It is important to review your bills each month and review your finances. I am always searching for ways to save money on bills!
What if you could save money each month and reduce your bills? Today I want to discuss simple ways to save money on bills.
There are probably a few fixed bills that you cannot change immediately, such as a rent or a mortgage payment. Instead, let's focus on bills that you can change right away!
If your utilities bill are high for half the year and low the other half, consider signing up for a pro-rated plan. A pro-rated plan is your average bill over the course of twelve months. This could help you save money right away!
Cell phone plan
Consider switching cell phone carriers or shopping around for different plans. If you are locked into a two year plan, consider contacting your provider for a lower rate that a competitor has available.
I check my cell phone plan every few months to see if there is a better plan available. I was able to knock $10 off my monthly bill recently because I found a better plan.
Lump your insurance plans together and pay in advance
Did you know you can receive a discount if you put your auto insurance and home insurance plans together with the same provider? This also applies to other various types of insurance.
Additionally, you can also save money when you play for your plan in full. This saved me nearly $400 on my home insurance policy recently as I opted to pay for the entire year at once instead of over twelve monthly payments.
Cable vs. streaming
I know, I know. Everyone says to cut cable. On the other hand, if your cable bill is your monthly entertainment, pay attention to current specials for new customers as well. I was able to receive free premium channels for 6 months just for asking. If you can't get a discount, you might as well ask what else you can get for the price you are paying.
If you don't have cable, do you have Netflix, Hulu Plus or Amazon? It's easy to sign up with all the streaming services when you don't have cable, but do you really need every option available? Consider cutting back on one service, even if it's only saving you $10 per month. That's $10 that can go into an emergency fund or towards paying off a bill!
Make sure you review your internet plan as well. My provider tried to convince me that I needed to upgrade to a faster internet speed which comes with a heftier price tag.
Amazingly, my internet is pretty quick with the standard speed and I don't feel I am missing out on anything.
If you drive under 10,000 miles, shop around for car insurance that is for low mileage drivers.
My car insurance rate dropped about 35% from doing this. Consider looking into pay-per-mile plans if you drive very, very little.
This type of plan is more common in urban areas where people generally use public transportation instead of driving.
Take the pantry challenge
I love to go out to eat and not cook. I've worked hard to cut down on this expense and it's probably my most frivolous spending category. You with me on this? Over the past few months, I've worked really hard to reduce this expense.
I normally don’t stockpile, but I’ve found myself buying groceries lately and not using what it’s in my pantry and freezer. I’m talking about frozen fruit and veggies, pasta, sauce, soup, bread mixes, a bag of apples – the list goes on and on! I decided to take a week off from grocery shopping and use the staples that are in my kitchen. I call it a pantry challenge!
The hardest part about this challenge is that it’s boring! To make this challenge exciting, I made a list of all the different meals I could make and stuck it on my fridge for inspiration. I’ve also looked at recipes online to find some dishes that I normally don’t make to make it more fun.
My savings for skipping groceries for a week and not dining out were a little over $100. How much do you think you could save by taking the pantry challenge?
Save and double check on fees
If you can’t pay off your credit card each month, call and ask for a lower APR rate. I know this is a little awkward, but do it anyways. The credit card company isn’t just going to do this for you – you have to ask for it! If you are uncomfortable calling, try sending an email instead.
If you pay on time and have a good credit history with them, most companies will work with you on this. Sometimes it does involve running a soft credit check, but if this means lowering your APR rate several points, why not?
Don’t forget to review your other bills each month, like your credit card statements, cell phone bill and cable bill. Have you ever paid a bill late and been charged a late fee? That’s the worst!
I recently forgot to pay my credit card and was charged a $25 late fee for paying a day late. That’s a ridiculous amount to pay! I called my credit card company and they took it off my bill. If this happens to you – don’t accept it. Always call and try to have it taken off.
Check out Groupon, Living Social or Amazon Local for oil change, car maintenance specials and car washes. You can often save 50% off the full retail price by using a coupon.
3 action steps you can do right now to save money on bills
Get your finances in order
Create a budget, make a list of your debt, learn your credit score…the list goes on and on! The best way to get started is to check out Side Hustle Your Way Out of Debt.
This is a really budget friendly two-part course that covers:
- How to create a budget (includes a budget spreadsheet you can use in Excel)
- How to get your credit score and what it means. You'll learn what your options are based on your credit score so you know how to move forward
- How to get out of debt (includes a debt spreadsheet you can use in Excel)
- 40+ ways to start side hustling, with many work from home options. Everyone needs to try to side hustle if they want to get out of debt!
Start saving, even if it's only a few dollars a week
Whether you want to start an emergency fund or a vacation fund, you have to start setting some money aside. If you're like most people and struggle with saving, you should consider using Digit.
I've just started using this free program and love it. Digit lets you save money each week from your checking account. What I really like about Digit is that it analyzes my bank account and determines how much I can really save per week. Some weeks it might be $5 and other times it might be $20. You don't have to worry about overdraft and can contribute less or more if you need to. As of now, I don't know an easier way to save money! You can learn more about Digit here.
Use Ibotta if you don't coupon
Ibotta is a cell phone app that lets you earn cash back rebates from your purchases. This is by far one of my favorite ways to earn cash back on groceries since I don't like to cut coupons.
I also love this app because you can use it every single time you go to the grocery store or places like Target or Walmart. You just scan your receipt, see what items you purchased have a rebate, and then redeem the rebate.
What I like best about this app is that many of the rebates aren’t brand specific. This means you can typically find a rebate that is for something like “$0.50 off any brand of milk” or “$0.75 off any brand of bread”. The savings add up fast! Join Ibotta and earn a $10 cash bonus!
Want to learn more specific strategies? Check out these dedicated posts:
- 12 Dumb Mistakes I Made Getting Out of Debt
- How to Pay Medical Bills
- How to Save Money on Pet Food
- How to Start Selling on eBay