By Don Milne
Financial Literacy Manager
Most of us can find some spare change (and possibly some scarier items) by rummaging around beneath the cushions on our couches. If you have already done that and are still looking for other ways to put some money in your pocket, try the following:
Audit your phone bill. Your phone bill probably goes on for pages and it is not the easiest thing to understand. It may be worth it to look at the details of what you are being charged for. There is a chance that you may be paying for services you don’t use. If you are not tied into a contract, you may even check around and see if other phone providers can get you a better deal.
Reassess your home and auto insurance. Not all insurance policies cost the same, and often you can save costs by bundling policies. You may be paying hundreds more than you should. The state of Utah puts out an annual report showing how insurance rates can vary "https://insurance.utah.gov/auto-home/documents/2013ComparisonTable.pdf"https://insurance.utah.gov/auto-home/documents/2013ComparisonTable.pdf). Spend a few hours doing some research and see if you can cut your costs. Also, even if you keep your insurance, you may check into raising your deductible. If you hardly ever make a claim, raising your deductible will lower your premiums. You can add the savings to your emergency savings fund and use that to cover your higher deductible if needed.
Schedule a yard sale. The Clipper is a great resource to help get the word out about a yard sale. This time of year is the perfect time to have people come by. Visiting yard sales is a hobby for many deal seekers. The stuff that has been sitting unused in your closets and garage could find a new home in exchange for a bunch of pictures of Lincoln, Jackson and maybe even Franklin if you’ve got some great stuff to sell.
Drink water. The soft drink industry is getting concerned because the younger generations are drinking soda pop at lower rates. Nevertheless, Associated Press reports the average American drinks 44 gallons of soda every year. More and more studies report the long term negative health impact of consuming sugary beverages. Regardless of any health impact, cutting back on soft drinks can add hundreds to your wallet over a year’s time.
Have Fun with Cash. One reason many of us feel poor is that we don’t spend cash. If you do all your spending using your debit card or credit card, it is really hard to track how much you are spending. However, if on payday you withdraw cash for spending on entertainment and other impulse spending items, you can make a rule to make it last until you get paid again. You’ll be surprised how much spending you can cut back this way.
If you were walking down the street and saw a $100 bill on the sidewalk, would you just leave it there? Of course not. Not taking steps to find other ways to put $100 or more in your wallet is just about as bad. Try one of more of these steps and see how much you can save.