Holiday spending is just around the corner (unless you are one of those shoppers who doesn’t wait until the last minute). Perhaps you and your family are planning an end of the year getaway. Having some extra funds will help, of course. So here are some expenses you might be able to cut from your spending and have a little extra each month.
1. Bank Fees. A typical bank fee runs about $15 a month. If you’ve been a long-time customer and also have loans, credit and debit cards from the bank that are generating money for your financial institution, ask to be refunded for monthly fees. If you are a student, ask if there is an account with no monthly fee. Explore other financial institutions, such as a credit union. Most of them do not charge monthly fees.
2. Credit Monitoring Services. $10 a month is a fairly common cost for this service that you can do for FREE from AnnualCreditReport.com once a year. Plus you can get a free report annually from each of the three credit bureaus ` Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Time it so that you get one report every four months to keep tabs on your credit throughout the year.
3. Monthly Subscriptions. Maybe you bought a magazine subscription to help with a fundraiser at your kid’s school, and now there’s a pile of magazines you never read. Or, perhaps you signed up online for a 30-day free trial for a service, forgot to cancel it and are now getting charged every month. Monthly subscriptions could easily be eating away at your household budget. Check your monthly statements for subscription fees and cancel the ones you don’t use or need.
4. Sodas With Meals. The average person who eats those combo meals at fast food establishments is spending about $850 a year on soda!! Cut that out and have water. You are saving a lot, and being healthier. (A lot of sugar in those drinks).
5. Extra Curricular Child Activities. After school sports, classes, and lessons are not cheap. Some studies indicate that they take 10% of a family’s income. It isn’t just the activity, a great deal of the cost is the peripheral stuff. Travel, uniforms, fund raisers, eating meals away from home.
6. Overspending On Gifts. Shop carefully. Surveys indicate that the average consumer spends as much as $800 on gifts.
7. Driving to Work. Yes, its convenient and suited to your preferences. But, if you don’t need your vehicle while you are work, and if there is reliable public transportation, then you could be saving a lot of expense, in addition to wear and tear on your car.
8. Brown Bagging. Big savings here. Lunches at fast food establishments and restaurants average $7-15. That’s a lot of green! Most offices have an employee space with a refrigerator and microwave. Take advantage of it. Guaranteed savings!
Now, have you figured out how much you are going to have for holiday shopping or an extra treat?