As you may know by now, I try to be smart with my money, so I can spend it on some luxuries on occasion. Several months ago, I wrote down all of our monthly bills. I was shocked! I spent a day analyzing where I could cut spending and waste. Overall, I saved $120 a month ($1,440 a year). That equals two plane tickets to Central or South America!! By challenging charges, changing cell phone rate plans, and creating more effective habits, I saved money over the year and established a stronger sense of awareness for my lifetime. That is priceless my friends! Here are some easy ways to reduce your bills!
Look for “bundles”. If your phone company has not solicited you to bundle services, then you should look into it. Often, you will find “build your own bundle” for your phone, internet, and cable/satellite service. Your biggest savings will be in the first year. If you decide to bundle, then mark your calendar for exactly one year later. Once you reach the marked date, check if your rates have changed. Here are links to Verizon and AT&T bundles.
Read your bills line by line. It isn’t fun and it takes time, but it’s worth it! I looked at my cable bill after the introductory rate was over. I cut out a few channels that I didn’t know existed. This saved us $22 a month. If you don’t have the opportunity to lower your bill or cut charges, you should still be conscious of any wasteful spending. You can make necessary adjustments by simply being aware.
Cell phone bills are often the biggest culprit of unnecessary fees. While looking at my cell phone bill, I found a bogus charge. I was kind enough to vote for my friend’s baby in a contest and it charged my phone $10.99 every month. Oh hell no! I made my phone company reverse those charges since I was not aware of them.
Never call 411 again. Google instead at Text 466-743 (Google) the company name and city. You will receive a text back with the address and phone number to any business.
See if you are actually using all the minutes in your cell phone plan. If you have “rollover minutes”, then lower your monthly minute until your roll-over minutes are exhausted. Afterwards, you can change back to your previous plan. Just remember to keep an eye on your account every month. You can also get a family plan with your spouse to reduce costs. These adjustments saved us $70 a month.
Create good habits. Your electricity bill usually spikes up in the summer. If you have anything on an automatic timer, be sure to reduce the time setting during the summer (pool pumps may be the only exception). Also, if you have power strips, just switch them off when they are not in use. Turn off your computer in the evenings (sleep mode is helpful too), use energy efficient bulbs, and use a slow cooker since they are more energy efficient. I think slow cookers are an excellent idea in the summer, since they will cook while you are away from home.
Check your insurance bills. Check your home, auto, and life insurance bills and make sure you have the best rate. They have alumni discounts, outstanding student discounts, teacher discounts, matrimonial discounts, and so on. Give them a call and ask if there are any discounts you are eligible to receive. I saved 30% from being married, by having a good driving record, and by obtaining a bachelor’s degree.
Lower your credit card bill. Call your credit card company and ask if they can reduce your interest rate. You can even email them this request. It is an easy step that works! Also, pay more than your minimum each month so you can pay down your debt in a timely manner. My rule of thumb is, if you can’t pay it off within two months, you have no business getting it. You can also negotiate to pay the card off in a lump sum for pennies on the dollar. For instance, if you have a bill that is $2,000, but offer to pay them $1,200 right now, they may accept it. I believe you have to be in default to do that. However, I don’t suggest going into default on purpose. I haven’t done this before, but it exists.
Here is a link to a good hub. It will show you how to lower different types of bills: http://www.wikihow.com/Lower-Your-Monthly-Bills
Well, these are tried and true tips! Yes, you will spend some time and it may become frustrating, but it is well worth it in the long run. Be aware of how your money is spent and make adjustments. And a year later, book that vacation! Please feel free to comment and share your bill cutting techniques as well!