The price of cable television seems to be rising every few months, and more and more channels seem to be falling into the premium cable packages. Paying $50 to $100 a month for cable isn’t a smart investment if you’re someone who only watches a few shows or who is trying to stay on a budget. If you’re still determined to watch your favorite shows, consider getting a Netflix or Hulu account. Even better, many networks will provide a free stream of each episode about a day after it airs, meaning you don’t have to worry about paying to watch some of your favorite shows.
Landline Phone Bills
Fewer people seem to have a landline these days, and if you still own one it might be time to cut it. While some people still prefer having a landline for various reasons, it’s one of the easiest bills to cut from your monthly expenses. Even cutting a small $15 bill a month might do wonders for your bank account.
Did you know that most people who sign up for a gym membership rarely use it each month? Gym memberships can be very expensive and it’s easy to sign up for one thinking that you’re going to be good about going to the gym. However, it’s not a good sign if your gym keeps charging you a monthly bill when you’re not using their services. If you have a membership you don’t use, think about cutting it.
Dry Cleaning Bill
Do you send your clothes out to be dry cleaned each week? Maybe you swear that you have a couple of items that need to be professionally cleaned every few weeks. One trip to the dry cleaners can end up costing you five times more than what you would have paid to wash a basket of clothes yourself. Many items, even fragile clothing, can be hand washed or taken care of at home. If you’re looking to cut a monthly luxury expense, your dry cleaning trips should be one of the first things to go.
Satellite Radio or Premium Music Subscription
Do you hate listening to ads on music stations? Maybe you don’t think paying an extra $10 a month is that big of an expense. Considering that you can listen to a lot of online music for free, that $10 could be better spent elsewhere. Programs such as Pandora or Spotify allow you to listen for free and honestly, the sudden interruption of ads is something you get used to.
Identity Theft Protection
Nobody wants to deal with having their identity stolen. It’s a horrible thing and can take years to fix. However, many identity theft companies charge hefty monthly fees in order to “protect” your identity. But that money you pay is not always worth it since sometimes even the best hackers and scammers can steal a protected identity. The decision to cut this monthly bill will be on a person to person basis, but it is important to decide whether or not your money is being spent wisely by investing in this type of protection.
Monthly Banking Fees
Many people are charged monthly banking fees and don’t even think twice about it. Have you ever paid a small fee because you didn’t have direct deposit or because you didn’t have a certain balance in your checking account? These are fees that can be easily avoided if you know what to look for when you open an account. To avoid these monthly fees, sign up for a free checking or savings account that doesn’t require a minimum monthly balance or direct deposits.
Payment Protection Plans
A lot of credit cards will offer you the option to sign up for monthly payment protection on your purchases. This is a fee they’ll charge to cover your credit card payments in the case of death, unemployment, or disability. However, many of these plans come with fine print that has very specific qualifications that might not apply to you or your situation. While payment protection plans can be great, they can also end up costing you a lot of money in fees that you don’t really need to be spending.
Paper Statement Fees
Do you like getting paper statements so that you can file them away for future reference? Have you ever noticed that some companies charge a small monthly fee for each paper statement you receive? While some people may resist going digital, receiving digital statements is usually an option with no associated costs. If you realize that one of your bills includes a monthly fee for paper statements, it might be time to think about switching over to receiving electronic statements.
Extra Insurance Coverage
A lot of people sign up for several types of insurance coverage such as home, auto, or renter’s insurance. However sometimes one insurance plan might actually cover certain items for another type of insurance. For instance, a lot of credit cards have a driver’s insurance policy on rental cars meaning that you don’t need to add that extra bit onto your auto insurance. When you receive your monthly insurance bills, check to make sure that you’re not paying for something you don’t need.
Photo: Flickr: Brendan Wood