Often when we think of frugal living or saving pennies, we think of how to cut expenses. But sometimes it helps to take a good look at the timing of those expenses. It may not save you any money, but it can alleviate some of the stress of making ends meet.
First, start by getting yourself a calendar. Write the days you get paid on the month. Now, write down when monthly bills are due. Include your mortgage, car payments, student loan payments, credit card and utility bills. Don’t forget to write down bigger, less frequent bills like car, home, and life insurance.
Take a good look at your calendar. If you see quite a few things all due at the same time, that could definitely contribute to some financial stress.
There’s a way to fix this: simply call the company and ask to change your billing date. For example, you may find that it would be easier to pay your credit card bill in the middle of the month, rather than the beginning when your mortgage is due. Many companies are willing to make this change in order to better serve their customers. The worst they can say is, “no.”
Pay attention to timing in other areas of your life, too. For example, my auto dealership has a deal where after you’ve paid for three oil changes, the fourth is free. We always schedule a tire rotation or other maintenance projects at the same time as the free oil change. That way the car maintenance expense is spread out a bit.
Stockpiling groceries and personal care items is also another example of a place where timing counts. You will save a lot of money if you can stock up on a sale so that you can make it to the next sale.