Everything costs money. Frequently, it’s money you don’t have or need to spend elsewhere. It seems like your entire paycheck is gone before it enters your bank account and you’re powerless to stop it. That’s not entirely true, though. While these recurring expenses may be taking over your life, it doesn’t have to be that way.
How to Save Money on Recurring Expenses
In fact, you’re probably overspending on at least one of the following:
Whether you rent or own, it’s quite likely that you’re overpaying for your housing. Between property management companies and banks, everyone is trying to get the most out of individuals like you. While you may not be able to up and leave because rent is too much in your area, there are ways to determine if you’re overpaying or getting a good deal on your rent. If you’re curious what the U.S. Government considers “Fair Market Rent” in your city, consider checking out the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s assessment for each year. You can also look here for even more information. Websites like Zillow constantly update their cost estimates and present them in a super user-friendly format. If you’re in a better financial place than you were when you took out your mortgage, consider refinancing your home as another way to save.
These days it seems like everybody and their dog has a cell phone. With all the customers network providers have, you’d think they offered great deals. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In fact, many cellular customers are overspending on this modern day necessity. One of the simplest ways to cut down on your monthly bill is to check with your network provider to see if they offer a discount to employees of your employer.
If you’re one of the thousands of Americans getting their side-hustle on by driving for rideshare companies like Lyft or Uber, you’re guaranteed a 15-18 percent discount on your phone bill. Plus, if you have a family plan, the discount extends to them, too!
In most states, you can’t drive your car without being insured. Given how expensive car insurance is, it’s no wonder people try to drive without it. You may be shocked to learn that the average 20-year-old male spends 59 percent more annually than their 60-year-old counterpart. On top of the cost of college, which most 20-year-olds are also incurring, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But there’s good news! If your student performs well in their courses, insurers frequently offer a good student discount to alleviate some of the financial burden.
Also, if your student limits their use of the vehicle they’re insured to drive, or if said vehicle is over a certain number of miles from the student who uses it, insurance costs will also go down. Some auto insurers also have special student car insurance policies for that exact reason, so be sure to consult an online insurance comparison platform to be informed about all of your options.=
Your education already cost you a fortune, but somehow you’re still paying it off. With so many different loan options, it’s hard to know when you’re getting a good deal or what you actually need to take out in loans. If you’re currently in school or you have a college student in your household, consider searching for grants instead of loans, perusing the plethora of hyper-specialized (often somewhat odd) scholarships available.
If you recently had a child or are thinking about starting a college fund for your offspring, check if your state offers some type of prepaid tuition or college savings plan, so you can pay your child’s future tuition at today’s rate or set up a state-sponsored financial investment in your child’s future. This will help prevent you from overspending later.
Taxes are complicated. But let’s be real, this necessary evil is so confusing that you’re often worried you underpaid and the IRS is going to come after you to take even more of your hard-earned dough. Surprisingly, many Americans are actually overpaying on their taxes. Not in the way that’ll get you a refund, though. You’re paying more than you should because you aren’t keeping records that you should be keeping. If you own a car and use it to drive to doctor appointments and volunteer for charity, those miles can actually earn you money!
Keeping a log of how many miles you drive along with the purpose of each trip, and you could earn a pretty decent tax refund. Take a look at the rates from the IRS. To make your life even easier, track and categorize your miles with apps like Everlance and MileIQ, and export your mileage log to a PDF when you’re ready to file free online taxes.
It’s really easy to not remember all of the expenses you have, recurring or otherwise, so keeping a record of every penny spent can help you in the long run, in addition to paying special attention to the above spending areas.
© 2016 – 2017, Khaleef “Fat Guy” Crumbley. All rights reserved.