5 Ways to Save Money You Don’t Realize You’re Spending

by / ⠀Personal Finance / January 27, 2014

We all spend money.  There are basic life necessities and discretionary items we buy on a regular basis.  Because spending money is as easy as swiping a credit card, it becomes even easier to spend unconsciously.  Some of our financial commitments are auto debited, so we don’t even actively pay the bill on a monthly basis.  Check out these five ways to save money on expenses you may not realize you can save money on:

Evaluate Your Auto Insurance

If you own a car and are paying auto insurance, you may be missing out on an opportunity to save money on your payments.  Examine your auto insurance policy to find savings opportunities in your existing plan or look for alternative policies to use.   Consider whether or not you really need collision coverage, or lowering your premiums by raising your deductible.  Not sure how to do that?  Fortunately, services exist to make our lives easier!  For example, with CoverHound you can quickly compare instant auto insurance quotes from top providers and they offer savings opportunities through bundling other insurance, like renters or homeowners.

If you own a car, but do not drive much, you may want to consider “pay as you go” car insurance, which provides coverage based on how much you drive.  When you drive less, you’re less likely to get in an accident, and companies like MetroMile will pass those savings back to you through their per mile car insurance.  This option is ideal for people who drive less than 10,000 miles per year and can reduce rates by 20% or more!

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Refinance Your Student Loans

You’ve graduated, but you may still have student loans to pay.  And if you’re like most people with student loans, you’re paying more interest than you should to multiple loan servicers.  In general it’s a good idea to pay off your debt, including mortgage and credit, quickly, and student loans are unique in that they are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.  They stick with you for life, so make sure you are getting the best rate you can.  Social Finance (SoFi) is the only lender that refinances both private and federal student loans for university/college graduates.  And with no origination fees, current variable rates as low as 2.94% APR with AutoPay, and fixed rates as low as 4.99% APR with AutoPay, SoFi offers a compelling refinancing option to save borrowers up to $26,700!

As a full disclaimer, I work for SoFi.  I also refinanced my student loans with SoFi and am saving thousands of dollars! 

Bundle Your Internet, Cable, and Phone

Most times it is cheaper to bundle all three, even if you don’t use all of them. Shop around with your internet providers to make sure you’re not paying more than you need!  My housemate and I recently got internet installed at our apartment and it ended up being cheaper per month for us to get cable as well.  Even though we didn’t need cable, we wanted the savings!  Plus, it will be nice to catch new episodes of New Girl, or our alma mater’s football games!

Get Free Shipping

The additional few dollars spent on shipping can add up, especially if you are regularly ordering various household needs online (and if you aren’t, try it, it’s so easy, convenient, and cheap – if you’re not paying shipping!)  To save on shipping use Amazon Prime.  With Amazon Prime you get free two-day shipping on numerous items.  And if that’s not enough, you also can stream movies and TV episodes and download kindle books!  Amazon Prime costs $79 per year, but rumor is out that Prime may soon be much less.  Check out how much you’re spending on shipping and figure out if spending the $79 is still less than you’re spending on shipping in a year!

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Buy Work Snacks in Bulk

If your company doesn’t provide an endless supply of snacks to munch on during the day, you may be regularly buying coffee drinks and granola bars to get you through the day.  Even though they’re small transactions, those micro-spending habits add up!  Think about it, $4 for each latte, every day, is $20 per week, close to $1,000 per year on lattes!  It’s a similar story for granola bars.  If you buy snacks in bulk, either from a store like Costco, or online with your new Amazon Prime membership, you can save a few dollars here and there, which will add up if you’re a daily snacker!

What other ways have you saved money on expenses you didn’t realize you could save money on?

Mary Lemmer is an entrepreneur, having been through the trenches, starting, building, and consulting for companies since age fourteen. She is a Director of Business Development at Social Finance (SoFi) and the founder or Iorio’s. Previously she worked in early stage venture capital and learned what venture capitalists really look for and the skills necessary to be a venture backed entrepreneur. In addition to her entrepreneurial ventures, Mary trained at The Second City and improvises through group jams, comedy writing, and Improv 4 Entrepreneurs workshops. Read more from Mary at her blog, Venture Gal.

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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