When Americans feel a pinch in their financial situation, cost-saving tips becoming valuable to the average family. The MintLife Blog states that only 32 percent of American households currently draw up a detailed budget to control spending and track income.
While the typical budget-conscious individual may know to forgo that daily Starbucks treat at $5 a pop, he or she may be unaware of smartphone apps or negotiation advice that can save hundreds of dollars a month. You can benefit from the following tips of financial wisdom.
Understand your monthly expenses
According to The Savor Blog, tracking every cent of your expenses can help you develop better spending habits. Even though you may have cut a costly Starbucks habit, you could still be spending money on other habits that cost hundreds of dollars a month.
People who are addicted to cigarettes can easily spend $200 to $300 a month on them. By tracking every cent of your expenses in a smartphone app or Excel spreadsheet, you'll be fully aware of your spending habits and make required changes. Another option is to see what kind of online options your bank offers. Online checking accounts make it easy to monitor and record your transaction history from your home computer or even your mobile phone.
Take advantage of circulars
Grocery shopping can a great area to reduce expenses. ABC News recently discussed a list of smartphone apps that provide circulars in electronic form.
If you feel like you don’t have time to sift through newspapers or clip coupons, you may want to use a smartphone app to glance through circulars in your spare moments. Whether you’re waiting to pick up the kids from school or stuck in a long line, you can use this time to your benefit by finding electronic circulars and coupons.
Negotiate your medical bills
Some people suffer the financial pinch when they owe thousands of dollars on a medical bill. Instead of struggling to pay the total amount, you could try to negotiate the amount down.
Only 31 percent of Americans ever attempt to negotiate over an amount owed on a medical bill, yet 93 percent of Americans who do are successful. If you plan on discussing a medical debt, make sure you deal with the ultimate decision-maker.
Those who are in charge of billing decisions can help you out by cutting the amount you owe for your medical care.
Negotiate in all contexts
In addition to negotiating your medical bills, you should also feel comfortable to do the same in just about any other context. Even if you’re at a farmers market or clothing store, it may be possible to haggle for a lower price on something you want.
Improve the security of your home
You can lower the rate for your home insurance policy by taking the trouble to improve security measures. Adding a free wireless security system may help you save as much as five to 20 percent on your home insurance policy. Also, selecting the e-policy or e-bill delivery option can result in some savings.
Following the above tips can add some wiggle room to your monthly budget. Take advantage of these strategies so you can free up extra cash and get more value for your dollar.