(WXYZ) - Looking to save some money this year? We asked our Money Coach Robin Thompson from Budget Wise Consulting about ways to cut your costs. She put together the following list for us.
Cut Your Expenses in 2014
1. Call your cable TV and Internet provider and ask for a better deal. As more users abandon cable for cheaper options like Netflix and Hulu, companies want to hang on to customers. That means they're ready to make a deal. You'll get the best deals from the customer retention department, which is where you call to cancel.
Personal Note: The last time I did this, I saved slightly more than $30 a month.
2. Review your insurance costs. Call your insurance agent and make sure you're getting all the discounts to which you're entitled and that your coverage fits your current circumstances. You might also want to get quotes from other companies on auto or home insurance.
Personal Note: Most people do not get requoted annually. Depending on the insurer, I've seen dramatic differences in rates.
3. Call your credit card companies and ask for lower rates. Or do balance transfers. Credit card companies are sending more offers. If you get a good offer, call your existing company and see if it will match the offer. If your credit is good and you make all your payments on time, you're in a good position to negotiate.
Personal Note: My clients have had a lot of success in this area but I first had to encourage them that consumers have more power than they realize.
4. Look for a cheaper health club. Are you paying $75 a month for a gym membership you never use? Maybe you should cancel and take up walking or biking. Perhaps you can get a gym membership that's equally good for half the price at a YMCA or community center. Shop around.
Personal Note: I belong to Planet Fitness and pay $10 per month.
5. Don't shop for recreation. If you're not in the stores, you won't be tempted to buy. That goes for yard sales and thrift shops, too.
6. Cancel email deals and sale alerts. Avoid the temptation of unnecessary shopping by unsubscribing to daily deal emails and other sale announcements. Get out of the mindset that shopping sales when you don't need to shop is saving you money. Sure, you are going to spend less money than you normally would have, but would you have spent that money anyway?
7. Make a budget and stick to it. Give yourself a realistic allowance for discretionary spending and don't spend any more than that.
Personal Note: Start by tracking your spending to understand where your money is going—this is very eye opening and provides the incentive to make cuts in expenses.
8. Save before you spend. Another way to cut spending is to adopt a ‘save first' mentality. Whether you put the money in a separate savings account or in retirement savings, make those contributions right before you spend a dime on anything beyond the necessities.
Personal Note: Personal savings grow very quickly when you automate the process.