Money on Investment Fees
So you’ve managed to save some money, you have a healthy emergency fund, and you’ve even been able to put some of your savings to work on the stock market. If you’ve decided on an index fund, maximize your investment by remaining wary of management fees and other hidden charges. Understand exactly the product you’re buying. With index funds, for example, expense ratios vary widely despite the fact that the “management” of an index fund is relatively hands off. If you’re investing in an index fund with a 1% management fee, consider Vanguard, where an S&P 500 index fund has fees as low as 0.05%. Over the course of time, this would add up to tens of thousands of dollars wasted. It’s the same exact product, don’t get ripped off.
First question: Do you pay for cable? Second question: Do you watch TV every day? If you’re anything like the average media consumer — chances are you do a lot less channel surfing and a lot more streaming. In fact, streaming has become so popular that cable networks are being forced to reassess the way they do business. If you find yourself streaming more than watching live TV, think about how much you’re paying a month for a service you rarely use and consider “cutting the cord”. There are plenty of resources online to learn more about cord cutting, start with “Cord Cutting 101” from Digital Trends to shave your monthly entertainment bill in half without sacrificing the programs you typically watch on live TV.
Forgetting about the Thermostat
Did you know that you can save up to 15% by adjusting your thermostat a few degrees? If you lower your thermostat for just eight hours a day, you’ll find that the energy savings you make will have a very real impact on your bill, leaving you with more money to stash away. A basic programmable thermostat will cost you under $50 and can ensure that you’re not wasting money. Or, consider investing in one of the new, smart thermostats being introduced to the market to put the process on autopilot.
Over-Insuring Your Vehicle or Home
Having a low deductible can sound like a nice thing, and most insurance providers will do their best to sell it to you by reminding you of the “potential” cost of a claim down the line. When the insurance salesman is describing all the possible things that can go wrong, take it with a grain of salt. Keep in mind that you’ll pay quite a bit more in higher premiums with a low deductible. If you’ve done your financial-planning homework, you’ll have an emergency fund that makes paying a higher-deductible no problem. Our tip? Pay less and save more. Raising your deductible to $500 or $1,000 can help you save from 15% to 40% on your auto insurance. If you can handle the deductible expense, don’t waste money by paying more for insurance each month.
The seemingly small amounts of money that we waste every day, week, or month really do add up. By making a few small tweaks, you can save quite a bit of money.