If you?re living paycheck to paycheck you need to read this. If you?re comfortable and on baby step 7 you need to read this. Basically, if you?re paying bills -you need to read this. Here are ten simple ways to save money on your monthly bills.
10 Ways To Save Money On Your Monthly Bills
Find out what your average bill is.
In order to change anything in life, you have to know where you currently are. The same goes for saving money. You need to be aware of how much you are currently paying. Don?t settle for just paying the bill. Analyze the bill. Are you being charged for extra services you do not need? Did you know you can see which days and hours are using the most energy in a month? Analyzing your bill also lets you know if there is an issue you are unaware of. Perhaps there?s a leak in one of your pipes and your water bill is now $100 more than normal, being aware of what your average bill helps you notice when things aren?t right.
Know when bills are due.
I can?t tell you the countless $3+ charges I?ve accumulated over the years because I?ve paid a bill a few days late. Be aware of when your bills are due. Those late charges quickly add up. If your bill falls before your check, call the company and ask that they change the due date. Most times they will, or at the very least ask them to give you a few extra days to pay your bill. The worst that can happen is that they say no.
Sign up for paperless billing and auto pay.
Some companies will provide a discount if you sign up for paperless billing. I think it?s only like 2% or $2 off, but hey it?s something! It also helps the environment. If you?re forgetful, auto pay will help those late payments be a thing of the past. But auto pay can act like a double-edged sword. Make sure you have the funds in your bank account and if you decide to make an early payment, they will still take out the funds on the date auto pay is assigned. Make sure you put a hold on auto pay if you don?t have the funds in the bank or you are planning on paying it on a different date. (If you end up over drafting on your bank, that a whole other bill you have to pay.)
Price compare to save big.
Just like knowing where you are, it?s good to know if there?s a better option. Most places make you commit with having a contract, but sometimes it is cheaper to pay for breaking a contract and going with a cheaper plan (insert prepaid cell phones here). Because of my husband needing the reliability of great coverage he has been sticking with Verizon, but I?ve been calling them off and on to see if there are better plans. The last time I called, they gave me a $30 inconvenience fee since there was no better plan. I was super excited and was not expecting that. Who knows, call and shop around, tell them you?re planning on leaving and they?ll work with you. See if your electric company has a ?time of use? plan (free or lowered electricity charges at certain times or days).
Look into loyalty programs.
Many cell phone providers offer loyalty programs. It never hurts to call and ask to be placed in one and see what the savings would be. Call your car insurance company, my insurance company offers a discount rate if you agree to join a safe drivers program. This alone saves me 10%, plus the savings for having my rental insurance through them too.
Unsubscribe from subscription programs.
With the internet having everything, I thought magazine subscriptions were a thing of the past. But apparently not. Tell me, what is in a magazine that you can?t find on Pinterest? And those Ipsy makeup boxes? Did you know that you can go to Sephora and ask for free samples of almost everything in the store? My husband loves Dollar Shave Club, but I did not like budgeting them in EVERY month, so we were able to change it to come in every 3 months instead of monthly. Perhaps consider changing the frequency if you must keep it.
Opt for Netflix or Amazon Fire Stick instead of cable.
If you?re trying to get financial freedom, cable is the first thing that must go. Opt for Netflix or an Amazon fire stick, the savings will be in the HUNDREDS over a course of a year.
Use LESS to save more.
I know, I know this should be common sense, but life happens and we can?t control what other family members do. But remind your kids constantly to shut off the light as they leave a room. When brushing your teeth or washing dishes, turn off the water when you?re not using it or at the very least, don?t open it all of the ways and stay on the cooler side to use less hot water.
Make a habit of making a meal plan.
Okay, groceries is not really a ?bill?, but considering that it has to be worked into the budget EVERY month, you may as well look at it as one and work on lowering your monthly food bill. The best way to do that is to create a meal plan. Creating a detailed meal plan is the only way I?ve been able to stay away from a food bank during the seasons of life where things happen.
Make sure your house is in good shape.
I?ve had my share of drafty windows and doors. As a matter of fact, this rental I just moved into is not well insulated at all. If you?re a renter, ask your landlord to update windows and doors. But not all landlords will. DO NOT invest in someone else?s property. But there are ways to DIY your home to conserve energy. Double check that your pipes are not leaking anywhere and go ahead and insulate them if they?re not already.
That?s it. 10 simple ways to help lower your monthly bills. If you know of more ways to save money on your monthly bills, post it below in the comments section!