Saving Money On Your Bills

Simple yet powerful ways to save on your bills

Most people feel that the bills they get are inevitable. Nothing they can change or adjust the price you pay. But the exact opposite is true. While some bills are static and unchanging, it is the choices that we make that will control our bills.

In this post I will discuss 7 simple yet very powerful ways you can get all your high bills under control. The key comes down to recognizing excess and getting rid of anything extra.

Phone Services

There are a couple of ways to resolve high cell phone bills. Most cells phones have a payment plan whenever you buy a new phone. This can add an extra $20-$30 per phone to your account. Talk about a high cost when you have many lines. The solution here is to buy higher end phones that will last much longer than 1-2 years. In our case, we purchased phones that can take more abuse. So far, we are in more than 3 years and still going strong. Assuming a 2-year payoff plan at $22 a month, we have now saved an extra $528 between mine and my wife’s phones.

Cell Phone ServiceThe next big hit most cell phone users take is data. Anymore these day most cell phone providers give you unlimited talk and text for a set rate. Where they get you is the data. To start saving here, you need to track your usage. Do you use a bunch of data everywhere or only when traveling? Does your workplace provide Wi-Fi service that you can use? Find every place you can use Wi-Fi and use that instead. Then see how much data you use the next month. If you can move your plan down to the next lower level. But don’t forget a buffer space if you plan does not include slower data after the high speed gets used up. You do not want extra charges from underestimating.

This last phone item seems to hit home with families and older couples. And that is the landline phone. Most people have cell phones, combined with service at home and unlimited talk. But some still have a landline. The average cost for a landline is around $25 per month. That is $300 a year going to a device that may only get used once or twice a month. Say you only make 3 calls, and the total minutes used is 120. That makes it $0.20 per minute. Ouch. Get rid of that thing.

Internet & TV

Do you have cable TV? How much TV do you watch? Add up the total viewing time. Also write down the channels you are watching the most. Now take your bill and divide the cable usage into the cost of the cable service. How much are you paying per minute to use the TV? Could you cut down on that huge channel package and switch to a smaller one? Are the shows you are watching available on Over the Air (TV Antenna) services? Basic cable runs between $10-$30 a month. Enhanced cable packages can be $100’s. Lots of savings room.

Cable TV ServiceAnother option is to cut the cord. Consider services like Hulu, Netflix & Amazon. Also Over the Air channels. See if you can save the monthly bill from the cable company. But be mindful. Trading 1 $30 service for 3 $15 services is not going to be helping you. Do you need to view your shows on 2 TV’s at once? Or in ultra HD on a 30″ TV? Always be mindful of the minimums. Find the lowest plan possible.

Internet is another big one. The big internet companies like to make you think that you must have the fastest possible speed. They make it sound like nothing will work otherwise. But this is not the truth. Netflix on one device uses an average of 5mbps for the HD shows. See the Netflix help page on speeds. Internet browsing itself uses much less. Now don’t get me wrong, more speed will make things load faster. Yet ask yourself this question: Will 1 second or less make a difference vs a large bill hike? The average 3-4-person home will do fine on 25mbps internet.

Be mindful of bundles. Recently we moved from 150mbps internet back to our normal 50mbps. The price difference between the 2 plans was only $5 a month. But the deal we had was expiring and the bill was going to jump up $125 a month. We never used the full 150mbps, but the savings was worth it. After the deal expired it was time to move on. Bundle when you can, but track the deals and know when they end. Move off the expensive plan before the deal ends and avoid the bill hikes.

Insurance & other bills

When is the last time that you researched your insurance costs? Recently we started shopping around after a bill increase. The increase was due to ‘Area driving rate increases’ that had nothing to do with us. And this was a $50 increase per month. After some calls and running the numbers, we moved to a new insurance provider. In the end we are paying $10 less per month than before with better coverage on both vehicles and our home.

Don’t sit back and think the bills are stuck as they are. Companies are always trying to raise little bits at a time hoping you won’t notice. If you don’t do the leg work, you could be stuck on some out of date plan paying 3 times what a new customer pays. A few minutes spent every few months calling the different bill providers will go a long way. Many will have loyalty plans or deals that you may qualify for. But you will never get it if you don’t ask.

Wrap Up

Is your mind churning now? Ready to grab some savings? Start calling. Now. Go do it and save some hard-earned cash. Got a different idea that saves some cash on your bills? Let us know in the comments. We love to hear from our readers.

Posted by Alex & Ashley in Frugal Living

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