Once a year you should set aside an hour to save yourself as much money as you can. Get the following statements ready and call to ask if they can lower the rate. When you are done, reward yourself with a nice dinner, or something that you wouldn’t normally do. This will not only help you see where you are spending too much, but also encourage you to do this every year.
Cable company – get a promo deal or check another provider. Customer service is always willing to offer up a better deal if you ask. Also, the advertised deal isn’t always the only deal—don’t be afraid to dig.
Phone company – make sure your phone plan is optimized. Many times you aren’t using nearly the amount of minutes or data you are allotted which is a complete waste of money. Narrowing your phone bundle to the absolute necessary amount can save you tons.
Credit cards – if you carry a credit card balance, call and ask that the rate be lowered for the next 6 months to year.
Insurance – Call your homeowners and car insurance, ask if they are able to lower the rate since you haven’t had any accidents, many agencies offer incentives for good behavior.
Other subscriptions – Satellite Radio, Magazines, online video subscriptions such as Netflix and Hulu, etc.—call them and ask for a lower rate or a better deal, they will almost always offer something better than your currently have.
Refinancing – Make sure your mortgage rate is in line with the good rate, if you are more than 1 percentage point higher, it usually makes a lot of sense.
Gym and country club memberships—Many of us have far-reaching goals that are most likely unattainable or unmanageable when it comes to these expenses, keep this general rule in mind: if you aren’t using them, either freeze or cancel them.
Once you’ve made all your changes (and hopefully saved a lot), add up how much you’ve saved for the next year, and use that money for a great night out! Doing this yearly will not only alleviate superfluous costs, but also provide you with an extra money cushion to have some fun with!