But what if you could slash your spending without cutting out all the fun stuff?
Turns out you can do just that just by picking up the phone and asking for a better deal. Make these five phone calls to start saving right now:
Have a heart-to-heart with your cable company
If you have cable, call your company right now and ask for a discount. They may be especially willing to bargain if you agree to lock-in service for a set time period. Yes, this means you have to pay a penalty if you cancel, but that won't matter if you plan to keep the service anyway.
As Marketwatch notes, "experts say lock-ins can be to a customer's advantage, since there’s a good chance that your cable bill will increase." By agreeing to a contract, you could lower your costs immediately and avoid price increases.
Another option is to activate your cable service's "vacation mode." If you only use your cable during certain times of the year, like football season, you can pay a small sum to put your service (and monthly bill) on hold. Sweet.
Ask your credit credit card provider for a lower interest rate
It's helpful to do your homework first. Find out what other credit card deals are out there and use that knowledge to get the rep to give you a better deal.
Not sure what to say? Use this script from CreditCards.com.
If your current credit card company won't work with you, look into doing a balance transfer if you have debt that won't be paid off for a while. Look for cards offering a free balance transfer with no interest for up to 12 months.
While it may be tempting to close your old account after you've transferred the balance out, it's best to keep it open. Closing accounts can lower your credit utilization rate, which is an important factor in calculating your score. It will also lower the average age of your accounts which doesn't help .
See if your phone company can lower your monthly bill — or up your data plan for free
If you haven't updated your cell phone plan in a while, call to go over your charges. Cell phone companies are constantly updating their plans, and you may be able to switch to one that actually gives you more data for less money.
Calling your company and reviewing your charges will also give you a chance to see if you no longer need all of the services you have. For example, if your phone is old, you could potentially drop insurance on it.
If you are no longer under contract, ask about discounts for loyal customers for and compare plans across different providers for cheaper options.
Ask your insurance company for a discount
If you have car insurance, homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance, call to find out if you're eligible for any discounts.
The easiest way to lower monthly premiums is by raising your deductible. Since that means having to come up with more money when your car breaks down, only consider this if you have a fat emergency fund.
Changing your driving habits can lower your costs as well. For example, if you recently moved from your college town where you drove all the time to a city where you rely on public transportation, you could get a low mileage discount.
Lastly, remember that most insurers provide substantial savings if you bundle your policies. But you have to ask before they'll offer it, so make that call!
Check with your human resources department about corporate discounts
If you work for a mid-size to large company, you could potentially be eligible for corporate discounts on everything from cell phone service to hotel rooms.
These discounts can be substantial. As Lifewire explains, "Corporate cell phone discounts typically range from 15% to 25% on each monthly bill. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless have similar corporate cell phone discounts."
So call human resources right now to find out what programs your company participates in. Then start planning your discount vacation.
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