5 Tips to Save Money and Improve Your Finances

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

Save Money this year header

The first thing you should do, especially if you haven’t done it in a while, is check 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 you 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.

Picture by FreeDigitalPhotos.

About the Author

By , on Aug 17, 2013
Andy Tenton
Andy is a 30-something New Yorker who turned his financial life around. He took charge of his finances, got out of debt, and is now working his way toward financial success. He is the publisher of WorkSaveLive.com.

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  1. I just renew my internet subscription and after renewing for another 24 months I have a good discount. Also I received some freebies that I really enjoyed.

  2. Excellent tips, especially maximizing on company benefits. I think if available for an individual, its one of the best and easiest ways to save money short and long-term!

  3. AverageJoe says:

    I was surprised to find a few years ago that I was missing out on a great DSL deal with my current provider. Lesson learned. I have it in my calendar to check yearly now.

  4. Andy Hough says:

    These are good tips, although a couple of them don’t apply to me currently. I did save a little money switching my auto policy a couple months ago. I had shopped around a couple times before and hadn’t been able to find a better deal, but I decided to check again when my premium went up and this time there was a better deal.

  5. Great tips! Unfortunately, it looks like I need to do all of them. I’ve been lax on a lot of things since I moved across the country but it’s time I get back in the game and get organized. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. I do all of these but one! We haven’t paid over $40 for internet in years, our car insurance seems to lower every month (somehow…), I put away a minimum in my 401k and my bank accounts have a nice interest rate (6% on the first $500 in checking and savings, the rest in ING). I don’t change my investments because I don’t have any ATM except my Roth IRA. It seems to be doing fairly well so far 🙂

  7. John S says:

    Great tips! Especially #1. I make it a practice to go over my allocation twice a year, in order to make sure the investments are where I envisioned them to be. Tip #4 is great as well. We were able to get a discount from DirectTv when they had their spat with Viacom. Our kids love a few of the Viacom stations and they just gave us a discount without even having to really ask for it.

  8. I’ve had good luck with #3 and #4 especially. One might think that you can’t negotiate with insurance and utility providers, but it’s amazing how quickly they ‘sharpen their pencil’ if you use competition in your favor. I shop insurance at least annually, and have improved rates with my current provider as a result. And cable companies will often match or best the promotional deal being offered by the competition.

  9. These are all good ones. It’s always a good idea to take a look at everything once or twice a year. I know I have saved on insurance that way =)

  10. Lance, that’s a good tip. (Making note to self.)

    We also look at the utility bill and figure which appliances we can run outside of peak time.

  11. Eddie says:

    Utilities and bank accounts are a biggie for me – even though saving rates rarely change – I look for cheaper savings and day-to-day accounts. Last year I managed to negotiate to not pay any account fees on all three accounts I have with RBC. $10.95x3x12 = A lot of savings.

  12. Anytime my cable bill goes up I call and get a discount to my old price or lower… hopefully that continues to work going into the future.

  13. Updating insurance is definitely a big one. My wife and I do that yearly and while sometimes it does nothing, other years we save money. Companies change their policies and rates, so should you!

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