There is never a one-size-fits-all approach to being frugal or saving money. I believe that a lot of little things add up to a lot, though. Start small. Look to see where you can save money, especially in this time of uncertainty. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Check to make sure you are getting all insurance discounts—car/home/life bundles should give you some discounts. I recently noticed our homeowner’s insurance was missing a life policy discount. Our agent checked and found they owed us almost $200 back to the time that had been accidentally removed.
2. We just cancelled “extra college address” from homeowner’s insurance as our son is home from college early, and got a $32 refund.
3. Ask for car insurance reduction because we aren’t driving as much. Ours is giving us 25% off for April. I have heard of others giving a 15% discount. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
4. Switch to a balanced payment plan with your local electric/gas company—they average out monthly payments over the year so they are more predictable. Adjusted every four months. They can check to see if your payment would go up or down if you change now. Ours just went down $30/month as we had used less energy than expected over the past winter.
5. See if anything you paid for in advance offers refunds or if you can redeem for future use: plane tickets, etc. In some cases you may choose to donate the money to keep the organization afloat.
6. Our son got a month’s refund for house room rental when he was sent home from college.
7. File taxes if you will be receiving a tax refund!
8. Buy and sell on Varage Sale. In the past month I’ve acquired a used dryer, a gallon of paint, five small Lego sets (unopened), and a lovely wall sign for a total of $105. I also sold a laundry sorter for $15. All done with social distancing!
9. Rice and beans are incredibly versatile! and inexpensive I always keep a big storage bin of each.
10. If you have 20% equity in your home, you can request removal of private mortgage insurance.
11. Mortgage rates may be lower right now. Consider refinancing if it makes sense.
12. Recycle more so you can switch to a smaller size garbage can. We did this a few years ago.
13. We are all driving less, but plan trips carefully to maximize fuel use.
14. Eliminate services you aren’t using that have recurring fees.
15. Barter if you can. I sometimes write in exchange for stuff! (P.S. I will trade writing for a haircut for my son!)