Most people vow to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle in the new year. But those facing financial difficulties may make budgeting a top priority. Now is the perfect time to sit down and review the financial situation, and make changes to save money.
Here are five monthly bills to lower in the new year.
It’s now easier than ever to reduce or eliminate cable. There are many ways to watch TV shows for free or for a cheaper rate than the local cable company.
In 2016, cable hit $103.10 per month on average. Eliminating cable can save subscribers over $1,200 per year.
It may seem old fashioned, but a roof antenna allows viewers to tap into over-the-air channels for free. Several streaming services are also available at a low cost, including Netflix, Amazon, YouTube TV and Hulu.
2. Gym Membership
Weight loss tops most people’s resolutions lists in the new year, but there’s no need to spend a fortune just to get in shape.
Those who have gym memberships but don’t use them regularly may want to consider letting their contracts lapse. With many gym memberships costing $50 per month, eliminating this bill could save $600 per year.
At-home workouts can be just as effective as the gym. There are many free workout routines on YouTube. Walking, running or jogging will also burn a lot of calories.
For those who must have gym equipment, ask around about low-cost memberships. Some employers offer gyms as a perk. Some health insurers have connections to cheaper gyms.
3. Mobile Service
Switching to a cheaper mobile service is easy now that most providers have moved away from contracts. Check with local service providers. Many of them use the same networks as big providers, which means they offer the same level of coverage at a lower rate.
Before making the switch, be sure to read the fine print and fully understand all of the fees that are paid every month. There may be start-up costs or add-ons that may increase the monthly payment.
4. Insurance Policies
Insurance is a highly competitive market, which means it’s a good time to shop around for a better rate.
Policy rates can increase even when no claims are filed. For example, if a large percentage of an insurer’s customer base is in Houston and severe flooding occurs in the area, policy rates will likely increase for all policyholders.
Consider comparing rates for all insurance policies, including home, auto and life.
5. Credit Card Interest
Those who carry balances on credit cards may pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest each year. Many cards have low introductory interest rates or zero interest rates for the first year. Consider transferring balances from high-rate credit cards to save money and pay down the balance faster.
Before transferring, check to see if there are any fees.
If transferring balances isn’t an option, it is possible to call the credit card company to ask about lowering rates.