Nobody likes to pay more than they should. Just take a look at extreme couponers or the massive lines during Black Friday. But have you ever considered whether you're overpaying on things like your cable bill, loans or credit cards? Re-evaluate those items and you can save a lot of money.
The average American spends 20 percent of their day watching television, according to Nielsen Online. But more than ever, consumers are opting to forego cable television and take their television habits online. Traditional cable television packages can set you back a whopping $1200 or more each year. Consider streaming options like Netflix, iTunes, Hulu or Roku, which can offer more wallet-friendly watching.
Are you paying hundreds of dollars for an expensive cellphone plan? You don't need to be. Mobile phone contract plans subsidize the cost of your phone (and those annual upgrades) by charging high monthly fees on a two-year contract. If you buy the phone without the expensive strings attached, it may be pricier upfront, but can be more cost effective long term. One consumer went from paying $120 with Verizon to $50 a month for unlimited talk and text from Net10, a company which allows consumers to BYOD -- bring your own device!
If you keep getting suckered into upsell pitches and find yourself purchasing extended warranties, now is the time to stop! Not only is your credit card likely to give you an extended warranty, purchasing a warranty assumes that the cost of repair is more than the cost of the warranty. Plus, while you may love the product now, you may not want to be bothered with fixing an old product three years from now. There may be a newer model or you may not feel like digging out the old paperwork. In short: Purchasing an extended warranty is rarely worth it, so don't spend the extra money on it.
Most people take a one and done approach to their loans. Don't. Credit Sesame found that 1 in 3 Americans are overpaying $541 a month on their loans. This adds up to more than $50,000 over a period of 10 years. Consumers who have improved their credit score since they first took out their loan (for their home or car, for example) can refinance their loans at a better rate, stop overpaying and reap those additional savings.
Purchases on a credit card that you don't pay in full each month
When you use your credit card, you have the potential to incur interest fees ranging on average from 12 to 23 percent if you don't pay your credit card in full each month. By carrying a balance each month, you're paying more than you should for the items you purchased.
Designed to track a consumer's credit file and send immediate alerts when important changes occur, credit monitoring allows consumers to stay on top of their credit, find potential errors and limit the damage of identity theft. Some companies charge approximately $200 per year for consumers for this service, but you can get this service for free. For example, Credit Sesame now offers free credit monitoring of a consumer's Experian data.
Intended only for use on some cars, choosing to use premium gasoline can hurt your pocketbook. So unless your car requires it, choose regular or unleaded.
Overnight shipping options sell procrastination and convenience -- and you pay for that convenience -- sometimes upwards of $40. If you were to select the 5 to 7 day shipping, you could pay $6 to send that same item. Unless it is absolutely necessary, consider choosing the shipping option that will cost you the least. Your budget will thank you.