5 Budget Items that Could Cost You an Extra $100 or More a Month
December 26, 2018 | By Mason Roberts
It’s easy to acquire lots of physical possessions and even easier to spend more money doing so than you would have if you’d only done some research ahead of time.
Joshua Becker, the founder of the Becoming Minimalist website, collected a list of shocking stats that show how much stuff Americans own. Here are just a few:
- The average American home has 300,000 items, according to the LA Times.
- Today, the average American woman has 30 outfits, as opposed to 9 in 1930, according to Forbes
- Americans spend more money on shoes and accessories (at $100 billion) than they do on higher education, according to Psychology Today
- Americans spend $1.2 trillion on non-essential goods each year, according to The Wall Street Journal
“But what are the biggest culprits?” you may wonder, “And what can I do to save more money?” If your meal planning has you reaching for a car title loan, here are the top 5 budget items that could cost you over $100 a month if you’re not careful.
Buying a New Cell Phone Every Year
You’d probably be surprised if anyone said they didn’t have a cell phone. Pew Research Center has done several studies on mobile use in America, and as of 2017 reveals that 95% of Americans own a cell phone of some kind – 77% of which own smartphones, up from 35% in 2011.
You might even be surprised if someone said they don’t upgrade their phone whenever a new model comes out. But if you refrain from the common practice of upgrading phones, you could save a lot of money each month.
Hector Leiva, a communication manager in Texas, says he saves money by keeping the same cell phone once it’s paid off. “I’m not buying new cell phones now that I’ve paid off the ones my wife and I have,” Leiva says.
Cable TV and Internet Bills
Not only did he stop upgrading phones so often, but Leiva found other ways to drastically save. “I cut my cable TV in favor of Internet TV and I’m saving about $150 per month!”
Debbie Lindo from Florida found a similar way to cut costs down: she calls her internet and cable provider once a year to cancel. “Tell them you’re paying too much and you need a lower bill,” Lindo says. “That department has a lot of flexibility to retain your business.”
Unused Gym Memberships
Similarly, Kattien Rosario, a project manager at a tech company, suggests getting rid of a Crossfit membership, which she says can cost $100-plus, and instead use one of the many online programs and apps available.
It’s pretty common to get a gym membership and then rarely use it once the excitement wears off, but keeping it anyway could be costing you big bucks. This year, CNBC did a story on what it takes to cancel a gym membership, and gave some good tips on doing so:
- Assess the upcoming cancellation process by reading the terms of your membership’s agreement.
- Find out what additional protections could be in place for gym contracts in your state.
- Make note of any changes in policy or services, like a step aerobics class you joined the gym for that is no longer available.
- Get your documentation at the ready, like your copy of the contract and a doctor’s note.
- Go to the gym manager first, since they are usually the one who needs to sign off on gym membership cancellations.
- Bonus tip: Services like Trim will attempt to cancel on your behalf by talking to customer service without you.
Not Reviewing the Terms on Your Insurance Policies
For car insurance, talk to your company and see what they can do to lower your terms, whether it’s coverage, your deductible, or something else.
You’d be surprised how much you might save per month while still having a great policy that satisfies your needs.
If you recently minimized the items you have in your home, you should contact your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance companies and get a new coverage policy since you don’t have as much to cover.
Eating Out All the Time
According to The Motley Fool, Americans spent more on bars and restaurants (by more than $50 billion) than they did on groceries from 2015 to 2016.
Eating out is one of those costs that sneaks up on you, especially in the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Valerie Conte, a dental hygienist in South Florida, says she’d probably save at least $100 a month just by reducing how often she eats out.
So, how can you save more money here? One way is to fund your meal plan is to budget money for fresh ingredients and prep it yourself at home. Paired with coupons and several recipes you want to try, you can buy enough food to cover you until your next paycheck and still have money left over.
You might even find that you prefer eating at home.
How Else Can You Bring More Money In?
Armed with these five ways to cut down your regular expenses, you might ask what else you can do to make financially smarter decisions. Or, perhaps you’re facing an urgent situation and need fast cash now.
One option is to get a car title loan, which could get you up to $15,000 in exchange for your lien-free car title.
Not only is all credit welcome, but it only takes about 30 minutes to complete the onsite approval process. You could take home a cash loan on the same day. But don't rush into anything. Take time to examine why you need a title loan.
Examine your personal finances to determine what size loan you can take out and easily pay back in a timely manner. Don’t get caught up in the excitement of having that much cash in your possession. Make sure to carefully plan out how to best use it for your particular situation.
What Are Car Title Loans Exactly?
A car title loan is a short-term cash strategy that is designed to help in times of overwhelming financial stress.
You use your lien-free vehicle title as collateral in exchange for a loan. Once the lender secures the title, you get your cash.
Now that you know what it is, you can go fill out an online request form with basic personal information.
Once a store associate has looked over your inquiry, they will call you to go over any questions.
The next step will be collecting the required items (your vehicle for inspection, the lien-free title, proof of income, and a state-issued photo I.D.) and then driving to the store to complete the title loan approval process in person.
Armed with ways to cut your budget down and the know-how to secure fast cash in times of emergency, now you do something about it.
Remember, everyone goes through times of financial hardship, but there are several ways available to make things work for you.
If you need a car title loan to handle an emergency expense, simply fill in our online form and get started today!