When is the last time you did a bill cleanse? A time where you have sat down, looked at all of the bills you pay on a monthly or quarterly basis, and asked yourself, am I overspending and is there room to slash certain expenses. While the majority of your bills may be fixed expenses, there are many ways to reduce your monthly bills if you know where to look:
Reduce Monthly Data Plans
You love checking emails and Facebook on your smartphone, but you may not be using as much data as you think. Take a look at your bill to see how much data you’re using per month and if you are signed up for ‘too much data’ – see if you can get by with a lower data plan. Go the extra step to save on your monthly cell phone bill and team up with your family and/or friends and sign up for a family plan. Many times, enrolling in a family plan can save you extra $20-$30 a month than if you were in a plan on your own.
Bundle Services
Another option to save on monthly bills is to bundle your services. Most providers now offer bundled services for Internet, phone, and cable. Research the competition because the deals are always out there. A word of warning though: Avoid signing a long-term contract whenever possible just to avoid paying disconnection fees should you decide to part ways with your provider. You can also go the extra step and get rid of your home phone – especially, if you’re barely using it.
Check for Hidden Fees
Look closely at your credit card and utility bills and your bank statements. See if there’s anything you haven’t noticed before like a “monthly maintenance fee” or a “service fee.” Call the bank or service provider and find out what you can do to get it taken off. Although it may sound extreme, sometimes threatening to cancel your service can inspire companies to remove unnecessary charges or give you a monthly discount. Even though the fees can seem small, if you have several bills that charge a $5 monthly maintenance fee, you’ll spend hundreds per year.
Save on Groceries
Sign up for your grocer’s loyalty program. By doing this, you save money every time you buy groceries. You also get loyalty member-only coupons in the mail. Many stores such as Safeway also offer gas reward points that can save you up to 20 cents per gallon. You should also check out your store’s generic brands – you might be pleasantly surprised.
Split Bills:
Split Netflix – Within a Netflix account, you can create two additional accounts that can be used by friends and/or family members. Team up with someone to split a Netflix account. You can also take this the extra mile and dump your cable bill!
Roommates – Water, Waste, Gas and Electric bills can all be split with everyone living in a household. The key here is to communicate ways to lower the cost of the bills – taking shorter showers, only doing laundry twice a month, being cautious of leaving the lights on when no one is home, unplugging unused appliances and electronics, etc. When everyone living in a household is doing their part to conserve water, electricity and gas, the bills will drastically decrease.
What other ways can you think of to save on your recurring bills?