When trying to trim a monthly budget, most people don’t even consider their fixed expenses; however, with just a bit of effort and research, most of these costs can be reduced.
1. Consider a refinance
Trim your mortgage payments by refinancing at a lower interest rate. It will cost a bit, but in some situations you can roll closing costs and other fees into your refinance loan. Plus, the money you save each month should more than offset these costs. A refinance is especially smart in a falling-rates environment or if your credit score has improved a lot.
2. Lower your property taxes
Taxes are inevitable, but you may be able to lower your property taxes by challenging your town’s assessment. Each town will have its own guidelines to follow for this process, but ultimately, you will agree to have your home reappraised for proving that its value is less than the town’s assessment. This move can drastically lower your property tax bill; however, if you have made improvements to your home, it may be appraised at a higher value, which could raise your taxes.
3. Change your auto insurance policy
If you’ve had the same insurance policy for several years, speak to a company representative about lowering your premiums. By highlighting your loyalty and excellent driving record, you may be able to get a lower quote. If your insurance company is not willing to work with you, it might be time to shop around.
4. Consolidate debt
If you have multiple credit cards with outstanding balances, consider a balance transfer. This entails opening a new, no-interest credit card and transferring all debt to it. The no-interest period generally lasts up to 18 months. You will now have just one debt payment to make each month. Plus, the no-interest feature means you can make a serious dent in paying down that debt without half of your payment going toward interest.
Another way to consolidate debt is to take out a personal loan at Olean Area Federal Credit Union. Our personal loans will allow you to pay off all of your credit card debt at once. You’ll only need to make a single, affordable monthly payment until your loan is paid off. Explore our current rates here.
5. Cut out subscriptions you don’t need
Take some time to review your monthly subscriptions to weed out those you don’t really need.
If you’re paying for a gym membership, consider just paying for classes you attend instead of the full membership, or springing for your favorite workout machine to use at home. Drop your cable service or downgrade to a cheaper plan by cutting out expensive channels you don’t watch often. Also, you might be paying for premium versions of apps you don’t need. Dropping these costs can give you more wiggle room in your monthly budget.
Your Turn: How have you lowered your fixed monthly expenses? Share your best tips with us in the comments.