By Beconrad

These days it is important for every individual and every family to save money wherever and whenever they can. Many people assume that saving a significant amount of money every month will require radical changes that are hard to implement and live with, but the truth is that even small changes can have a big impact. By trimming the costs of your monthly services and eliminating costs for things you no longer needs, you might be able to save a great deal of money without impacting your lifestyle or annoying your family.

Keep Track of Your Spending

Until you know what you are spending on a monthly basis you will never be able to get a handle on what you are spending. If you are to save money it is important to carefully track every penny you spend for at least one month.

This daily expense tracking is not as difficult as you might think. Simply carrying a small notebook with you whenever you shop is one of the most effective ways to track your spending and get a handle on exactly how much you are spending. Track your purchases and look for budget busters you might not be aware of. From that morning cup of coffee to daily lunches with your coworkers, you might find hundreds of dollars a month you can free up for other purchases.

Watch Those Automatic Withdrawals

While it is very convenient to have your monthly bills deducted from your checking account or charged to your credit card, that convenience can be very costly if you do not keep an eye on how much you are spending. The next time you get your monthly bank statement or credit card bill, take the time to review it carefully. Take a close look at those automatic withdrawals, then call the service providers to look for a better deal.

For instance, if your monthly phone bill is deducted from your checking account or charged to a credit card, call your phone company and drop services you never use. For instance, if you have an answering machine you probably do not need to pay extra for voicemail. If you rarely use the caller ID function or automatic callback features, dropping those could save you additional money. Looking for creative ways to save is one of the best ways to trim your monthly costs and your budget.

Drop Premium Services

Another creative way to save money on your monthly bills is to change from premium service to basic service. You can save money on everything from your monthly phone bill to your cable bill by using this strategy.

For instance, if you use your cell phone for just about everything but want to keep your home phone line for emergencies, call the phone company and opt for their most basic service. This alone could save you $50 a month or more.

Reviewing the cable channels you actually watch and lowering your service level to include just those stations is a good way to lower your cable bill without incurring the wrath of your family. By dropping premium service in favor of more basic service you can save $40 or $50 a month or more.

Raise Your Deductible

One of the most effective ways to reduce the cost of insurance is to raise your deductible. This strategy works very well for both homeowners insurance and automobile insurance, and with the savings you can self-insure the extra cost. For instance, raising the deductible on your car insurance from $250 to $500 could save you hundreds of dollars a year. You can then funnel those savings into a savings account earmarked for use in the event of an accident. The great thing about this strategy is that the money will only be needed in the unlikely event you have an accident, while the money in that account will continue to accumulate month after month.

By using these strategies you can save money on your bills month after month, and you can then use those savings to build up a solid emergency fund and set up a nest egg you can use to fund a comfortable retirement.

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