It's getting tougher to make ends meet these days, and ABC7 On Your Side is a campaign to help you save money. Watch Eyewitness News for money-saving tips and freebies to help stretch your dollar. Click here for more money-saving tips from ABC7 On Your Side
You might think you would have to sacrifice some to save hundreds of dollars a month. But when Eyewitness News teamed up with Consumer Reports, there were some ideas that will put money the bank without feeling the pinch.
Many people are feeling the financial pinch these days, but Consumer Reports found you could cut your spending by $500 per month without radically changing your lifestyle.
You might be able to drive down your car costs by an average of $65 a month by finding cheaper auto insurance.
"The Internet makes comparison-shopping very easy," said Greg Daugherty, Consumer Reports. "In most states you can go to your state's insurance department and see what different insurers there are charging for their policies."
Next, pull out your life-insurance policy. Premiums have dropped dramatically since the 1990s, so if you have an old policy you might be better off replacing it. And optimizing your life insurance could save you another $110. And while we're talking about life insurance, regular exercising can pay off.
Once in better shape, get re-rated for a lower premium.
"A 40-year-old man with a $1-million life insurance policy could save $50 a month by getting his cholesterol down 30 points," said Daugherty. "He could save $65 a month by losing 50 pounds and getting down to normal weight. And if he quits smoking, after three years he'll save $165 a month."
Shopping smarter for food can net you another $200 per month. To cut spending by hundreds a month, try less-expensive brands. Stock up on staples like cereal, pasta, and canned goods when they're on sale. And cut back on prepared foods. Every little bit adds up.
Consumer Reports Money Lab lists other places to try to cut costs: your talk time. Consider bundling your phone, cable, and Internet services. And if you routinely pay ATM bank fees, it's time to shop for another bank. You want to look for a national one with ATMs where you need them.