Today I want to share some of my favorite tips on how to save more money on a tight budget in 2018.
(#1 is my favorite!)
1. Grocery Shop at Aldi’s
The fastest growing grocery store – is the real deal. There is no secret to this tip, simply go to where groceries cost less. Our family switched last year, and the savings are staggering. We previously shopped at both Costco and target, but have now fully transitioned to Aldi’s.
For all those on a tight budget, expect consistent savings and a top-notch selection of gluten free groceries. But be prepared, there is no deli, and you’ll need a quarter to release your cart (don’t worry you get it back). When figuring out how to save money every week, consider this money saving tip for 2018.
2. Get a Mortgage Checkup
If you pay your mortgage on time, you may be in luck. Call your current lender and see what they can do for you. Streamline refinancing, removal of PMI (private mortgage insurance), and/or lowering repayment terms will all save you money. They already have your documents, including appraisal, which speeds up the process. To take a quick look at what a rate/term reduction could save you – use Zillow’s mortgage calculator.
3. Negotiate better rates on your cable and cell phone plans
To save money each month, call and negotiate better rates on your cable and cell phone bills. Your first step is to review what level of coverage you need, and what your providers competitors are offering. A great way to compare plans is to visit Whistleout. You can easily compare cell phone and internet plans in your area. This baseline will allow you to see if your current rates are in line with what you should be paying.
Next, call your provider and speak to their retention department to see what they can do for you. This department has the most latitude to negotiate rates and provide discounts. For more tips on negotiating your cable bill, check out our guide.
However, for those not comfortable haggling with call centers, consider using using a professional bill negotiation service (like us) to do the work for you.
4. Find your strategy for student loan repayment (or forgiveness)
One of the best ways to budget money and save is to tackle your student loans head on. Like it or not, student loans are here to stay – or are they? Look at Student Loan Hero to see if your using the best tools and strategies to pay thesemonster loans off. Be sure to check out their loan dashboard – it’s awesome.
5. Cancel unwanted and/or forgotten subscriptions
If you want to save money fast – find and cancel unwanted subscriptions. We’ve all done it. We’ve signed up for some auto-renewing subscriptions. Some so minimal they go undetected for months, or longer. But that Planet Fitness, Strava, Hulu, HBO GO, or other subscription – will continue. A great tool to detect and cancel these is AskTrim. They do lots of stuff, but what they do BEST is canceling unwanted subscriptions.
6. Prove you’re a great driver, and save on auto insurance
Save money every month by making sure you have appropriate auto coverage. Review your policy to make sure it fits your needs, and lean on your agent to find out what the latest promotions / discounts are available.
New discounts seem to pop up frequently. A new (popular) option allows good drivers – to prove it! One such example is Safeco’s Right Track driver program. Drivers can save big, by allowing your insurance company to monitor how well you drive. Check with your agent so see if this could be an option for you.
7. Stop Paying Overdraft fees (stop overdrafting for that matter)
Living on a tight budget can be tough. But this shouldn’t be may tougher by paying overdraft fee’s. If you’re in good standing with your bank – you may not have too. There are some great (polite) ways to ask that those fees be waived. One such way is listed here by Ramit Sethi. It’s not foolproof, but should work more often than not.
8. Shop your life insurance.
Learn how to stretch your money by reviewing your life insurance policy. Do a quick review at Policy Genius to see if your service levels and premiums are where they should be. It takes only minutes and could alert you to some possible money savings for 2018.
9. Buy your own internet equipment (modem and router)
Paying rental fees for less than perfect equipment is not the best way to go. Normally, you can break even in under a year. Paying as much as $7-10 to your cable company for these items is costly, so buy your own equipment. Check out Tom’s (not me) guide on how to choose the best equipment for your family.
Bonus: Want to have even more control over your finances?
Throw out all of your worksheets, and opt for an easier way to stay on top of all of your bills. Mint allows you to see your bills and money in one place, and makes it easier than ever to manage your personal finances.
What do you think? Did we get it right? Drop below and leave a comment.