How a little work could lead to over $1,000 in savings

Nathaniel Sillin | 11/2/2016, 8 a.m.
How long would it take you to earn an extra $1,000? Contrary to what spam and internet ads tell us, ...

How long would it take you to earn an extra $1,000? Contrary to what spam and

internet ads tell us, after taking taxes and deductions into account, it's not an

easy task. But you might be able to save over a thousand dollars with a little work.

The key is to decrease or eliminate unnecessary recurring expenses.

You can use the savings to build up an emergency fund or invest them for important

long-term goals, such as travel or retirement. Additionally, a savings safety

cushion can help keep an unexpected setback from ballooning into a financial crisis,

such as a broken down car or the loss of a job leading to debt.

First, identify savings opportunities. You may want to start by connecting your bank

and credit card accounts to budgeting software, or uploading previous months'

statements and categorize purchases. You'll get a quick snapshot of your finances,

which can help you identify savings opportunities and get a sense of how much money

is on the line.

Cancel services and regularly negotiate rates – save over $100 a month. "Cord

cutting" is a popular and simple way to save money. Rather than pay for cable or

satellite TV, you might choose to cancel your service and opt for lower-cost

entertainment options.

If you don't want to eliminate services entirely, you could try to negotiate rates

with your cable or internet providers. A successful call could lower your bill by

$20 a month or more, saving you a couple hundred dollars a year. A few tips:

[http://time.com/money4253989/cut-cable-tips-tricks ask for the

cancellation department and request the business match a competitor's lower price or

give you the current promotional rate. Don't be afraid to try again if you're not

successful – it can take several attempts to connect with a representative who will

work with you.

Avoid bank fees – save over $10 a month. Occasionally paying to withdraw money from

an ATM or paying fees for a low-balance checking account might not seem like a big

deal, but the money adds up. Two ATM fees and a checking-account fee could cost you

over $10.

Some accounts waive fees as long as you maintain a minimum balance, and there often

isn't an ATM fee for withdrawing money from an in-network ATM or getting cash back

when making a purchase. There are also checking accounts that refund ATM fees at the

end of each month. There can be advantages and disadvantages to any account, read

the terms of your checking and saving account agreements to understand when, and

why, you may need to pay a fee.

Shop for insurance discounts – you might be able to save over 20 percent on your

premiums each month. Use online comparison tools to quickly and easily get quotes on

auto, renters, homeowners and other types of insurance. Compare the rates, coverage

and insurance companies to see if switching makes sense for you.

Ask your agent about potential savings if you decide to stick with your current