When planning for and during retirement, it’s important to avoid unnecessary spending as much as possible. One way to do this is by trimming excess costs from your current monthly bill payments, which can add up to a considerable annual savings in some cases.
Many of your bills can tend to “creep up” as years go by, especially those set on auto-pay programs. Others you may or may not be using any more, such as movie channels or gym memberships. Make sure you check your bill payments periodically to see where money can be saved.
Five monthly bills that you can usually reduce include:
Cable and Internet
Cable and internet companies entice you to sign up by offering low monthly rates. More often than not, these rates are for a short time only, and after they expire the service cost increases. Contact your current cable and internet providers and ask them about bundling options or new specials they may be running. You may also want to check out other providers who may be offering better rates for switching service. “Cord-cutting” is becoming more popular as Netflix and Hulu begin to win the war against cable providers. Custom TV is coming, so don’t sit around and keep paying a monthly subscription for things you don’t need.
Obviously a high priority in any financial plan is to not carry credit card balances, but if you do carry a balance, you are probably paying more interest than necessary. Usually your credit cards will have a low introductory rate, which will increase after the promotional period. If your rates are close to standard APR (annual percentage rate), transferring your balances to a zero percent or lower interest rate card could save you a considerable amount of money each month.
Home Care Expenses
Take some time to look over all of your monthly home maintenance bills, such as lawn care, pool maintenance, and pest control. Contact your vendors and see if they can offer a better rate than you are currently paying, or see which services you no longer need or may need less frequently.
AUTO and Homeowners Insurance
Insurance is a great place to trim a considerable amount of money off your monthly budget. Start by talking with your current insurance carrier and discuss your coverage, limits, and deductibles, and see where you can get some savings. Many insurance companies offer discounts for bundling multiple insurances together, such as home and auto, or for multiple vehicles. You will also want to shop your policy to other carriers, as some may be able to provide discounts that your current carrier does not.
For most people, their mortgage payment is their largest monthly bill. With interest rates fluctuating so wildly, your original mortgage could have a higher percentage rate than what is currently offered. Contact a few lenders to find out what types of interest rates you can qualify for and see if refinancing might be the best option. Be sure to take into account all closing costs and fees, as these will vary from lender to lender and can sometimes be considerable.
Once in retirement, it’s important to preserve the money you have saved during your career. While these recurring bill payments may seem insignificant when made on a monthly basis, they can add up to make an impact annually. If you can find $500 worth of savings in your monthly budget, that adds up to $6,000 in savings a year. Projected out over 20 years, you can make an enormous difference in your financial future.
Request a call from one of our financial advisors for more ways to increase your probability of success in retirement and to help make your savings last.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual investment advice. Actual recommendations are provided by RAA following consultation and are custom-tailored to each investor’s unique needs and circumstances. The information contained herein is from sources believed to be accurate and reliable. However, RAA accepts no legal responsibility for any errors or omissions. Investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds may increase or decrease in value. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any of the charts and graphs included in this blog are not recommendations for the purchase and sale of any security.