Featured in Ink Link’s April Financial Literacy Column
In the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the world is changing. As we look ahead, the Morgan Franklin Fellowship is on the front lines, educating people about financial literacy. We are committed to providing topical material as we navigate our lives, and this is now more important than ever. Now is the time to analyze your expenses and we have some suggestions for where to start.
1) Which expenses can stay and which can go?
Are you paying for products or services that you are not using? Are there expenses that you are not gaining value from? Perhaps you have a gym membership that you don’t use, or a subscription to some service that you use infrequently. What is considered a need, want, or nice-to-have is unique to every person. What may be important to you may not be to someone else, and vice versa. Now is the time to review your bank and credit card statements to see where you can reduce unnecessary spending.
2) Which expenses can be reduced?
Are there expenses that you find value in and could reduce the cost? In many cases, you could change your level of service such as changing your cell phone plan to a lower rate. If that is not an option, you might be surprised to find that a quick conversation with an organization can lead to a temporary rate reduction in order to keep you as a customer. Every line item should be considered. You never really know what options are out there until you reach out and ask. You could very well be pleasantly surprised what is available if you ask.
3) Which expenses can be negotiated?
Do you have certain recurring expenses that you could negotiate? Companies want to retain you as a customer. It is always cheaper to keep a customer than to try to get a new one. Could you negotiate a reduction in your interest rate, or a discount on a product or service for the next few months or indefinitely? A simple phone call could lead to learning you have an option to refinance. You could also save money by paying annually or semi-annually for a service versus monthly, or by sharing that you use the product much less now (think car insurance).
Everyone is in a different situation. Everyone has his/her own definition of what is a need or want in their own unique situation. This is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Take a hard look at your expenses while considering the above three questions. With a few phone calls and conversations, you will be pleasantly surprised to see how much you can save on your current expenses.
April is National Financial Literacy month. With the world changing now more than ever we will be sharing financial tips, tricks, information and resources throughout the month. Stay tuned!