When people create budgets and look for ways to cut back, they usually start by eliminating discretionary spending. What if you could cut your bills without sacrificing anything at all? The truth is that you’re probably overspending on many of your big-ticket items each month, causing your expenses to be much larger than they need to be. Before you cut out your $3 latte each day, consider keeping the caffeine and making one large change instead.
Take a look at the list below to discover three easy ways you can save money without sacrificing the things you love. You’ll be surprised to see how easy it really is to whip your spending into order without making any tough choices at all – unless you consider saving money a tough decision.
Learn to barter
Bartering is a lost art. Most people accept that the price they are quoted for insurance, car repairs and other services is the price that they must pay. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. When choosing providers, it’s always good to haggle because you can wind up saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
For instance, when choosing an insurance provider, you should contact at least three companies and get quotes on comparable policies. The other people who also buy that insurance make up a huge part of the equation that determines what your rates will be. For example, if you’re a great driver and you go to an insurance company that makes frequent payments for car accidents, you’ll likely have higher rates than if you go through a company that only insures other good drivers. When getting your quotes, don’t be afraid to tell the person on the phone what another company is able to do for you. You’ll be surprised how many extra discounts they will suddenly be able to find.
Do simple car repairs yourself
Even if you’re not mechanically inclined, there are plenty of car repairs you can do yourself. For example, oil changes, tire rotations and detail jobs are all things you can easily do from the comfort of your own home without expensive tools. If you’re not handy, consider enlisting the aid of a friend who is in exchange for a meal or help with a project that you’re good at, such as painting or gardening.
For major repairs it’s best to leave things up to the pros. Don’t be intimidated by dealerships and automatically assume that your local mechanic will do the job cheaper. Often, local mechanics aren’t up to speed on the latest models of cars and will recommend jobs that don’t actually need to be done. Before you hire the corner repair shop, check in with the big guys to see what the job will run you. Remember, information is free and knowledge is power.
Shop through rebate websites
There is a growing market of online rebate websites that offer cash back for shopping at affiliate stores. Taking advantage of these types of promotions for online shopping you would do anyway is a great way to reel in the savings. Ebates is one of the most popular rebate shopping sites, though plenty of others are popping up as well. These sites usually include a selection of coupons to choose from as well, for even greater savings on things you’re planning to buy anyway.
Learning how to save on the big things you buy will help get your spending in check. It’s easy to save money without sacrificing quality or convenience and sometimes something as little as a phone call can yield big results.