CPA David Young discussed some options for people looking to save money Monday on News 8 at Sunrise.
Young said the first expense you can consider reducing is the cost of television service. “A lot of people are paying for cable and it might be fairly expensive per month,” he said. “You might be able to save money by reducing it into a basic cable channel and filling in with Netflix or whatever else you can get streaming online. A lot of people aren’t using all the package they’re paying for. It’s an easy way right off the bat.”
Food is a big expense that can potentially be reduced. “Eating out can cost you a ton of money for lunch or breakfast,” Young said. “If you just pack your own lunch — maybe in the morning grab your own coffee — it’ll save you eight or ten bucks a month. In a year’s time, it could save you close to two thousand bucks.”
When it comes to energy, Young said there are ways to lower your monthly expenses. “That’s a huge one a as we’re getting into the fall now,” he observed. “Maybe just start programing your thermostat. Most houses have a programable thermostat. Maybe when you’re at home, the temperature can go higher, and then when you’re not home, it can go lower. And the same thing for insulation. That’s an easy one too, make sure you’re using an energy-efficent product for your house.”
Cell phone costs are another area expenses can be trimmed. “There’s a lot of money in cell phones!” said Young. “I would check your cell phone package. Maybe you have a package where you’re spending too much and not using all the data? Maybe you can consolidate with a family plan? And ditch the landline. A lot of folks, if you have a cell a phone, have a landline in the house and they don’t even use it.”
Young said take a look at your banking situation for potential savings too. “You might be paying monthly fees,” he said. “You’ve got to look at your monthly budget on that. That’s the same with credit card fees. Try to pay that on time so you’re not getting hit with fees. A-T-M fees is the same thing. I would say consolidate debt. I’d throw that in there. If you have a lot of debt out there, maybe this is the time of the year to look at all your debt, get it all into one spot and maybe consolidate it into a lower interest rate.”
Creating an overall budget can help establish a pattern for savings. “Overall, it’s really good to have a budget,” said Young. “Right now, the kids are back into school. We haven’t gotten yet into the Christmas season. This is the time of year to look at your monthly income, your monthly expenses and have a budget and stick to the budget. That’s a big factor where people can find themselves derailed and in trouble.”
For more information, visit the New York State Society of CPAs website, click here.