|Chin up! You can lower your fixed |
expenses. You're not doomed to
Say you have house insurance for $400. Have you called around to several agents recently? Have you considered a higher deductible? Have you grilled the agents on all available discounts? If not, the $400 is not really a fixed expense. The same thing goes for auto insurance and health insurance. Keep in mind, the purpose of insurance is to guard you from financial ruin, not to cover every eventuality. If you have an emergency fund, you can cut down on your insurance.
smaller house, a cheaper area, or a fixer-upper--even renting an extra bedroom, your basement, or garage--could relieve financial pressure.
Utilities, usually seen as a fixed expense, aren't really "fixed" Turn off lights religiously. Take fewer showers (not to the point of stinking, please). Turn the heat down, maybe way down, even wearing a hat and layering clothes inside. Invest in insulation. Wash clothes in cold water and line dry. Cancel pay television and Netflix. Get bare-bones phone service; consider axing the mobile phone or landline.
Property taxes hurt. Consider a cheaper house or an area with lower property taxes when you're looking to buy. If you already own the house, look at your tax assessment to see if it is fair. Compare it to what other houses in your neighborhood have sold for, not including foreclosures. We successfully contested our taxable value three years in a row, resulting in a savings of about $300 a year. This will save us money for the rest of the time we live here, which could be our whole lives. This is not pocket change.
|Form 8880 saves us hundreds|
of dollars each year.
I'm sure there are more "fixed" expenses I haven't mentioned. The main idea is to approach all expenses as flexible, and to apply creativity to all of them. You may decide you are absolutely not willing to cut back on certain things. That's a personal decision. But if you at least approach every expense as one where you could potentially save money, you may find that the fixed expenses aren't as fixed as they seem.
Most people offered a money-saving idea immediately think of why it won't work for them. A simple attitude change from It won't work for me because... to I will make it work by... changes poverty to plenty.
What fixed expenses have you lowered? How did you do it?