The main topic we cover at MakeMoneyInLife.com is, unsurprisingly, how to improve your financial situation. We cover lots of ways to make money from home and online, but we also provide a lot of tips on ways to make every dollar go further.
Today we’re talking about ways to save money with very little effort. There are plenty of things you can change or adjust slightly in order to generate passive income. Here are a few ways to put in minimal effort and get maximum return.
Switch Phone and Internet Plans
These days devices are no longer a luxury – they’re a necessity. And they are using more data than ever before. At first making phone calls was the major cost and every minute was tallied. Now most cell phone plans allow for limitless call time. Then text messages were the primary charge that could inflate phone and internet bills. Current plans typically cover texting in the regular monthly cost.
Today data use is the biggest determining factor in the cost of a phone or internet plan. As media continues to grow our data usage will increase along with it. That can create big issues for any budget.
It may be a little more expensive up front, but an unlimited data plan could be the most cost effective at the end of the month. With unlimited internet data plans, you don’t have to worry about surprise overage charges. Your bill should stay the same month after month, which makes budgeting and saving money much easier.
At the very least, everyone should check the latest phone and internet deals once or twice a year. Phone and internet offers are always changing and the short-term inconvenience of making a switch could be well worth the monthly savings.
Bundle Your Insurance
If you’ve shopped around for any type of insurance lately you may have noticed many of the big providers have a wide variety of plans. Today’s national insurance companies provide home, automobile, rental, life, boat, RV and disability policies among other things. In order to win more business, many insurance companies will offer special discount rates for people that get more than one policy.
Another reason to consider consolidating your insurance policies is the convenience factor. Instead of having to spend valuable time managing multiple accounts from various providers you can handle it all with a single payment. You can also use this strategy to save money on cable, internet and phone service.
Look for Cheaper Electric and Gas Service
Do you live in a deregulated area that allows residents to choose their electric and gas providers? Then you’ve got another way to save on your monthly bills.
In deregulated areas choice programs have been popular with commercial consumers for years, and now more residential customers are beginning to take advantage of them. The key is being able to compare the current plans and rates for your local providers. You’ll want to pay the most attention to the cost per kilowatt-hour if the rate is fixed or fluctuates and what additional fees must be paid each month.
If you’re really careful about conserving energy or you aren’t at home during peak electric hours a “time of use” plan may be the least expensive. With this type of plan, the rate varies throughout the day. Usually, the rate is highest in the afternoon and cheapest at night. As long as you can adjust to the fluctuating rates you could pay much less compared to a traditional plan.
Save Your Change Automatically
A few pennies here and there can really add up – if you’re good at saving them. You can use the old school method of dumping change in a jar, but that will only catch change left over from cash purchases. If you use your debit card most of the time the better option could be joining a change roll over program.
For example, Bank of America has a “Keep the Change” savings program. Like other change saving programs, it works by rounding each debit card purchase up to the next dollar. The difference, anything from one penny to 99 cents, is then moved from your checking account to your savings account. All of the activity is tracked through your online account so you can continue to track your spending.
Another way to turn your spare change into a savings or investment account is with an app like Acorns. The app can sync with your bank accounts, round up purchases and put the change into a diversified portfolio. It’s being lauded as one of the most cost-effective investment strategies because you don’t have to pay expensive traditional broker fees. For accounts with less than $5,000, it’s just $15 a year to growth your wealth using spare change.