Slash Your Cell Phone Expenses

An expensive cell phone being used.

A cell phone bill is something that you can easily let get away from you. It starts out manageable but then the cell phone service provider gradually increases rates, Then you add on seemingly small services and the next thing you know, boom you have a 200 dollar plus phone bill.

It can happen to anyone, but you can take control and slash your cell phone expenses. Here is how.

Your Phone Is Still Good, Keep It

It used to be that cell phone companies gave you huge discounts to get new phones. You extend your contract and they give you a practically free brand new phone. Everyone was happy with this arrangement, but things have changed.

Cell phone companies have gotten tighter and phones have gotten pricier. Now, when you want a new phone, you have to pay most of the money.

Cell phone providers have become trickier, allowing you to finance these new phones for no interest. Sounds great, but this can still add up to 30 dollars a month to your bill, per phone.

Keep your bill low by sticking with your old phone. Think about what you are getting with that new phone. Maybe a camera that has a little more resolution and a faster processor. Can you really tell the difference in photo quality though and are you tapping your fingers because your phone can’t keep up with your Scrabble app? Probably not.

Keep the old phone and save big money every month. Phones are better these days and can easily go 3 years or more before you start noticing any performance issues.

Pay At The Beginning Of The Month

You know those pre-paid phone services? They have come a long way and are no longer sub par. The only real difference is that you pay at the beginning of the month instead of the end.

A single person can get an unlimited plan with cricket for $50 a month with auto bill pay. That includes taxes and fees. Quite a savings over the three major carriers and the service uses the same lines.

Even better is the fact that you do not have to sign a contract with these services. That means that if you are unhappy, just move to another carrier without the fear of having to pay penalties.

Start A Family (Plan)

If you live with many people on different plans, consolidate them into a family plan and save.

Discounts increase dramatically as you add users, even on pre-paid services. One person might cost 50 dollars a month, while a family of four can get service for 100 dollars. That brings the cost down to just 25 dollars a line.

The only real hassle with a family plan is putting one person in charge of billing. They get to collect from everyone which can be a pain, but it is worth it to cut your bill in half.

Cut Down On Services

The phone companies like to kill you with the add ons. Getting all of the bells and whistles can take a lot of money out of your pocket each month.

Before committing to a service, ask yourself if it really adds value. Will you really use that hotspot? Do you need unlimited data or would a couple of gigs get you by?

Even insurance is something that you might not want. They would not sell it if they did not make money on it.

Stop Buying Apps

Apps cost as little as 99 cents but they can add up big over the course of a month if you let them get away from you.

Make it a point to stop purchasing apps. For every paid app, there are going to be several free ones that do the exact same thing. You might have to put up with a little advertising but it will save you money.

Even the free ones can come with costs though. Be wary of in app purchase, especially with games. Lots of games like to trick you by making it easy to win and advance. The further that you get in the game though, the harder it will be to advance without purchasing something.

Brown Bag It To A Balanced Budget

A typical lunch meal.

If you are constantly taking out emergency loans, it means that your budget is not in check. You need to do something to get things straight and we have just the thing.

One of the biggest money wasters is a lunch budget. Depending on where you eat, you could be spending 10 to 15 dollars a day on lunch. When you compare that to the 1 -2 dollars that it costs to bring your lunch, you can see the potential for savings.

Take your lunch to work and you could potentially save up to 14 dollars a day. That is nearly 300 dollars over the course of a month. 300 dollars each month would do wonders for your emergency savings.

Taking Your Lunch To Work

You might have bologna sandwiches in your head, but, when you take your lunch, it does not have to be that way. With a little creativity and some prep, you can have meals that are much healthier and even much tastier than anything you can get at a restaurant. Here is what you need to do.

Food Storage

First, you are going to need a way to get this food to work in a fresh state. There are a lot of food storage options these days that will keep your food tasty for hours.

Invest a few dollars in some good containers and your odds of sticking to bringing your lunch to work are much higher. Look for items that offer insulation and seal well against the air. There is nothing worse than wilted lettuce or dry rice.

Plan A Menu

Go beyond the sandwich. Sure, you can buy a loaf of bread and a packet of lunch meat and eat all week for a few dollars, but it will come back to bite you. You might do well for a few days but you will quickly become bored and go back to your old ways.

Here are a few ideas.


If you have never tried pesto, you need to give it a shot. You can even make it yourself and it is much easier than you think.

Pesto can be used in a number of dishes. Use it with pasta or put it on a grilled chicken breast. It can take a boring meal and kick it up to the next level.

Even better is the fact that it stores well. Make up a batch and freeze small portions. Then, pull it out the night before and cut doown on your lunch meal prep. Get a flavorful meal that takes just monutes to prep. Hard to beat.


Soups are another great meal idea. Buy a can for a buck or even make your own chicken soup.

Soups are easy to heat up and when paired with a nice roll or slice of artisan bread, they can be very filling.

The sheer variety of soups also make them something that is hard to get tired of. Cream of mushroom, tomato basil, chicken noodle, minestrone…. The list goes on and on.

Creative Sides

Even if you do chose to do the simple sandwich, you can take things up another level by adding a fancier side.

Make a simple fruit salad, a side of chili or even bake your own chips. Be creative, because the more choices that you have, the less likely you are to get bored.

Benefits To Taking Your Lunch

The benefits to taking your lunch go far beyond saving money. Even though that is the ultimate goal and 300 dollars a month is nothing to sneer at, there are a few other benefits.

Saving Time

Think about how much time you spend simply going to get your meal. You might have an hour for lunch, but it takes you 30 minutes or more to drive back and forth to get it. Most of your time is spent going to get your food.

Compare that to taking your lunch where you can eat at your work space or simply walk across the street to a park. Eat your lunch in 15 minutes and then have 45 minutes to do what you like. Get some extra work done or take some time for yourself.

Get Healthier

Most restaurant and fast food options are not the healthiest. High in fat and overly high in calories they do your waist line no favors.

Take your lunch and you will soon see the benefits. You will feel better and probably start noticing that your clothes start fitting a bit better.

If you are having cholesterol or blood pressure problems, you will be doing your overall health a huge favor.

Save Big On Your Mortgage

Save money on mortgage header image.

If you are in the process of getting a home, you are in the middle of a very exciting, and often frustrating, time in your life. A new home, especially if it is your first, is a very big thing. Enjoy the moment but also realize that the decisions that you make right now can have a big impact on your future.

That mortgage loan payment will be the biggest expense that you will have in your budget and you could be paying it for the next 30 years.

There are many ways to keep that payment in check though. Take a look at some of the ways that you can save hundreds of dollars each month on your mortgage.

Get Multiple Insurance Quotes

I personally recommend that you get at least 5 different quotes for home insurance. That number might seem excessive but it is necessary because of the huge diversity in premiums between companies.

Annual premiums can vary by thousands of dollars for the same exact coverage from different companies. It all depends on an insurer’s actual losses in an area. One company might have had big loses in your new home location and might be charging top dollar to new clients. Another might have had very little losses in the same area and is offering rock bottom prices.

Because of the big difference between companies, you need to shop rates with at least 5 companies. Do even more if you have time.

Apply For A Longer Loan

If you are considering a 15 year loan, you can drastically cut your payment by switching to a 30 year loan. It can shave hundreds of dollars off of what you pay every month.

The obvious downside to this is that you will be paying on your loan for a longer period and this paying much more money in interest. Your interest rate will probably go up an extra quarter percent or so.

Still, if you want to make your loan more affordable, stretching the term out is one way to go. 40 year loans are even an option here, but be very careful, you will wind up paying a huge amount in interest.

Buy Some Points

Buying points is the process of buying down your interest rate. You pay one percent of the loan value and your mortgage company cuts the rate by .25 percent. So, if your loan is for 300,000, a point would cost you 3000 dollars.

Obviously, lowering your interest rate is a big deal but that .25 percent might only add up to 20 or 30 dollars a month, depending on the size of your loan. You need to calculate how long it would take to make back the money that you paid down.

It will take almost 6 years to pay back the money that you spent on buying the point. That means that if you live in your home only a few years, buying points is a waste of money. If, however, you will be in your home for longer than 6 years, you will come out ahead by buying points.

Shop For A Cheaper Home

If all else fails, just buy a cheaper house.

When people get approved for a loan, they usually look at the number they are approved for and make that their limit. This could be a huge mistake because it also means that you will be making the maximum mortgage payment that the bank thinks you can afford. It leaves little room for error should you have a decrease in income.

Buying a cheaper home can shave hundreds of dollars off of your monthly bills, not only in the loan payment but also in the escrow payment. A cheaper home means cheaper insurance in many cases.

Improve Your Credit Before Buying

Last but not least, perhaps you could improve your credit to save on that monthly payment. If your credit is not in tip top shop, waiting on your home purchase might be the ticket to get you a lower interest rate.

Pull your credit report from each bureau and take a look. Make sure that there are no mistakes. If there are, dispute them with the bureau. It can take 30 days for them to investigate the matter, so do this at least two months before you plan to apply for a loan.

Next, take a look at those credit card balances. If you are using more than 30 percent of your credit, your score is taking a big hit. Get those balances down before you apply for your loan. You will see a big increase in your score once you get them under 30 percent and another improvement if you can get them under 10 percent.

To Sum Things Up

The decisions that you make right now will have a big impact on your life for years to come. Make sure that you take the time to thoroughly prepare yourself for home ownership. Get your credit in order, shop around for the best rates and insurance and be honest about what you can afford.