In lean times especially, we’ve all got to be conscientious about our budgets. But in addition to just knowing how to break down your expenses, it helps to know where you can cut the fat.
With help from Kiplinger.com, Carmen suggested three ways to trim down your expenses:
1. Get rid of your cable bill – completely. It might sound groan-inducing, but think of all the (legal) ways to watch TV on the web these days. Hulu, a joint venture between NBC and Fox, gives you access to many of your favorite shows for free. There are fewer commercials and the quality’s as good if not better than what you see on the tube.
2. If you find yourself mindlessly dialing 411 every time you need an address or phone number, know that there are free ways to get the exact same information. Try 1-800-Free411 or the Free 411 service from Google (1-800-GOOG-411) and notice how much better your phone bill looks without all those $1.50 fees.
3. ATM fees are beyond annoying, especially when you’re under pressure to keep frivolous spending in check. Is there a more frustrating way to spend $2 than to hand it over to a bank for the “convenience” of letting you use their ATM? Avoid the fees by going out of your way – even if it means building in an extra few minutes in your routine – to use only your bank’s machines. If you can’t always get to one, try and find the ATMs that belong to surcharge-free networks, like MoneyPass (ATM locator here) or Allpoint (ATM locator here) with 8,000 and 32,000 machines nationwide, respectively.
Be sure to check our Deals of the Daysection for ways to save, everyday, on everything from plane tickets to shipping. You can also connect with other bargain-hunters in the Steals & Deals section of our Forums and send us updates on what deals you’re seeing out there using Twitter.