No one likes paying their monthly bills. It’s the part of being an adult no one tells you about as a child. Paying your $100 phone bill hurts, but at least you get the satisfaction of hours of phone use each month. Your health insurance premium is an entirely different story.

If you’re a young American in good health, you don’t see tangible benefits from your health insurance premium on a monthly basis. That’s what makes it difficult to fork over your monthly premium. But health insurance is something that you need (by law!) and is very important. How can you make paying your monthly premium less painful?

One way to better afford your health insurance is to free up your budget. By making small changes in your daily life, you can more easily afford your health insurance and make paying it less painful.

Eliminate the Trip to the Coffee Shop

Americans drink a lot of coffee. Starbucks alone accounted for nearly $20 billion in sales last  year. Think about how much coffee you drink a week? Are you one of the many Americans that start your day in line at a coffee shop, getting a $4 cup of coffee?

If you’re paying $4 a day for coffee (and that number can be much higher if you drink multiple cups a day) and you multiply that by the average 22 work days a month, that averages out to $88 a month spent on coffee.

If you buy coffee everyday, even on weekends, then your monthly bill will be around $120. This doesn’t mean you have to eliminate coffee altogether. A canister of coffee can run you $10 and last you nearly a month.

ATM Fees

Getting money from the ATM is so easy, but it has a small cost that adds up. The ATM fee varies between locations, but it’s a safe bet that $3 is right around what you’ll pay to take out a few crisp $20 bills. If you’re paying $3 a week on ATM fees, you’re wasting $12 a month. Might seem small, but it’s simply wasted money.

Happy Hour Beers

Who doesn’t love a good happy hour? Yes, you’re getting a great deal on your drinks compared to normal prices, but at what cost?

One beer turns into two, and next thing you know you’re three or four beers deep when you just wanted one. Let’s say you go to happy hour with your coworkers once a week and average three beers per trip. That’s $60 a month you’re spending on happy hour beers (not including tip or discounted appetizers).

Don’t completely eliminate happy hour, but reduce the frequency in which you attend. One happy hour a month instead of four could save you at least $45 a month.

Valet Parking

In Southern California, valet parking is abundant. There’s so little parking that it’s just easier to pay the valet. Sometimes you don’t even have a choice! There is no other option other than valet to park. But valet definitely isn’t free.

An average valet fee is $5, plus tip, let’s say $7 total. Now think about how many times you use valet parking a week? It can really add up. Let’s take a conservative total of three times a week. That’s $21 a week or $84 a month you can save by parking your car by yourself!

Skip Delivery

You’ve just worked a long day and you’re too tired to cook. It’s a scenario everyone can relate to. Food delivery apps like Eat24 and Grubhub have made food delivery way too easy. But the convenience you’re paying for eating away at your monthly budget.

A typical minimum order requirement is $20. Add 25% for tax and tip and you have a $25 delivery bill. Two deliveries a week means you’re spending $200 a month on food delivery!  Cutting out food delivery alone could pay your health insurance premiums.

Health insurance is extremely important, no matter how uncomfortable the monthly premium is to pay. It’s not something you should skip. If you’re worried about the cost of your health insurance, talk to an insurance agent to see if there is a better plan for you. Otherwise, follow a combination of these five cost saving measures and paying your monthly bill will become a lot easier.

Image Courtesy of Jazmin Quaynor

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