Part 2 of 6
Here’s the second installment: Actions 7 – 11.
- Make a list of all your newspaper and magazine subscriptions; cancel any that are not regularly read. Take action if you have a stack of periodicals piling up in a corner, untouched and unread. This ‘stack’ could represent hundreds of dollars wasting away every year. Chances are you only have time to read a handful of magazines each month. Frugal alternatives: (1) catch up on your reading for free at the local library (2) ‘share’ subscriptions or swap magazines with friends.
- Review all recurring expenses (monthly and annual). Cancel any that are no longer important. These are expenditures that can add up but are easily overlooked as regular charges. They can include (but are not limited to):
- Gym, YMCA or health club memberships
- Pool or golf club memberships
- Any other association or club memberships where you rarely participate
- Credit alert or credit score services (of minimal value, provided you routinely review statements and your credit report)
- Credit or mortgage life insurance – incredibly expensive for what you get. Better to buy a term life policy.
- Subscriptions to video or music providers (Netflix, Sling, Pandora, Sirius, etc.)
- Annual credit card fees (unless the rewards exceed the annual fee)
- Monthly checking account fees – time to find a new bank or a credit union!
- Contemplate whether it’s time to cut (or cut back) the cable. Here are several strategies for scaling back or eliminating the cost of cable:
- Cancel premium packages for channels rarely watched.
- Replace cable with a combination of over-the-air broadcasts and streaming services. Attention sports fans, click here for ways to get your sports fix – without the expenses of cable.
- Go old school: rent DVDs from RedBox or check out DVDs from the local library.
- Limit TV viewing – engage more in productive and healthy alternatives. Another advantage: you are less inclined to buy so much stuff when you are no longer being bombarded by commercials.
- Investigate dropping the telephone land line – given the pervasiveness of cell phones, do you still need a land line? It depends…
- Pros: (1) dropping the land line could save several hundred dollars each year (2) lose the telephone ‘spam’: all those annoying telemarketing and robo calls. (3) simplify your life
- Cons: (1) there may not be much savings if your phone line is bundled with internet service (2) a land line typically has better sound quality; cell coverage is still spotty in many areas (3) emergency response for 911 calls is faster, since your address pops up in the 911 response center.
- Review cell phone plans – cell phones, particularly those with data plans have become a big monthly expenditure. If you’ve had your plan a while, it’s time to shop around. Just be aware of any early termination fees. Take advantage of family plans where data and airtime can be pooled.
Next time: Actions 12 – 16 Friday the 20th.
© 2017 Paul J Reimold