INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It seems like most everyone creates a New Year’s resolution, but at least half of the population has a hard time keeping theirs. Most of those resolutions involve fitness goals, but don’t forget, it’s also important to make sure your finances are in top shape.
Here are five simple ways to save money that most people ignore.
Number one has to do with your cell phone provider. They are working overtime to get your business, and more and more companies are offering service now like Xfinity. Most people think of them as a cable service providers only, but some providers like Sprint are offering big discounts. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons to see if they fit your needs. Also, if you are unsure and may want to change back, don’t get locked into a long term plan.
The next tip is to take stock of what you’re stocking up on. Evaluate what's in your shopping cart when you’re going through the store. Most people buy stuff they don't need or that's more expensive than it needs to be. When possible, look for store brands. You’ll find their brands are often 50 percent cheaper than name brands and there is often little difference in quality. Here’s a recent example from the holiday prices at Kroger.
“We are actually offering our Kroger branded turkeys for 49 cents a pound, if you buy it frozen. You can buy fresh turkeys from us as well for $1.49 a pound. That's a third the price and often the frozen turkey thawed properly is the same quality as the fresh,” said Briana Kemeny, Kroger Community Outreach Coordinator.
Non-food products that are store brand are also generally less expensive. That includes filters for your refrigerator that come from big box stores and not the manufacturer. We found several that were half the price. That’s a big savings when those filters are around $40.
In the New Year, you can look for a new gym. There are many offers locally for around $30 a month, and some plans are even cheaper. That can amount to hundreds of dollars in savings over the year, and it can provide you with a fresh start. Planet fitness has two plans. One costs $10 a month. The other is only $22 which allows you to bring guests and use their tanning equipment. Massage machines are included with your membership.
Another major money saver is refinancing. Rates have gone up from record lows, but they are still relatively low for mortgages or car loans. So, If you're current loan is greater than five percent, you could save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. The same thing also applies for insurance. Many people stay with the same provider year after year without seeing if their current coverage provides the best service for the best price. Experts say, shop around.
"First and foremost, it's very important to take a look at what insurance coverage you have and who you have it with. Starting with home and auto, bundle and make sure those are both with the same company if possible. Just with that one thought that can be a 30 to 40% said Ashe Abebe, Insurance Agent, Wenclewicz Insurance.