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The cell phone company war bodes well for consumers, with cellular plans reaching all-time lows. Here are some of the cheapest cell phone plans we could find.

cheapest cell phone plans

Over the past few years, cell phone providers have declared an out-and-out war to win over consumers. This spells good things for the consumers, who can now take advantage of more low-cost cell phone plans than ever.

These days, even the “big four” cell providers–Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon–are lowering their prices. And there is a host of other companies jumping on board with cheap voice, text, and data services.

Finding the right plan for your needs requires some research, though. First off, the provider you choose should have decent coverage in your area and areas to which you travel often. Saving $15 a month on your cell phone bill doesn’t mean much if you constantly drop calls in your own living room!

Plus, you’ll need to ensure that the plan you choose has what you really need in a cell phone plan. That might mean unlimited voice and text, or a hefty amount of data for your business.

Whenever you are ready to lower your cell phone bill, check out these 20 low-cost plan options.

Sprint Unlimited Freedom

Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom plan offers an excellent deal of anywhere from two to five lines with unlimited data, talk, and text for $100 per month. One line will run you $60 a month but two, three, four, or even five lines on the same account will only be a flat $100 each month. (AutoPay required for this special pricing.)

That’s as little as $20 per line for unlimited talk, text, and data!

Each line will be able to stream HD video, gaming, and music, as well as high-speed data for everything else (like apps). Plus, you’ll also get a 10GB/line/month mobile hotspot and a free Hulu plan.

T-Mobile ONE

The ONE plan offers quite a bit for a great price. For a limited time, you’ll also receive a number of neat benefits for having an account, too.

You’ll receive unlimited talk, text, and data for $70 for the first line, $60 per for two lines, $47 per for three lines, or $40 per for up to four total lines. So, you’ll pay $160 per month if you have four lines on the same account. (To get the $40/line rate, you’ll need to sign up for AutoPay.) Oh, and that’s a flat rate–taxes and fees are already factored in!

The plan offers unlimited everything (phone, text, and date) in Mexico and Canada, and unlimited text and data just about anywhere else in the world. You have unlimited streaming at DVD-quality, a free 2-user Netflix plan, in-flight texting and an hour of data on Gogo-enabled flights, and unlimited 3G hotspot data.

Also, if you’re over 55, you can take advantage of the T-Mobile ONE 55+ plan, which gives you two unlimited lines at $60 each per month.

AT&T Mobile Share Advantage

This customizable plan allows you to choose how much data you want to share. Pick from 1GB for $30 a month to 25GB for $110 per month, then add smartphones for a monthly access fee of $20 each per month.

If you don’t use much data, this plan would be a great way to cut your expenses down to as little as $70 per month for two lines and limited data access. It also allows for rollover data, on months where your family doesn’t use as much as expected.

Verizon Plan

This giant is known for its great coverage, but has started to lower its prices to stay competitive. Their unlimited plans are no exception.

Choose the number of lines you’d like to add, from one to 10, and then select either the goUnlimited or beyondUnlimited option.Both offer unlimited 4G LTE coverage, unlimited talk & text, unlimited mobile hotspot, VerizonUp rewards, and an optional military discount.

The difference between the two is the speed/quality at which you can stream videos and the speed limit for your mobile hotspot. Plus, the beyondUnlimited plan also includes Mexico and Canada.

The goUnlimited plan starts at $75 for one line, $65 per for two lines, $50 per for three lines, $40 per for lines four through 10. For the beyondUnlimited plan, it starts at $85 for the first line. Then, you’ll pay $80 per for two lines, $60 per for three lines, and $50 per for lines four through 10.

Metro PC

Launching into the smaller providers, we’ll start with Metro PCS, which offers nationwide 4G coverage. Its “unlimited” data, talk, and text plan really comes with 1GB of 4G data before kicking you down to lower data speeds. Still, the plan is a good deal at just $30 per month for each line between one and four. If you want more data, you can pay $40 per line for 5GB of data or $50 per for unlimited data.

For just $60 per month, you can get unlimited talk and text plus unlimited data and a mobile hotspot.

Cricket

Cricket’s Basic plan runs just $30 per month, and includes unlimited nationwide text and talk plus 2GB of high-speed data access. Or the $60/month Unlimited plan offers unlimited high-speed data, unlimited nationwide talk and text, unlimited international texting, and data access as well as unlimited talk and text to and from Mexico and Canada.

Cricket also offers group pricing. Plus, you’ll get a $5 per line discount for signing up for auto-pay with the higher-tier plans.

Page Plus Cellular

Page Plus Cellular is a no-contract provider that still offers super-cheap plans with restricted minutes and text. The cheapest plan is just $10 per month for 250 minutes, 250 texts, and 100MB of data. Or opt for the largest plan at $64 with unlimited calling, unlimited national and international texting, and unlimited 4G LTE data.

Virgin Mobile

This provider is gaining in popularity, and not without reason. Its Inner Circle plan is just $50 per month and includes 4GB of high-speed data. Plus, it allows you to stream music from services like Pandora and Slacker without tapping into your data.

To add a mobile hotspot is another $10 a month, unlimited everything to Mexico and Canada is $5 a month, and unlimited everything to over 70 countries is another $10 a month.

Boost Mobile

Boost’s Unlimited Starter package starts at just $35 per month and includes 3GB of 4G LTE data. Like Virgin, Boost offers unlimited music streaming through certain music apps.

For more data, check out the $50/month Unlimited Gigs plan, which offers optimized streaming for videos, gaming, and music, and unlimited 4G LTE data for everything else.

Straight Talk

Available plans for Straight Talk depend on your phone and current phone number, so you’ll have to check availability. But some example options include a 1-year unlimited plan for $495 total. This one offers unlimited nationwide talk and text and 10GB of data per month at 4G LTE, restricted to 2G service after that.

Republic Wireless

For just $15 per month, Republic offers unlimited talk and text without data (except on WiFi). It’s a good plan option if you’re near a WiFi signal most of the time. Plans add more data from there, up to 10GB per month on the $90 plan.

GoSmart Mobile

This provider offers four service levels, including a $25/month plan that includes unlimited international texting, unlimited national talk, and unlimited 4G LTE access for Facebook. Its largest plan is $55/month and includes up to 20GB per month of 3G data access, as well as the other perks listed.

FreedomPop

This provider actually offers a free Basic Plan that includes 500 texts, 200 minutes, and 500MB of data each month, as well as free calling over WiFi. You may be able to bring your own existing device to this provider, or purchase a device from them.

H2O Wireless

For $30 per month, you can get unlimited talk and text, 3GB of data, and $10 of international talk credit. Or go up to $60 per month of unlimited talk and text, 10GB of high-speed data (restricted to 2G data thereafter), and $20 per month of international talk credit. H2O also offers pay-as-you go plans, which let you customize your payment based on how much talk, text, and data you’ll actually use at a time.

Scratch Wireless

This provider, like many other small providers, operates on the “WiFi First” principal. In other words, if WiFi is available, your phone will operate on that rather than using data. When connected to WiFi, you’ll have unlimited text and data. So if you’re typically in places where WiFi is available, Scratch could be the ideal service for you.

You’ll pay an annual access fee to use the service, which is $69 a year for cellular devices and $89 for smartphones. You can also buy data and voice passes, for use when WiFi isn’t available. These start at $7.99 for a 30-day pass or a certain amount of data/voice time.

ChatSIM

Communicate mostly by text? ChatSIM is super-cheap way to make that happen. The base plan costs $10 per month and comes with unlimited texts and emojis anywhere in the world. You can also purchase multimedia credits to cover photos, videos, and calls, ranging from $15 to $60 each.

Red Pocket

Red Pocket offers plans that begin at just $10/month for 500 each minutes and texts. Or, you can opt for the $19/month plan to get unlimited talk and text plus 500MB of data.

These plans go up to $60 per month for unlimited everything with 8GB of high-speed data (and lower speed data after that).

Simple Mobile

You can bring your own phone or buy a phone through Simple Mobile, and then sign up for a $50/month plan with unlimited 4G LTE data. Don’t need the data? Keep it simple with a $25/month unlimited talk and text plan (plus 1GB of data).

US Mobile

This provider offers completely customizable plans, so you only need to pay for the services you actually use. For instance, you can pay $3/month for 100 talk minutes, or $15/month for up to 5,000 minutes.

Similarly, texting costs $2/month for 100 texts or $7/month for 5,000 texts. And data costs from $2/month for 100MB to $26/month for 5GB. Add on a $4/month service charge, and you’ve got a plan you can completely customize to your actual usage.

ROK Mobile

As with other providers, this one cuts back on the cost of streaming music by providing the ROK Music App. It offers a $45/month plan with unlimited talk, unlimited text, and 5GB of 4G LTE data.

So which one wins?

As you can see, there’s some huge variability in plan prices here, from free plans that focus on WiFi coverage to $100/month plans from the “big four.” The key is to ensure that any provider you choose will have good coverage in your area, and that the plan will be sufficient to meet your talk, text, and data needs.

Be sure to read the fine print. Also talk to friends and neighbors about their coverage, especially with lesser-known providers. Then, pick a plan and start reaping the financial reward of this wireless war for customers.

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Being locked into a cell phone contract is no fun. Here’s how to get out of a cell phone contract without paying an early termination fee.

how to get out of a cell phone contract

We recently received a question that probably every reader can relate to. The writer is asking how to get out of a cell phone contract without paying a fee:

“I would like to know how do I get out of a cell phone contract without paying the termination fee. I’m paying a high bill and I know that along right there will save me a lot of money.”

That’s an excellent question. Unfortunately, there’s no single answer. Obviously, cell phone companies will be highly resistant to waiving an early termination fee. Their whole purpose for existing is to keep you with their service forever and ever. Your task is to make a clean break, and not have to pay the fee.

There are different ways to go about that, and you may have to try more than one.

Contact the Carrier

This should always be the first step. Though it’s the least likely to be successful, you should never overlook the obvious. Also, you may need to show that you made a good faith attempt to contact the carrier before taking other steps.

Before making the call, review your original contract. Find out exactly what your rights are and under what circumstances you can terminate the service. Also get specific information about the early termination fee. It may even turn out that you don’t have a long-term contract. But you won’t know that until you review the documents that you have.

When you call, you’ll most likely speak with a customer service representative. Don’t expect to get very far with this person. If you do, fine. But customer service representatives simply are not empowered to deal with complicated situations like an early termination. They’ll probably try to convince you to stay in the current contract or to move you into one that’s even more complicated and will keep you on board longer.

You’re going to have to do your best to get past this person. Insist on speaking with the manager. That person might still take you around in circles, but it’s part of the process. If need be, speak with the manager’s boss, and keep going up the chain until you find someone who has the power to give you what you want.

Be careful that you’re firm, but not disrespectful. No matter what, stay on topic with your request: that you want to terminate your cell phone contract without paying a fee. Also, be sure to document who you spoke with, the day and time, and as many details of the conversation as you can remember. You may need to have that information available for future steps.

Get a New Carrier Involved

Your new carrier can be your best ally in helping you to gain an early termination with your current carrier. Some carriers will offer to pay the early termination fee for you. If they do, that’s your out. For example, T-Mobile and Sprint are each offering up to $650 to help you get out of your current contract arrangement.

But even if the new carrier doesn’t cover the early termination fee for you, they may still be able to help. They may know the specific parties, the clauses in the contract, or the circumstances under which you can legally terminate your current cell phone contract without paying a fee. In some cases, they may even get involved in this process for you.

The cell phone industry is extremely competitive, which can work to your advantage if you want to get out of a cell phone contract without paying a fee. Use it to your advantage.

Take to Social Media

These days, many companies monitor activity on social media. It’s a way of managing the perception of the company on the Internet. Some have people appointed to monitor social media and investigate comments regarding the company. This can make social media a valuable place to air your grievances about the company. Put out a credible-sounding complaint, and you just might get an unsolicited call from someone in the company who can help you get out of your contract.

If you do use social media, make sure that you specifically mention the company, preceded by the hashtag symbol (#). That will make sure that your message gets out to the largest number of people and be noticed by the carrier.

Just be sure that your claims are credible and supported by the facts. Never go on an uncontrolled rant and trash the company. Not only will well-worded criticism resonate with readers, but it may also motivate the company to respond to your grievance. But if you get carried away and just trash talk the company, you could be on the wrong side of a lawsuit.

File a Report with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The BBB relies on reports from consumers in calculating the ratings of various companies. Too many complaints from consumers will result in a bad rating. Most companies are deeply concerned about their BBB rating. Since your complaint will be made public, down to the details, the company will be fully aware of your criticism.

Many companies will respond to specific complaints. That’s because BBB allows those complaints to be closed if the company satisfies the consumer.

Once again, be sure that your complaints are credible and supported by the facts. Never go on a rant that would force the company to come back legally. There’s constructive criticism and legitimate complaints, and then there’s slander and libel. Be sure you know where to draw the line.

Threaten Legal Action

If you’re getting absolutely no response from the company, you may have to threaten legal action. Now if your dispute is over paying a $500 early termination fee, it almost certainly will not be worth hiring an attorney to win your case. But sometimes you can win just with the threat of legal action.

A well-worded letter from an attorney, on attorney letterhead, can often coerce a reluctant company into meeting your demands. The cost of having that letter prepared by the attorney will probably justify the fee that you will have to pay for it, in terms of what you will save on the early termination fee.

None of this is the say that getting out of a cell phone contract without paying a fee will be easy. But you may need to employ several of these strategies to make it happen.

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Clipping coupons can save you money. It’s also a pain. Here’s how you can save money without coupons or the hassle that comes with them.

save money without coupons

The retail industry has everyone fooled. Millions of people spend their time scouring for deals, clipping coupons from the newspaper, plugging into the latest mobile deal applications, and sharing their finds on Facebook to recruit friends for group deals. Meanwhile, the companies on the other side of the transaction are generating higher profits.

Can anyone really complain? Consumers are saving more money than ever and yet retailers are raking in more revenue. Even as we’re still trying to recover from the employment effects of the recession and economists say the middle class doesn’t have enough to spend to stimulate the economy on their own, the industry is thriving.

The National Retail Federation won’t release its annual holiday predictions for a couple more weeks. But I bet when it does, they’ll expect plenty of growth over last year. The NRF tends to be very optimistic heading into the holiday season. But they haven’t yet misplaced their trust in consumers’ capacity to spend.

It seems like this should be impossible. How can consumers be saving more while retailers are bringing in more revenue? Well, there are two important assumptions to overcome.

1. Saving more is not the same thing as spending less.

Retailers will continue offering sales, deals, and coupons because these tricks simply encourage consumers to spend more. A perceived deal can help convince a spender to open his wallet or swipe her credit card when they might not have otherwise. This isn’t the result only on the large scale. It’s proven behavioral finance that holds true on an individual basis.

A recent study found that heavy digital coupon users spend more than twice as much per year as non-coupon users. If you use coupons, you spend more, not less. You are not saving money. It’s true you’re getting more for the money you are spending. But research clearly shows you wouldn’t be spending that money in the first place without the coupons.

The only way to save money is to spend less. And most of the time using coupons doesn’t actually help you reach that goal.

2. It’s a zero-sum game.

Economists talk about the growth of wealth not being zero-sum. That is, when some individuals become more wealthy, another group doesn’t necessarily have to become less wealthy. The economy can grow and, in theory, lift everyone who plays a part in it.

Another way of illustrating the lack of the zero-sum game in the economy is by talking about wealth re-distribution upwards. Consumerism is how money from the middle class and lower goes through a process that benefits the corporate class–the executives in large corporations, private equity firms, and preferred shareholders. If the transaction is reduced to its basic components, it looks like money is simply moving from consumers to producers, building more wealth for one group of society while keeping a larger group financially dependent.

Economists agree the process is more complex than this. And as producers show their relevance to society, they create enough economic substance, adding to the full “pie” to match or exceed the wealth that flows in their direction.

But on an individual level, the macroeconomic reality isn’t relevant. The bottom line is that when you spend money, you have less money. What you spend as a consumer doesn’t come back to you in the form of greater potential for building wealth. Every purchase eats into your wealth. The more you spend on movies and concerts, the less you’ll have available for food, rent, and long-term savings.

When you understand the above factors, you’re better able to make choices that actually help you spend less money, rather than just “saving money.”

How to Actually Save Money

So what kinds of decisions should you make instead of using coupons? Try these:

1. Shop less often.

I could buy some new items every time I go shopping for clothes. A few weeks ago, I found myself at an outlet center near the New Jersey shore. It’s hard to resist some of the nice clothes I can find on sale. I’m tempted to buy something every time I’m shopping, which is completely unnecessary. If I just don’t go, I wouldn’t buy anything.

This counts for necessities, too. How often do you buy a few extras at the grocery store? Cutting back to two or three trips a month can help you avoid this.

2. Conserve what you have.

A corollary to the above is that you can make what you already own last longer. In terms of clothing, I still had a lot of my clothing from college–and even some tee-shirts from high school. I was probably thirty-five years old when I finally went through and eliminated some of the stuff I didn’t want to or could no longer wear.

But because for many years I had no extra money to spend, I simply made do with what I had. It wasn’t until I had some extra income that I decided it was time to upgrade my wardrobe — although it helped that I wasn’t going into an office every day.

Again, this can also apply to food. Clean out the fridge and pantry and eat up the leftovers before you grocery shop!

3. Buy in bulk.

From a behavioral finance perspective, there is one trick that does work to spend less money over the long term: buying in bulk. But there’s a trade-off. You need to store what you buy. Having more stuff takes up extra space, requiring a larger living space than you might otherwise need.

And there’s an up-front cost. You’re spending more money today than you normally would. It reduces your cost in the future. But a lot of people living paycheck-to-paycheck can’t necessarily handle larger up-front expenses.

However, there are some great bulk buying options on the market today, including websites like Boxed. These can let you get just a few things in bulk at a time. And they don’t necessarily have an annual membership fee. So if you can buy toilet paper in bulk this month and paper towel next, over time you can build a stockpile. And this can save you some serious cash.

4. Reconsider your needs and wants.

Many times we’re spending more than we need to spend because we haven’t given a lot of thought to whether a purchase is necessary. Sure, it’s sometimes fine to spend unnecessary money for something you don’t really need. This is especially true as you get closer to the goal of becoming financially independent!

But you shouldn’t be in the habit of automatically gratifying your every whim. Take some time. Add a delay into the process. Wait twenty-four hours if you find yourself with the urge to make an impulsive decision. This provides an opportunity to consider your other options or how that money could be otherwise utilized.

And, of course, it’s always a good idea to shop around. Sometimes a quick online search can net you serious savings on something you’re planning to purchase.

5. Use coupons and loyalty programs wisely.

I know. I just said that you shouldn’t use coupons. But that’s not the case 100 percent of the time.

One smart option is to look for coupons after you’ve decided to purchase something. This is easier with apps like Honey. It searches for coupon codes while you’re in the checkout process online. So you can shop as if you were not going to use coupons. But then if you get them, you can go on your merry way, having saved some money.

There’s something similar to be said for rewards programs. For instance, I get loyalty rewards offers from Van Heusen, one of my favorite clothing brands. But typically, I have to spend those rewards within a certain amount of time. Sure, that $20 towards my next purchase could buy a new shirt. But if I start shopping, I’ll likely spend a lot more than that. And that’s money I hadn’t planned on spending originally.

However, sometimes these types of “spend it before it’s gone” deals can be worth signing up for. For instance, kids’ clothing stores often have these programs in place. And since kids go through clothes so quickly, these rewards can add up quickly. Just use them wisely. Buy your kids’ clothing in small batches, rather than large shopping sprees. And buy sizes ahead if you get good discounts that expire within a certain time frame.

And, of course, you should always be on the lookout for similar brands that offer the same stuff at a cheaper price. Loyalty programs can trap you by keeping you from shopping around. So don’t feel tied down to a certain retailer because of their loyalty program.

6. Use a budget.

There are as many different ways to budget as there are people. But the bottom line is that a budget is a spending plan. When you take time to plan out your spending for the month (or week or even year), you’ll have some goals in mind. And you’ll know–if you’re tracking your spending–when you’re spending outside of the budget.

This can be a powerful tool to curb unnecessary spending. And it plays into tip four above. When you have to plan out each month’s spending, you won’t let yourself jump on “deals” this month just because they exist. So that sale makes you feel like you need a new pair of jeans and a sweater? Great! Put that in next month’s budget, and buy it then!

It’s tempting for any particular person to believe that they are better than the average: Overall, people who use coupons end up spending more money, but I’m the exception. Well, that’s always a possibility, just as it’s possible that you’re an above-average driver. But it’s not likely, just as studies show that more than half of the population believes they’re better drivers than average. This is the illusory superiority cognitive bias.

Ditch the coupons, and stop wasting your time on efforts that don’t actually save money. Consider your choices, and make decisions about your shopping behavior while keeping in mind the tools and techniques that do improve your financial situation over the long term.

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How to Save $500 a Month: Saving money doesn’t have to hurt. We’ve developed a plan to help you save an extra $500 a month without sacrificing your lifestyle.

Even when you’re good at managing your money, it’s surprisingly easy to let things get out of control.

When you’re young and broke, you can be incredibly creative in finding ways to save. Or maybe when you first catch the “get out of debt and save money bug” this happens to you. You take on roommates to reduce your living expenses. You live without a car, cable, and dining out. And when you start getting out of debt and finally investing, it’s all worthwhile.

But then your income starts to increase. And you may let your expenses inflate along with it.

Maybe it starts with some reasonable moves, such as moving into a more expensive, but more comfortable, home or apartment. Maybe you then buy a cheap car because it’s so much more convenient than public transit. Or maybe you start taking on more expensive hobbies and interests on the side.

None of these things is bad, in and of themselves. But over time, you might find that your new lifestyle is more expensive than you want it to be. Luckily, when you find yourself in this place, getting back to the basics may be easier than you think.

Even if you think you already live quite frugally, chances are likely that you can reduce your monthly expenses. Maybe you can even reduce them by $500 or more per month. Think that’s crazy? Start with these steps, and see how much you could save.

Step One: Shop Around for Insurance

All too often, consumers don’t take this step seriously enough. But you really should shop around for insurance–homeowner’s/renter’s and auto, at minimum–on an annual basis. You just never know what you could save by switching your policies. This is especially true if your financial or property situation has changed recently. For instance, as your car ages, you should pay less for insurance. And if you paid off your car and have money in savings, you might consider dropping the requisite comprehensive coverage. This can save you a bundle!

But even without major changes, you could save on insurance by switching companies. So be sure you’re shopping around at least once per year. And be sure to shop all of your property insurance policies at once, since most companies offer hefty discounts for carrying more than one policy with the same insurer.

Step Two: Optimize Your Life Insurance

Most people, even single people, ought to have a life insurance policy. But if you do have a policy, you may want to be sure you have the right amount of coverage. If your children are older or you have significantly less debt than the last time you purchase life insurance, you may be able to downgrade to a smaller policy. This could save you significantly each month or year, depending on how often you pay your life insurance premiums.

Step Three: Refine Your Food Spending

Too many people spend too much money on food. It’s easy to do, especially if you eat out often. But you can often tweak your food spending slightly to save big bucks.

According to the most recent USDA figures, there’s a huge variance between frugal and liberal food spending plans. As of August 2017, a family of four with two school-aged children could spend $642 per month on a frugal food plan. A liberal plan, on the other hand, could cost over $1,200 per month. There’s your $500 in savings, right there!

Maybe you’re somewhere in the middle, though, and maybe you don’t want to spend time clipping coupons and taking other steps to get your grocery budget down to the “frugal” level. But there are some simple ways to save on food spending, which could save you $500 or more per month with barely a thought. My top tips include:

  • Plan your meals. If you’re not great at meal planning, check out online meal planning services. They cost just a few bucks a month and can help you save hundreds by being more frugal with your food.
  • Shop your pantry and fridge. It’s easy to over-buy food. This isn’t as much of an issue with nonperishables. But check for fruits and vegetables or other perishable items you need to eat before your next grocery store trip. You might be surprised what you can make out of what you already have!
  • Look for sale items. You don’t have to clip, organize, and use coupons to save. You can do it automatically by shopping for items that are on sale. You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck by planning meals around on-sale meats and fresh products.
  • Switch to a cheaper store. My family loves the Aldi chain of grocery stores. They offer generally high-quality off brands, and we automatically spend way less when we shop there as compared with other local stores. Find the cheaper grocery store in your area, and buy everything you can there first.

Step Four: Optimize Your Services

If you’re like most modern consumers, you have a huge variety of services that you use every month. This could include basics like your trash and recycling services or optional items like internet and cable service. You can easily save $100 or more per month by optimizing these services. Here are some service-specific tips to try:

  • Shop around for trash and recycling. If your area offers more than one service, they’re competing for customers. You can use this to your advantage by shopping around. Before you switch services, though, be sure to let your existing provider know what the new offer is. They might just beat it and save you even more money!
  • Consider a different cell phone planWhen you’re in an area with good cell phone coverage, switching to a cheaper provider can make a huge difference. If you’re in a less-covered area, Verizon probably still has the best coverage. But you can often save on your plan by cutting out data you don’t use, downgrading to a cheaper phone, or just calling to ask for discounts.
  • Try a lower internet speed. Unless your family is consistently streaming with multiple devices, you may be able to get by with a slower, thus cheaper, internet service.
  • Get away from cable. With all the online options available today to get your favorite television programs, there’s not much excuse to have cable. If you have to have it, go with the lowest-paid subscription you can.
  • Review your subscriptions frequently. From magazines to apps to other services, we all have a lot of subscriptions these days. Some may be well worth your while. If you read a lot, Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription could actually save you money, for instance. But subscriptions that you don’t actually use will just waste your money.

Step Five: Pay Off Your High-Interest Debts

The first four steps could very easily get you to the $500 per month savings level. But what if they don’t get you quite there? Then use the money that you have saved and pay off your credit card debt.

Right now, the average American family owes just over $8,000 in credit card debt. If you’re paying 15% interest on that debt, that’s about $100 in interest every month! So you could save 1/5 of that $500 per month just by paying off your credit cards. And, of course, on $8,000 in debt, your monthly minimum payments could very well cost $500 per month of itself! Sure, it might take you a while to pay off your credit cards, but each month you save on other expenses could be a month closer to this goal.

Another option, of course, is to transfer your high-interest credit card debts to 0% introductory APR credit cards. This can help you pay down your balances more quickly since your payments won’t be eaten up by interest each month.

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How to Order Your Free Chex System Report

by Christina Castle

Your ChexSystems Report is a record of how you’ve managed checking and other bank accounts. Here we cover everything you need to know about ChexSystems. Have you ever wondered about your relationship with your bank? Strange question, right? What about your relationships with your ex-banks? That’s a bit bizarre to think about. But once a […]

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How to Save Money on Groceries Without Skimping on Flavor

by Adam Luehrs
save on groceries

A flavorful life doesn’t have to cost a fortune. People who enjoy cooking and baking can often feel overwhelmed by the cost of groceries. Millennials get a lot of flak for their love of pricey avocado toast and other expensive culinary habits. However, the reality is that even just buying groceries for simple meals can add up […]

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How to Finally Get Out of Debt

by Luke Landes
Climbing Out of debt

Getting out of debt is key to financial freedom. Being debt free gives you great financial flexibility. Paying off those debts, however, can be a struggle. Here we provide a comprehensive guide on how to get out of debt for good. Along with losing weight, getting out of debt is probably the most popular goal […]

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A Complete List of Sales Tax Holidays in 2017

by Abby Hayes

Sales tax holidays are a surprisingly great way to save money, especially during the back-to-school shopping season. On specific dates, states do not require merchants to charge customers sales tax. Even if sales tax seems like a minor line item in your budget, it can make a big difference. Sales tax holidays are an excellent time […]

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Are Cash Back Websites Really Worth the Hassle?

by Adam Luehrs

You’ve probably seen at least a few of your friends brag about their coupon-clipping triumphs and bargain-hunting victories all over social media throughout the years. However, it suddenly seems like everybody has moved past sales and coupons into the world of cash back websites. What’s the hype? These websites offer a very tempting service by […]

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Will the Fed’s Rate Increase Cost You More Money?

by Abby Hayes

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard whisperings of the Federal Reserve’s rate hike last month. This is only the third time since the Great Recession that the Fed has increased rates… and, well, it’s both a good thing and a bad thing. A Fed rate increase means that the economy is […]

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