Bank on It
One easy way save money every month is by simply reviewing your bank statements. According to the experts, this is a great way to kick off your new frugal lifestyle.
- Scan your last statement for any unusual charges. Are you paying a monthly service fee for your banking “privileges” or boxes of checks? These days, many banks offer free checking accounts, free online banking and free checks—if you’re still paying for yours, ask your bank to change your settings; if they won’t, move your account elsewhere.
- Online banking is a great tool that allows you to automatically transfer part of your paycheck to your savings account and pay your bills with the click of a mouse. If you keep a sizeable balance, it may be a good idea to preauthorize your account to automatically pay your fixed bills when they’re due—this will eliminate the cost of postage and the possibility of late fees.
- Pay attention to the things you’ve purchased simply out of habit or even a sense of duty. If you haven’t watched a DVD in six months, pull the plug on Netflix. And if you haven’t been to the gym in ages, that membership is only trimming your bank account, not your waistline. Note the things you rarely (or never) use, then cancel them.
BONUS TIP: If you accidentally pay a bill late, call the company and politely ask that the late fee be waived. In many cases, they’ll do so. It can’t hurt to ask!