Like the commercial on television with Jimmy Fallon says: everyone likes to save money. Here are five frugal tips to help you save money this year so that you can have a solid financial footing.
1. Check Your Investment Allocation
The first thing you should do, especially if you haven’t done it in a while, checks your investment allocation.
This means looking at whether you have the ideal mix of stocks and bonds. Even if your stock portfolio is still where you want it to be, you never know if a single stock has outperformed, while another stock has underperformed. You should also check specific assets, like look at fixed term bonds versus other equity products.
One easy way to do this is to sign up for Personal Capital (free) and link all of your investment accounts to it. It will give you a holistic view of asset allocation across your accounts.
2. Review Your Bank Accounts
If you have a savings account, it is essential that you check it from time to time to make sure that you are getting the best rate possible. Rates and fees change all the time, and many banks even offer perks if you switch, such as cash bonus incentives. Check out the most competitive rates and see if your bank competes.
3. Update Your Insurance
If you haven’t updated your insurance lately, you could be overpaying for insurance. Call your insurance company and make sure everything on your policy is correct. Most insurance is based on zip code, so if you’ve moved, you could save money.
Even if your current insurance is correct, take 30 minutes and call 3 different insurance companies. It’s likely you could save quite a bit of money over the next year by simply doing a little leg-work.
4. Call Your Service Providers
Another frugal way to save money is to call your local cable and internet provider and make sure that you’re still getting the best rate possible. With all the competition from satellite TV and other services, you may be able to negotiate a discount to save some additional money from your monthly bill.
If you’ve found a much better rate from a different carrier, ask to speak to your current provider’s Retention Department. This is the department that’s responsible to make existing customers happy, especially ones that may consider moving their business elsewhere.
5. Maximize Your Company Benefits
Finally, make sure that you’re maximizing your company benefits, like a 401(k) or health savings account. These accounts allow you to contribute pre-tax money, which can save you on taxes each year. Also, many companies offer matching contributions, so by not doing it, you’re leaving money on the table.