Once the holiday season has passed and the bills start rolling in, people often start to tighten their financial belts. We've rounded up some tips to help you get your finances back on track.
1. Make your coffee at home. It may seem like a minor (and due) indulgence to swing by a Starbucks on your way to work, but the banks refer to it as "The Starbucks Factor" for a reason - those lattes add up. If you hate bothering with a coffee maker and love the taste of Starbucks, they now offer Via instant coffee.
2. Curb your credit card. Don't spent more than what you can pay off in a month - interest charges are too high to justify the purchase. Opt for a no-fee card as well, and if you can keep your purchases to what you would spend on food and other necessities, programs such as Airmiles or Alaska Airlines credit cards give you rewards for what you would be spending anyway.
3. Work your cell phone company. If your contract is coming due, tale to your provider's Retention department to see if they'll swing you a deal for staying with them. I did it and got an iPhone 4.0 for 1/2 the price it was advertised on their website.
4. Analyze your phone needs in general. Do you ever use your land line? If not, consider shutting it off. In addition, products such as Skype allow you to make phone-to-phone and face-to-face calls, using your Internet connection.
5. Cut your cable. Review your channels and program needs and decide whether or not you need all that you've subscribed to. Many people are opting to ditch cable altogether and use servises such as Hulu and Netflix to watch T.V. and movies online.
6. Research insurance rates. It may seem easier to stay with the company you've used for years but a few moments (or hours) of research time can be more than made up with the savings you make.