2019 arrived with the federal government shutdown. Needless to say, New Year celebrations were not that great for many people in the country. Although the government is back to work now, people are not at peace because the furlough revealed a few brutal financial facts to them. Some of them are:
❍ Most Americans don’t save money and live paycheck to paycheck.
❍ Most Americans don’t have an emergency fund, and they can’t combat a financial crisis.
❍Even government jobs are not permanent and secured.
Now that the shutdown is over, it’s high time we trim our budget and save more money in 2019. Who knows, the shutdown can happen again even before the year is over? So, today, let’s talk about some practical tips that can help to trim your budget, save money, and create an emergency fund in 2019. It’s better late than never.
✅ Cancel your subscriptions:
In the online era, our life is filled with subscription services. According to the survey conducted by McKinsey and Company, most people have signed up for 2 subscription services. The worst part of these subscriptions is that we forget to cancel them when we are not using the services anymore.
Check your monthly statements and find out if there are any subscriptions you don’t need anymore. Cancel them as soon as possible. Your budget will fall in love with you.
✅ Switch to free checking accounts:
Do you know how much you pay for the checking accounts every year? Any idea?
For your information, you’re paying $100 every year for maintaining your checking account. And, in the last decade, you paid around $1000 for a checking account, which is a huge amount.
Switch to a free checking account to save money in 2019. There are lots of free checking account options. Explore them and choose the one that you like most. I agree that you have to do a lot of formalities for changing your checking account. But the hassle will be worth it. You’ll save $1000 in the next 10 years.
✅ Reduce your credit utilization ratio:
Is your credit utilization ratio too high? A credit utilization ratio is considered high when the ratio between credit balance and credit limit gets above 30%. A high credit utilization depreciates your savings, and that is why you should try to reduce your credit balance as soon as possible.
Options to reduce your credit balance
✔ Join a credit card debt settlement program:
Enroll in a credit card debt settlement program to cut down your outstanding balance and get rid of debt quickly. In this program, a settlement company negotiates with your creditors to lower your payoff amount. Once successful, they ask you to pay the negotiated amount to get out of debt.
When you settle your credit cards and pay off the negotiated amount, your credit balance becomes zero. This helps to lower your credit utilization ratio.
A credit card debt settlement program is one of the best options for becoming debt free since it helps you pay back creditors fast. So if you want to lower credit balance and burn debt into ashes quickly, then you can certainly consider this debt relief option.
✔ File bankruptcy: This debt relief option helps to reduce your credit utilization ratio within 3-4 months. When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee negotiates with your creditors, liquidates your non-exempt assets, and discharges your debts within 3-4 months. Once your debts are discharged, your credit utilization ratio drops instantly. This helps to boost your credit score.
✅ Eliminate your cable bill:
According to Fortune.com, Americans pay $103 for cable bills every month. You can save this entire amount by eliminating your cable bill. With the advent of Smart TV and Apple TV, you’re already watching many shows for free. Of course, you need the Internet for streaming the TV shows, but that’s cheaper than the cable bill.
✅ Be frugal in 2019 for every occasion:
You have to be frugal in order to save money in 2019. There is no other way. Many people tend to splurge on special occasions like Valentine’s Day, wedding anniversary, birthday, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, etc. This needs to be stopped. If you want to save money in 2019, use special occasions as saving opportunities. For instance, on Valentine’s Day, cook a special meal instead of eating out at a fancy restaurant. Give DIY gifts instead of buying expensive products. On Christmas, give homemade gifts and shop online to save money. Don’t forget to use coupons while shopping online. I saved around $150 bucks using coupons in the last year.
✅ Reduce your insurance premium:
Most people don’t negotiate to reduce insurance premiums after purchasing an insurance policy. They buy an insurance policy, complete all the formalities, pay the premium, and then forget about it. But insurance premiums change all the time. If you have had the same insurance policy for many years, then you could save thousands by getting new quotes.
Shop around and find out how much other insurers are charging for a similar kind of insurance policy. Are they charging less? In that case, you could ask your insurer to lower your insurance premium. Otherwise, you could switch to another insurer. If you have been a good customer, the insurer wouldn’t hesitate to give you a good deal. Insurance companies don’t like to lose loyal customers.
You can compare all the insurance policies online in just 5 minutes and determine how much you can save potentially.
When you trim your budget and increase your savings, you can start seeing an overall improvement in your financial life. Everyone’s financial condition is different. So you have to create a customized budget keeping your financial situation in mind. Hopefully, that would help you save more money in 2019.
Do you know any other way to trim your budget and save money? If so, then do leave a reply in the comment section. It takes only one idea to make a big difference in our financial life.