Save Money on Your Monthly Bills

We can pinch pennies and be as budget-savvy as possible, but let’s face the facts – there are some expenses we just can’t get around. That doesn’t mean you can’t get your money’s worth out of the services you need. Below are some ways to save on bills that most of us have to pay every month – feel free to add to our list and share your tips with us!

Phone service – Very few people use both a house and a cell phone number nowadays, so consider sticking to just one. Take some time to review your plan and make sure you’re paying for what you actually use. Why pay for extra minutes and data if they’re just being wasted? Scale down to a cheaper plan that has everything you need. You could even consider combining multiple cell phone plans into one family plan to share the minutes and data that you have. *Tip: Check with your employer for discounts! A number of companies now offer cell phone service to their employees at a cheaper rate than the general public receives.

Your heating/cooling costs – We all like to be comfortable, but consider turning your thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer. You can get 1% of your heating and cooling cost back per degree changed. If you have a larger (or older) house, check to be sure that no drafts are coming in through windows or doors, and only heat the areas you need. Investing in better windows and insulation will cost more up-front but can reduce your monthly bills in the long run.

Your electric bill – Turn off lights and appliances when you’re not using them, and unplug when you can to eliminate “phantom loads” (basically anything that still uses energy while it’s not being used, like toasters or cell-phone chargers). Using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs will also save you a few bucks every year.

Your mortgage – Consider refinancing when interest rates are low. You can also opt to make payments more frequently than once per month, therefore paying off the loan early. *Tip: Check with your lender to find out if they charge an up-front fee to use this option.

Cable and internet – Only pay for what you use; if you’re not watching all 800 channels that come with your package, switch to one that only has the basics. Most people could actually rule out cable, since many shows and movies are now available online to watch at your convenience. If you do like to have both, bundling your packages together will get you a cheaper monthly rate. Live in an apartment? Consider sharing services and splitting your monthly bill with a neighbor. Find a few more savings tips over here.

Insurance – Always shop around for the best rates. You might even be able to get a better deal with your current provider simply by telling them you’d like to switch to someone else. We talk more about this here. For extra savings, ask if they offer a deal for combining your auto and home insurance into one plan.

Your water bill – Run full loads of laundry in cold water, and run the dishwasher when it’s full (it actually takes more water to wash dishes by hand). Check for and fix any leaky faucets or pipes. Cut time off of your showers and install a low-flow shower head for extra savings. And the simplest thing to do – don’t let the water run if you’re not using it!