Decrease Recurring Costs to Improve Financial Stability
If you are looking to improve your financial stability, evaluate your monthly and annual recurring costs for any improvements that can be made to decrease costs. It may be the case that there are options or services that you are paying for that you are either not fully utilizing or could possibly do without. Recurring costs is somewhat of a sweet spot as the improvements you make will continue to provide savings month after month and year after year. Below are some areas to look at.
Utilities Evaluate your monthly utility expenses and usage for any room for improvements. The areas to look at are power (electricity, gas, heating oil) and communications (cable, telephone, and internet). When looking at these areas, look for improvements in the areas of your usage, the services you subscribe to, and the company you are contracting from.
Usage: Are there any areas where you can modify your behavior to decrease usage to drive savings? Are you heating, cooling, and lighting areas of where there is little or no traffic? Is there an opportunity to change the way you manage the thermostat to achieve savings? Services: Evaluate what you are subscribing to in terms of services. Are there features or services that you are paying for that you either are not using or could possibly do without? Are there services that you need and use but the capacity that you are subscribing to is too much and could be decreased? Service provider: Look at the providers that you are using and compare their rates to other providers to make sure you are getting the best possible pricing.
Entertainment Evaluate all of the different forms of entertainment you use to identify areas for trimming to improve your financial stability. These areas could include expenses spent on movies, music, recreational activities, magazines, newspapers, internet services, etc. Similar to when you looked at your utilities, look for improvements in the areas of your usage, the services you subscribe to, and where you get the entertainment from.
Usage: Are there any areas where you can modify your behavior to decrease the amount you are spending entertainment? Life is short and entertaining ourselves and our families is important, but maybe there is room for trimming the amount you are currently purchasing. Services: Evaluate what exactly you are subscribing to in terms of services. Are there forms of entertainment that you are subscribing that you are not fully using or using at all? Sources: Look at where you are getting your entertainment from and see if you could either get it somewhere else or in a different format to decrease costs.
Transportation Look at your transportation costs for changes that could be made to drive financial stability – no pun intended. The key areas to look at are usage and the forms of transportation used.
Usage: We have a tremendous amount of control over our behavior and patterns and can adjust what we do and when we do it to decrease in usage in the areas of fuel, tolls, and wear and tear on our vehicles, which will lead to saving in both the short and long-term helping to improve financial stability.. Forms of transportation: Are there changes that could be made in the mix of forms of transportation that you use to drive savings and financial stability? Getting creative with public transportation and car-pooling may offer improvements in cost savings.
Look at your insurance costs and providers for any room for savings. These are often agreements that we agree to once and then just renew every year and never look back at them. It can be worth our while to look back at the coverage we are paying for to see if it is what we need and also look at other providers in the market to see if we are getting the best prices available.
With all of our credit cards and financial accounts, there are going to be some sort of interest rate, annual fee, or maintenance charge. By simply consolidating accounts or shifting funds or balances to accounts with the lowest fees, we can often decrease some of our recurring costs.
The areas discussed are recurring costs and savings found are recurring savings. Thus, minor changes in these areas can add up to significant savings at the end of the month and those yield significant savings at the end of the year. As a result, attention in this area can have a significant impact on improving financial stability.