We’ve all been there before. You’re eating grilled cheese sandwiches and store-brand chicken noodle soup for dinner because you just don’t have the money to go grocery shopping. You’ve got to pay your mortgage. You’ve got to pay your power bill. How can a family these days make ends meet? Here are some ways to save money on your bills every month.
Momma always told you to turn those lights off. There was a reason for that. Turn off any powered appliances you are not using. Invest in incandescent light bills. They cost a little more than regular light bulbs, but they use a lot less energy, so you’ll save money if you install them throughout your house. And, they’re better for the environment, too.
Are you paying extra for special movie channels? Go ahead and turn them off. Cut your bill down by lowering your services to the basic package. Do you really need digital television? So it comes in a little more clearly. You can save a lot of money by switching to the most basic package your company offers. You can surely find something to watch on television on the basic package, and on special occasions, you can rent the latest movies. (Try checking out movies at your local library-it’s free!) That way, you still get to see the latest movies, and you get to save money.
Cell Phone Bill
Just about everyone has a cell phone these days. Even if you don’t use it all the time, you probably have one for ’emergencies’. Call your cell phone provider and ask if you are on the most basic plan they offer. Often times when you sign up for a plan, a sales person will put you on a plan that is a little higher just so he can make a little more on his commission. You can lower your bill by switching to the most essential plan that they offer, and still have your phone…you know, for ’emergencies’. Do the same thing with your home phone.
Credit Card Bills
Have you ever thought about asking for a lower interest rate on your credit cards? Chances are, that if you pay your bills on time every month, that you can most likely get your interest rate decreased simply by calling and asking. They aren’t going to simply offer a lower rate up front. The credit card company is just that-a company. They are in business to make money. However, if you actually call and ask for a lower rate, they will do their best to help you. If they can’t help you, they will most likely tell you how long you should wait before calling back and asking again. Lowering your interest rate on your cards can lower your monthly payments, and in turn, lower the amount you pay for all of your purchases through your credit cards.
We all have to pay a mortgage bill or rent. If you pay rent, consider whether it is a good option to look for a home with a lower rent, or consider purchasing if your mortgage will be equal to or less than what you are currently paying in rent. If you have a mortgage, look into refinancing before rates go skyrocketing through the roof again. Find a company that can offer you a lower interest rate than what you have now and weigh your options for including additional cash in your refinance loan to pay off old debts.
Lastly, insurance can be a big bill every month. For home insurance, life insurance, and vehicle insurance, look into paying your entire 6 month or 12 month premium all at once-tax return time is a great time to pay these items all at once. Most companies will give you a discount for paying up front. In addition, it’s one less payment you will have to pay every month. Also, ask for discounts from your agent for having all your insurance with one provider, for good driving, for living near a fire department, and any other discounts of which your agent might be aware.
Re-route your drive to work and school. Are you really driving the shortest distance? Mapping out the shortest drive to work and school every day will save you money on gas in the long run. Also, clip coupons and print coupons from the Internet to save money on your groceries. Shop when the stores are having sales and stock up on nonperishable items that you know your family eats a lot of. Plus, make meals that will last for two nights instead of just one. Ten cents here and there may not seem like a lot, but it all adds up in the end.
All in all, it may not seem like a lot of money saved off of each bill, but if you save a little money on each of your monthly bills, it all adds up. My family just lowered our bills by about $500 a month by employing these techniques. If we can do it, you can too!