When you need things like insurance, electricity, and internet, it can feel like you have to settle for whatever the bill amount is. Absolutely not! Sure, you won’t be able to actually get out of paying for such items on a monthly basis, but you can definitely do things to tip the payment amount in your favor. The CGS Team is sharing ways to cut back on some of the most common monthly bills, so that you can use that extra money for savings or paying off debts.
Cell Phone & Data Plans
We all need cell phones, well most of us do. If you are like every other American, you likely have a smart phone, which comes with extra data plan requirements. Some service providers charge you for more data than you need.
Review your past monthly statements to see if you have stayed under your data limits. If so, it may be time to reduce your data plan and save a few extra bucks.
In addition to data cutbacks, you may be able to save other ways. Do you use your personal cell phone for work? Are you getting reimbursed by your employer? If the answer is no, ask your manager if there is a possibility for a partial reimbursement of your cell phone bill.
Most companies offer reimbursements, but you have to ask. If your employer doesn’t offer reimbursements, be sure to include the annual amount on your tax return. Form 2106 is used for Unreimbursed Employee Expenses.
Insurance is something we can’t get out of. Whether it’s auto, home or health insurance, we all need it. Most employers offer affordable health care plans to their employees, so you may not be able to do much in that area.
Although, you should be taking advantage of any HSA or FSA plans offered to you as an employee! If you are paying auto insurance, try getting on your parent’s or sibling’s plan.
Most companies offer a multiple car discount, so everyone can save! Also, if you own your own home, bundle your auto insurance with your homeowner’s insurance to save major bucks.
If you don’t have a parent or sibling’s plan to join, and don’t own a home, all is not lost. If you’ve had a clean driving record, consider shopping around for lower rates.
Your insurance premium should not be more than 10x the value of your car. If it is, you are likely paying too much. Check out the article 4 Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance Premium for more tips!
You should already know this, but always turning the lights off when you aren’t home, making sure faucets are fully shut off, and keeping the thermostat around 78 degrees in the summer can save you on your power and water bills.
In addition to those practices, turn off your devices (power-save mode isn’t as effective as being turned off completely), programming your thermostat to turn off when you aren’t home or are sleeping, and using the “cool” cycle instead of “warm” or “hot” when doing laundry can also save you money.
You can take it a step further by having an energy audit done on your home or apartment. Most utility companies offer free audits to their customers to help them see how much energy they are using and how they can possible cut back. Give your utility a company a call to see what tips they can share with you! Also, read 4 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill for more tips.
Cable and Internet
If you find yourself only watching specific channels or shows, but you have an entire cable package, consider switching to a data-based TV service like Hulu or Vudu which provide on-demand TV shows.
If you don’t want to cut out cable completely, shop around. Take your current rate to competitors to see if they can offer a better service price. You can also let your current provider know you are shopping around. To keep customers, they often throw in free movie channels or offer temporary discounts.
When it comes to internet, make sure you aren’t paying for the fastest service, especially if you don’t need it. Often times, service providers will provide customers with the fastest internet service, unless they ask otherwise.
You can function perfectly fine with a slightly slower service and save money in the process. Lastly, check to see if you are paying equipment rental fees.
Companies charge a monthly fee for customers who use company-provided modems and routers. If you’re being charged, it may be cheaper for you to invest in your own modem or router.
Related: 4 Ways to Save an Extra $100 a Month.
While each of the tips above require action on your part, it’s certainly worth it if you can save money! Don’t let laziness or contentment keep you from trying to cut back your monthly expenses. You never know until you try, and you may be surprised at some of the major savings you are missing out on. Do you have any tips for keeping your monthly expenses as low as possible? Have you tried negotiating lower rates? Post a comment below to share your tips and feedback with the community!