If your bank account is being drained by your bills every month, here’s the best way to reclaim your hard-earned money: Compare everything. Make a list of all your recurring expenses and use free tools to compare providers so you can get a better rate. Compare auto insurance. Compare credit cards. Compare grocery prices. Here’s a list to help you get started. Ready, set, compare!
1. Compare auto insurance quotes.
You knew we’d say this but the single best way to save money on car insurance is to compare quotes. When we tried getting quotes on individual insurance sites, it took nearly eight minutes, on average, to get a single car insurance quote. We give you multiple free quotes in minutes, and you only have to enter your driver and car information one time. Compare!
2. Compare travel comparison sites.
This is totally meta, but when you’re planning a trip you should always compare prices from travel comparison sites. In other words, don’t just trust Hotwire, but force it into a cage match with other travel sites to see who comes out on top.
Kayak is the best known travel comparison site for flights, pulling results from Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline (which owns Kayak) and other sites. If you select all of these, however, your browser might sputter as multiple tabs appear. It’s probably best to compare Kayak to just one or two other sites. With Kayak, you can also compare flight prices on different dates and from different airports. The result: the best price and the best travel plan.
3. Compare credit card rewards and rates.
Nerdwallet is the undisputed master of comparing credit cards. The site examines the perks and drawbacks of more than 700 cards and helps you decide which one fits your life and your spending style.
One thing to watch when you’re comparing credit cards: You’ve got to be honest with yourself about your own financial habits. A travel credit card sounds super enticing when it offers a $600 signup bonus. Aruba, here you come! But the best rewards cards often have annual fees and high APRs. If you already have debt piling up on another card, you’ll be better off getting a low-interest card and paying off the balance.
4. Compare grocery store prices.
Maybe you loved watching “Extreme Couponing,” but couldn’t quite commit to spending your Sunday morning cutting out coupons for paper towels and cat food. No worries — there are better ways to compare and save. The Favado app (Android and iOS) shows you the best deals at your local grocery stores, then helps you find coupons for more savings. The system’s a little clunky, because you have to print the coupons after emailing yourself your shopping list (you can’t redeem coupons from your phone), but users rate Favado highly.
Beyond the produce aisle, the ShopSavvy app promises “every sale, from every store, every day.” Not only does it alert you to sales, but the app lets you scan the barcode of an item you’re interested in to see if it’s available elsewhere for less. “Better than any coupon because it is in your pocket all the time,” one reviewer says.
5. Compare quotes for internet service providers.
Are you proud to be a cord cutter? Cut your budget even more by comparing rates for internet service. Companies like Verizon and Comcast love to nudge up their prices each year — just like your car insurance company does — and hope you won’t notice your growing bill. That’s why it’s smart to get a reality check with comparison sites like WhiteFence and Wirefly. Just enter your ZIP code and see what deals are being offered in your area. The best offers may require contracts, so read the fine print before you buy.
6. Compare quotes for life insurance.
Life insurance is probably the least fun thing you can even think about buying — way less fun than getting a tire alignment or a new garbage disposal. But if you have anyone who depends on you financially, like a spouse, a child or a sibling, life insurance is something you really, really need to buy. And it’s not as difficult, or as expensive, as you think. Compare!