Next we will be analyzing the reoccurring expenses to eliminate waste. What can you cut and not miss at all? You will need to look at each of your monthly bills and see if you are paying for anything you are not using. At this phase we are tying to cut expenses without reducing any services. Below are some of the most common bills to look at, but you may have others also. Gather your statements and let’s see what we can find. Companies frequently change the plans they offer and there may be something better for you now than when you first signed up, especially if you have had your account set up for some time.
- Bank statements – Is there a monthly fee? By calling your bank or checking their web site, you can see if they have a better option for you. If your bank doesn’t fit your needs, you can easily change banks for benefits. Do you qualify for any credit unions? They often have better deals than most banks. Since $10 – $15 per month can really add up, this is something to look at closely.
- Phone bill – Are there any charges you don’t expect to see? Does your phone company offer flat rates for long distance calls that will make this bill more palatable?
- Cell phone bill – Are there any charges on this bill for something that you don’t currently use? Recently my husband and I eliminated a charge for texting from our cell phones. This saved us $10 per month for something we didn’t use at all. It would be much cheaper for us to pay per text if we ever wanted to text someone.
- Cable bill – Here you will need to think about what you really need and use from your cable company. Do you use all the channels you are paying for? Are you paying for cable boxes or remotes that you don’t use? Is there a better bundled plan that will save you money? (Note: in our next reduction step, we will be cutting not just waste, but thinking of what we can do without. You may want to also think of your cable bill in that light at this point.)
Most people can find $10 – $100 per month they will be able to save by just reducing waste and monthly fees. Depending on your analysis from step one, you will be either using this amount to pay off debts or adding to your savings.