The first of the month is a time that many of us dread.
As our monthly bills need to be paid, our bank accounts drain and we’re left scrambling until the next payday comes around.
Heat, water, electric and other utilities are all necessities, but that doesn’t mean you need to pay high prices for them.
There are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of money you’re spending on your bills.
Whether you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck (hopefully not!) or living comfortably, you still want to save money.
To help you lower your monthly costs, we’ve compiled a bill-by-bill guide, complete with tips on what you can do to put more money in your pocket.
Gas and Electric
Most of us find that our highest bills are for gas and electric, especially when using an air conditioner during the hot summer months or a heater during the cold winter months. Other large appliances, like the refrigerator, run on electricity. While you may not be able to cut your electric or gas bill completely, there are a few things you can do to pay less each month.
First, think about the temperature you’re cooling or heating your house too. Does it really need to be at that temperature? While a couple degrees may not make a huge difference to you, you’ll be able to see the difference on your electric bill. Instead, grab a blanket or a fan.
You can also cut your electric bill by unplugging large appliances that you’re not using. While you don’t need to go around and unplug every item, TVs, radios, and other large items still use power even when they’re not plugged in. If you have extra TVs or things you rarely use, leave them unplugged.
Cable and Internet
While cable and internet may not be as big of a necessity as gas and electric, it is still pretty important to us, especially if you’re a student or need to do work from home. However, you don’t necessarily need to pay for the largest plan when you sign up. Consider how much you actually watch TV and if you use any streaming services, such as Netflix. If you don’t use cable, don’t pay for it.
You can also lower your bills by shopping around. If you understand what your other options are and if certain providers have deals, you may be able to drop a few dollars from your monthly bill.
Water bills can be largely influenced by your home and the appliances in your home. If you have a washing machine and dish washer, you may find that your water bill is higher than if you needed to go to a Laundromat or wash your dishes by hand. Your water bill will also be influenced by whether or not you have low-flush toilets.
To drop the amount you’re paying on water, you’ll want to cut the amount of time spent in the shower down and check for potential leaks in your pipes. You can also cut your water bill by only running your washing machine or dish washer when loads are full, which can prevent you from running them too frequently.
Insurance is one of those expenses that seems more like a gamble. Because you only use insurance when something goes wrong, it can seem like an expense that you don’t want to pay too much for. However, if something should happen where you need to use your insurance, you want to be properly covered. So, how do you know how much you should really be paying?
Consider what your needs are. What is the minimum that you can be paying each month? Are there other steps you can take to ensure your insurance will not be needed? Does it really make sense to pay the amount that you’re paying?
Doing some simple math can help you determine if you’re paying too much in insurance. If you can cut your costs while building up a savings account that could be used if you’re in an accident, you may be better off than giving the money right to your insurance provider.
Cellphones are no longer a luxury. In today’s age, they’ve become a necessity, but you don’t need to be paying hundreds of dollars on a phone plan each month. Unfortunately, with data plans, cellphone bills can get rather expensive.
When determining the right cellphone plan for you, consider how much time you spend on your phone when you’re away from wifi. If you can connect to the internet while you’re at work or at home, you shouldn’t need to purchase a cellphone plan with a large amount of data. On the other hand, you may end up spending more each month if you’re frequently going over your data allowance.
To cut your cellphone bill, take a look at what you truly need. Do you need to always be connected, no matter where you are? Or can you use your data on an emergency-only plan to save a few bucks?
There are a number of memberships, programs, subscriptions and more that we pay for on a monthly basis that we don’t really need. From video streaming services like Netflix or Hulu to music apps like Apple Music or Spotify, these little conveniences can quickly add up.
While each subscription may only be around $10, if you’re signed up for a few, this could quickly become one of your more expensive areas. Think about which subscriptions you really use and cancel the rest. With that extra cash in your pocket, you won’t even notice that the service is missing.
Unfortunately, bills are necessary and they need to be paid. But when you’re smart about what you’re using and what you owe, you can pay less.
No matter who you are and in most circumstances there is always ways to save a little more money and put cash into your pocket. Take action to apply these tips into your life today. It doesn't do anybody any good to just have the knowledge if you don't apply it. Go down the list of bills one by one and try using the tips I mentioned above. Let me know how it goes and comment below on any tips on how you save money.
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