5 Simple Ways to Cut Your Bills
When you are looking for ways to save money or cut back on your expenses, you need to consider all of your options, including alternative ways to receive some of the services that you rely on. Often the traditional plans and services are much more expensive than switching to a less traditional method. In many budgeting articles, you may read that you should cancel this or cut out bad financial habits completely.
These ideas will help you save money and give alternatives, so you can continue to enjoy the things most important to you. These suggestions can make it easier to deal with fluctuating utility bills in your budget. You may also want to consider the hourly cost of the things you want to determine if you should cut the item or keep it. You may also want to look for ways to save on rent in addition to implementing these five ideas.
Switch Cable to Netflix or Hulu
One of the most expensive but expendable aspects of many people’s budget is cable television or satellite. The monthly cost can range from $60 to well over $100. You can easily cut the cost and really not feel it, especially if you do not spend a lot of time watching television. Many people are canceling cable and switching to using Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, or other streaming services as their main source of television shows. You can even share accounts between family members or a group of friends for extra savings. Each of these services cost less than $10 a month, and you can watch most of your shows online. Switching from cable or canceling all together can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Dump Your Cell Phone Contract for a Prepaid Phone
Your cell phone bill is another area where you may be overpaying each month. Cell phone companies lock you into contracts, and you have to pay an early cancellation fee to get out of the contract. Often you do not need all of the bells and whistles that you are paying for. You can save money by cutting back on your data usage and lowering your service plan to the bare minimum. It may be worth it to pay the buyout fee to cancel your contract, but that depends on how much time you have left on your contract versus the cost of paying the cancellation fee. You can use a smartphone with the prepaid plans. If you do not use your phone a lot or you do not want to be locked down in a contract, prepaid cell phones can save you a lot of money. You can port your current number with it.
Shop for New Car Insurance
One easy way to save on your car insurance is to shop for a new policy every few years. If you have a bad driving record, you may not be able to find the same savings. However, if your record is clean, you can save on your premium by looking for new insurance. Pay attention to your policy and ask them to adjust it when you turn 25 and qualify for lower insurance rates. If you know a ticket has just dropped off of your record, you can ask your current insurance company to evaluate your rate again. That is a great time to look for a new company. You may qualify for discounts through your employer or your alumni association Take the time to look it up.
Cancel Your Landline (If You Haven't Already)
There is no reason to have a traditional landline in your home. Cancel this plan and rely primarily on your cell phones. If you are worried because you have young children at home and you want 911 access, try switching to a VOIP line instead. This will give you a much better rate on everything from call waiting to long distance. Ooma is one service with good service and a low monthly rate that basically just covers the taxes for your line.
Stop Eating Out
Another way to cut down on your bills is to stop eating out completely. It is a lot more expensive to eat out every day. Pack your leftovers for lunches and work on cooking dinner each night. The amount that you spend on food each month should drop a great deal by just making your meals from home. This may be the most difficult one to implement over time, but the savings will add up to be even more than the other strategies if you were eating out every day.