3 Easy Ways to Put More Cash In Your Pocket Today

3 Easy Ways to Save MoneyYou want more money, but saving is hard – especially today. You’re being pulled in a multitude of directions. Everyone has their hand out. With new government regulations touching the health insurance and health care industry, your bank account is going to start feeling even smaller.

It’s demoralizing to check your bank account balance – you have more month than you do money in your account. It doesn’t have to be this way though. Here are some easy ways to start saving money immediately.

Lower Your Car Insurance Costs

Lowering car insurance premiums is something a lot of people overlook. Maybe it’s been over-hyped in recent years, but taking a critical look at what you pay for car insurance could result in a savings of several hundred dollars per month.

For example, your car insurance premium is driven by your deductible, the coverage you carry, the riders you have, and your driving record.

If you change any of these, your premium will be affected. First, your driving record – it’s hard to change bad habits, but it’s worth it. If you have a few speeding tickets, spend some time looking up defensive driving courses in your area. These courses have proven themselves to be valuable again and again for drivers.

Specifically, these safe driving courses result in an instant premium reduction of between 10 and 20 percent. So, for every $100 you spend in premiums, you save between $10 and $20. It’s not much, but it’s a start.

Next, take a look at your coverage. Do you have basic liability or full coverage, including comprehensive? In most states, you’re required to carry liability insurance, but not collision or comprehensive.

If your vehicle is older than five years, or the premiums you pay exceed 10 percent of the salvage value of the vehicle, it’s probably not worth carrying full collision coverage. By law, insurers cannot repair a vehicle if the total damages exceed 70 to 80 percent of the value of the vehicle.

Paint jobs, new bumpers, door skins, and fabrication work plus labor are extremely expensive. Look at the average cost of parts for your vehicle – taking into account the type of work that’s typical for an auto accident.

For example, take a look at what replacement bumpers cost, plus paint, plus labor. Take a look at what new door skins, costs, plus paint, plus labor. It’s most likely that an accident will result in you damaging things like your bumper or your door. If the cost to repair or replace these things is more than the cost of another used vehicle, you’re probably better off dropping collision insurance and banking the difference.

The same can be said of comprehensive coverage, though this won’t result in as much of a savings as dropping collision.

Your deductible should also be scrutinized. If you’re like most people, you have it set way too low. A $200 deductible makes it easy to get your vehicle fixed, but it also keeps your premium very high. Consider raising your deductible. At $500 or even $1,000 will make a substantial difference in your premium. Sure it will make it more “expensive” to fix your vehicle but, combined with the other tweaks to your insurance policy, it won’t be impossible to pay that deductible.

Finally, the riders you add to your policy can make a huge impact on your premium. Ditch the rental car insurance, PIP, towing, and accidental death riders if you want the maximum savings. Rental car insurance covers you when you need to rent a car. Usually, this only becomes an issue when you’re in an accident. Even then, there are cheaper options than carrying this type of coverage – like borrowing a friend’s car.

PIP is “personal injury protection,” which is largely non-essential when you have health insurance (which you will have to have soon anyway). Towing can be really helpful when you’re in an accident. While this can save you a little money, the savings in and of itself aren’t much. Drop this when you have AAA or some other towing service you like – or if you just want to maximize your savings.

Optimize Your Tax Withholding

Most people leave their withholding allowances at the highest amount so they can receive a refund at the end of the year. It’s a false sense of accomplishment, though. The refund means you overpaid on your taxes. If you’re cash-starved, this money comes in handy throughout the year.

The IRS has a withholding calculator that makes it dead-simple to safely adjust the amount of money that is withheld from your paycheck. Stop giving the government a zero-interest loan for 12 months, especially when you can use the extra money right now.

Make A Budget

Making a budget is severely underrated. The simple act of writing down all of your income and expenses makes a huge impact on the money you have left over at the end of the month. You may find that you’re overspending on groceries, for example, because you never make a shopping list – you just “wing it.”

Having a written budget makes things objective. You’re less likely to waste money, and you’ll be able to see where cuts need to be made. You’ll be amazed at how easy saving becomes when you know where your money is going.

Author Bio: Gillian Kearney enjoys sharing her money saving ideas through blogging. She is an insurance consultant. Visit the Monkey for more money saving ideas.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve Been Cable Free for 5 Years and Still Watch TV

While in debt, I cut cable and haven’t looked back. It’s easier than you think especially with new services out on the market. One of my favorites is Sling TV, which allows you to watch live TV on the internet. It’s awesome. Check out my Sling TV review.

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Leave a Comment:

Brent Pittman says June 21

The difference of going from full to liability only wouldn’t save much on our 97′ the last time I checked. In regards to budgeting, it just makes life and marriage easier to manage.

    Grayson says June 21

    I was able to save a good amount with my 1990 Wrangler, but it all depends on the vehicle.

Matt Becker says June 21

I agree that raising your deductible and potentially getting rid of collision and comprehensive coverage on older cars can be good ways to save money. But be careful not to scrimp on the important parts of your coverage, namely bodily injury to others and property damage (your personal liability). That’s where the real value of the insurance lies, as that’s where the really huge losses can come from.

DC @ Young Adult Money says June 21

I actually just started voluntarily paying more in taxes each paycheck. The reason why was because we had to pay in over $1.5k last year. Between quarterly taxes and voluntary deductions out of my paycheck I’m definitely trying to NOT pay in this year. I might have to look into my car insurance. LOVE my agent but it might be a bit more expensive than other options. Sometimes going with the cheapest company/agent is not the best choice, though, since I saw someone deal with a crappy company when their house burned down. Not fun, but even worse if the insurance company is cheap and hard to work with.

    Grayson says June 21

    I have been with my insurance company since I got into a car. I like them and they are good with claims and customer service. I have looked around and I can save a few bucks per month, but it is not worth it to me.

Michelle says June 21

We lowered our car insurance costs and it has saved hundreds of dollars PER month.

AverageJoe says June 21

Great tip on the car insurance…but you can also lower your other insurances as well. There’s money hidden in homeowners, the wrong type of life insurance, disability coverage…..it’s a minefield.

John S @ Frugal Rules says June 21

Great tips on the insurance! We were able to get ours lowered even more when we moved to self-employment as our mileage driven just plummeted. I’d also agree with Joe, insurance as a whole is littered with ways to cut expenses and so few do it.

    Grayson says June 21

    Nice work John. I have a low rate on my Jeep because it is rarely driven.

Your Daily Finance says June 21

Good tips! We lowered our cable and cell phone bills as well. The car insurance and other insurances in general can really help to save money. I started taking public transit a few years ago and the was a huge saver for gas.

Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says June 21

A great reminder about car insurance. Our vehicles about 7 or 8 years old, so we need to take a look at our coverage amounts. They still run great, but since they are no longer spring chickens, we probably have too much coverage them. Have a great weekend, Grayson!

    Grayson says June 24

    I hope you had a good weekend Shannon. Yes, making sure you coverage amounts are correct is good practice.

Edward Antrobus says June 21

When I sat down with an insurance salesman a few years ago to discuss life insurance, he looked over my other policies and told me than health insurance companies are resistant to paying for injuries infrom an accident because they expect you to have PIP.

    Grayson says June 24

    Really? That is something that I have not heard. Thanks for sharing Edward.

thepotatohead says June 21

There’s a bunch of quick stuff you can do to lower your monthly budget. Cancel your cable, raise your insurance deductibles to reduce your premiums, cut your electricity costs, cancel gym memberships, spend less on groceries, use more coupons, etc. The first step though is making a budget so you know what your dealing with

Mike Craig says June 22

Being a tax guy I felt compelled to offer a thought on optimizing your income tax withholding. It’s probably better to have more money with each pay check, if and only if, you do something financially positive with the money. Sadly too many people will convert the extra income into extra consumption. Then when they come to my office at tax time , they have no refund and are no better off.
Different people have different financial personalities. For the disciplined I go along with your idea. For the many, I’d rather they did something positive with a large portion of the refund. One of the best things might be to fund a Roth IRA.

    Grayson says June 24

    Your thought is right on Mike. I used to love getting the tax refund, but this year, I decided to change my withholding and put the extra into my Roth. It works out for me. I will see what happens during tax time.

Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says June 22

We lowered our tax withholding last year. We still get a good refund, but not quite as much, so we have more cash in our pockets each paycheck. Good tips here!

Lindsey @ Cents & Sensibility says June 22

Thanks for the great article. I think I might look into that defensive driving course – I think I have developed too many bad habits while driving over the years. I haven’t killed or seriously maimed anyone but re-learning good habits might save more than a few bucks in the long run.
I just did a financial audit of all our expenses and phoned our insurance company to see if there were ways I could reduce our costs that way. While that didn’t save us a whole lot, my financial audit saved us about two hundred dollars a month other areas. Phoning and asking questions is important!

    Grayson says June 24

    First congrats on not killing or maiming anyone while driving! Second, congrats on getting that extra money with the financial audit. That is a good win!

Sangam Auto Body says June 27

Great tip on the car insurance. It will help people.

Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide says July 5

Great tips! I’m going to tweet them. 🙂

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