How to Save Money on Bills and Reduce Monthly Expenses
Have you ever wondered if you were getting the best deal on your wireless, satellite or internet services? My friend Shelly did just that! Check out how easy it was for her to save money on bills that she previously thought were never going to change!
Let me start by saying, I consider myself a pretty frugal individual all around. I am drawn to those beautiful yellow clearance stickers, select date night based on what I have a coupon for, and purchase birthday presents months in advance because they are on sale. But for some reason, for years, I assumed that I paid what I paid on my monthly service bills, and that was it.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Check out my story to learn how to lower your monthly bills and see how I saved over $1,000 in just two hours using simple tactics!
How to Lower Monthly Bills (I Saved Over $1,000!)
In order to lower my bills, I began by taking a look at my monthly budget. You can easily do this if you’re using a budget tool like You Need a Budget or MoneyPatrol, but any budgeting system works. Check out some of our budget tutorials if you don’t already have one:
- How to Make a Budget With 7 Bank Accounts
- The NON-cash Budget System
- How to Make a Simple Budget Easily in 5 Steps!
- A Simple Guide to the Cash Envelope System
After analyzing my budget, I made a list of the companies in which I made regular monthly payments. I spent about an hour and 15 minutes doing extensive research on pricing, options, and anything and everything that was out there that I could get my frugal little hands on.
Once I had the information I needed to move forward, I began making phone calls. With the help of a few friendly customer service agents, here is what I was able to do.
Changed My Cell Service
My first call was to my wireless phone company. My conversation was short and sweet, which I certainly appreciated. I asked one question, “Am I getting the best deal you have and are there any ways to cut down my monthly bill?”
The customer service agent took a look at my account and within minutes suggested lowering my data plan. We weren’t using all we were paying for since we are really good about connecting to the wifi at home. Less than ten minutes of my time and so far I cut my annual bills down by $180!
Negotiated a New Satellite Plan
My next adventure consisted of seeing how much I could save with my satellite service provider. I educated myself on their current promotions, as well as those of their competitors. What I found is that several companies offer an introductory rate, which is good for about twelve months.
When I called, I was ready to terminate my service and sign up with one of their competitors to take advantage of the promotion. I connected with Ken, a well-trained customer service agent, and let him know I was not willing to pay a high price anymore. I shared with him what the competitors were offering.
After several minutes of discussing their rates and those of their competitors, he was able to cut my rate and save me $51 a month without having to change services. A short 12-minute phone call and I was saving an annual $612!
Update – Since that call, we have canceled cable and just use Netflix and Amazon Prime. I have found we watch even less TV now and save a LOT of money!
Changed My Internet Bundle
The internet is one service in which I was not willing to give up. In order to look up recipes, research deals, and upload the latest pictures of my little ones, I needed it! However, what I did not need was home phone and cable services.
Years ago, we had signed up for a bundled service in order to reduce our monthly internet costs. Or so, we thought. Bundle services can be great, but it’s important to make sure you are actually utilizing all of the services included. We weren’t.
When I called my internet service provider, I asked how much we would save by getting rid of the extras. The end result was $20 per month. We got rid of the extras and cut down our bill in about 15 minutes. We were paying $240 more a year than we needed to!
The End Result?
Two hours of my time and three phone calls is all it took me and I am saving just over $1,000 annually! What would you do with an extra $1,000 a year?
If you are looking for ways to cut down your monthly expenses, look at your budget. Set aside a couple of hours and find those companies in which you may be paying too much for their services. Do your research, pick up the phone and ask!
And if you’re still paying for cable, consider cutting the cord. This was one of the best decisions I’ve made and it’s saved me a ton of money.
Don’t Have Time to Negotiate Your Bills?
I totally get it. Phoning up companies, waiting on hold, and talking to different customer service agents can be a draining process. It works if you’re willing to do it, but if you don’t have the time or energy, it can get forgotten easily.
Luckily, there’s actually a service that will negotiate your bills for you. Seriously! It’s called BillShark, and it’s backed by Mark Cuban, one of the sharks from Shark Tank! Anyone else love that show?
Anyway, how it works is simple. BillShark has a team of sharks (real people) who are waiting to negotiate your bills. You can submit you internet, phone, or TV bill, and they’ll get to work right away.
They can even help you cancel subscriptions and find better insurance rates (home and auto).
Best of all, if you ask them to negotiate your bills, they only charge you if they successfully lock in a better deal. And even then, it’s only a one-time fee of 40% of any savings.
That means if they save you $100, they take $40 and you keep the rest. In other words, there’s really nothing to lose!
3 Other Ways to Save Money on Bills
There’s a good chance you have a lot more monthly expenses and bills you have to pay than just the three main services listed above. Once you’ve tackled those, here are a few other ways to reduce your monthly expenses for even more savings.
1. Cancel Your Gym Membership
I’m a big advocate of working out and staying healthy, but if you aren’t going to actually USE your gym membership, there’s no point in wasting money on it. Instead, try making a habit of going on walks/runs, or try coming up with an at-home workout routine that works for you.
2. Lower Your Grocery Bill
Spending money on groceries is a necessity that we can’t really cut out completely, but there are plenty of ways to save in this area. For example, by meal planning or using cashback apps at the grocery store, we can make some quick and easy savings.
For more tips, check out our post on how to save money at the grocery store without coupons.
3. Use a Programmable Thermostat
Heating and cooling use up a ton of energy so if you’re looking to save money on your electricity or gas bill, installing a programmable thermostat is a fantastic choice. Having one allows you to set a schedule for your heating and cooling, and you can typically control your temps with your phone as well. That means while you’re at work you or sleeping, you can automatically set things to be more energy – and money – efficient.
Want more tips? Check out these posts:
There you have it! Six ways in total to save money on bills. If you can use the tactics above to save just a small chunk of money on each one of the common monthly expenses above, you can potentially save hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars each year. Good luck!
Have any other tips for those looking to reduce bills and monthly expenses? Leave them in the comments!
Other Posts You Might Like:
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