While most people trying to trim their monthly budget tend to think there’s no way to lower fixed expenses – like mortgage payments, insurance premiums and subscription payments – with a bit of effort and research, most of these costs can be reduced.
Consolidate debt to one payment
One way to lower your monthly expenses is by consolidating debt with a personal loan. A personal loan will allow you to pay off your credit card debt at once. Personal loans typically have a lower interest rate than credit cards and you’ll only need to make a single, affordable monthly payment until your loan is paid off.
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Or if you have multiple credit cards with outstanding balances, consider a balance transfer. This entails opening a new credit card with a lower interest rate and transferring all debt to it. You will now have just one debt payment to make each month. Plus, the lower interest rate will help you make a dent in paying down that debt with less of your payment going toward interest.
Cut out subscriptions you don’t need
Take some time to review your monthly bank statement for recurring subscriptions and cancel the ones you no longer need.
If you’re paying for a gym membership, consider just paying for classes you attend instead of the full membership, or springing for your favorite workout machine to use at home. Drop your cable service or downgrade to a cheaper plan by cutting out expensive channels you don’t watch often. Also, you might be paying for premium versions of apps you don’t need. Dropping these costs can give you more wiggle room in your monthly budget.
Shop for auto insurance
If you’ve had the same insurance policy for several years or your driving habits have changed (e.g., you're driving less because you're working from home), speak to a company representative about lowering your premiums. By highlighting your loyalty and excellent driving record, you may be able to get a lower quote. If your insurance company is not willing to work with you, it might be time to shop around.
Consider a refinance
Trim your mortgage payments by refinancing at a lower interest rate. There are some costs, but you can roll closing costs and other fees into your loan. Plus, the money you save each month should more than offset these costs. A refinance is especially smart in a falling-rates environment or if your credit score has improved a lot.
Your Turn: How have you lowered your fixed monthly expenses? Share your best tips with us in the comments.