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!

How to reduce bills

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, but any budgeting system works. Check out some of our budget tutorials if you don’t already have one:

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.

Person on laptop managing monthly expenses

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.

Lower monthly bills

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 our post on how to save on your heating bill.

How to save money on bills

Final Thoughts

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!

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Monthly expenses paper with calculator

Comments

  • Look at the interest rate you pay for your home mortgage, and decide if you will still be living there a few years from now. You might be better off refinancing the mortgage. Depends on your personal situation.

  • Have you looked into an ooma phone? It’s like vonage but you own it. It’s a VOIP (voice over Internet phone). As long as you have high speed internet, you have a house line. I bought mine for 200.00, but I’ve seen them as low as 79. No additional costs. Ever. You CAN pay for the premier services (extras) for like 12/month and get a blacklist and a second line and call forwarding. I don’t. I just enjoy the same number whenever I move and no phone bill 🙂

    • A landline is not just a house phone, it is an actual system of wires dedicated to phone service. Just because you have a phone at home that is not cellular or mobile does NOT make it a landline.

      Vonage and Ooma are VOIP (voice over internet protocol) and do NOT have the same 911 capabilities as an actual landline phone. So, if you get VOIP phone, you need to test 911 and make sure they can find you in an emergency. If you have a landline phone, the 911 is built in to the system.

      Also, if you have lots of power outages in your area, landline phones do NOT need the regular electrical grid to work as they have their own low voltage in the system to keep them going. If you have a voIP phone, you will be limited to 2 to 6 hours, depending on if you have a booster in your home. Some you may have none!

      So, while you think you may be saving money by getting rid of your landline phone, you need to take safety in to consideration. If you are gone a lot and have a baby sitter for them or if you have sick people in your home, having a landline can be a lifesaver!

    • I disconnected landline for MagicJack Plus, it’s about $69 initial cost & you can bring your previous phone number with you. It’s a VOIP service & completely portable via laptop, home phone, or cell phone app. Cost for annual is around $39, it relays on Internet access.
      I’ve been using this option for over 5 years, my only issue has been when charger has started to go bad. This makes calls sporadic and thus constantly needs to be reset through router.
      It’s a very small inconvenience compared to the savings for the availability of use.
      Hope this option helps someone looking for an alternative.

  • I’m a former Directv employee, as is my hubby- we met there, as CRG (Customer Retention Group) agents. We cut the cord, altogether- no cable or satellite! If you really want to save some bucks, look into just doing Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu- with those three, we’re getting everything we want, and we get it all on-demand. So long as you have internet, you can have those three. As someone who’s had ALL of the premium services, I can honestly say that satellite and cable just aren’t worth what you pay for ’em! 🙂

    • They are advertising sling $20/month and you get ESPN. Never tried it out know anyone who has but they are offering a free trial, also amazon is offering deals on the fire stick and box if you sign up. There is no contract. I too use just Netflix, amazon, hulu and I am thinking of getting slingo for the hubby.

    • We are cable free and avid college football and basketball fans. We stream games over the internet. With our rabbit ears, we have HD tv. We didn’t have HD with our expensive cable bill.

    • I also have just netflix, huluplus, and Amazon prime. That is all I need. I have student amazon prime, plus, if you choose the option of slower shipping when you buy something with prime shipping, they will often give you a $1 credit towards a movie. I try to do that when I can.

    • If you have a smart phone through Verizon you can stream games through their nfl mobile app! It’s not as fun as watching it on the tv but my husband and I were happy 🙂

  • Love this post! I can’t wait to look at my expenses now and see what I can cut out!

  • Great article! I just found this blog, and look forward to reading more!

  • If you’re looking at different cell phones – we now have Cricket Wireless (uses ATT phones and towers) and pay $50/month for both mine and my husband’s phones (if we add one more person, it goes down to $40 for both!)! Unlimited talk, text, and data. We saved almost $1000 a year by just switching over!

  • What’s the cheapest way to get high speed internet alone? I find that Comcast always makes the bundle cheapest (not really). Help.

    • Melissa, did you get a response? I also have Comcast. My rate just went up yesterday, to much. I am looking into Netflix, Huluplus, and Amazon prime, a landline and internet. We bundle with Comcast, rate went up to $253 after special rate, had it reduce to $155 last year; yesterday, got a bill for $179 and lost a prime channel which they said that we should not of had any way. HELP. THANKS

  • We have the Ooma and we haven’t tested the 911. How do you go about doing that? Won’t you get into trouble for calling 911 without an emergency?
    We like the Ooma, and only pay $3/mo. Not bad.
    Also, I switched my iphone from At&t to Walmart’s Smart Talk plan and I pay HALF of what I paid with At&t and everything is mostly the same. The only difference is Smart Talk’s customer service is “low budget”. It has only been a problem once in the 3 yrs I’ve been with them. Not too bad.

  • New here I’m a single mom a couponer but the one thing I’m having issues saving on is cable . first I pay $91.00 every month to DirecTV just to watch the same shows over and over most of the time. I have to find an alternative I do not have internet yet because all the providers in my area are slow so sreaming would not work unless I’m missing something help ideas anyone

    • Hello 🙂 I would recommend you cancel your DirectTV service. You can get movies from the library for free. $91 a month could get you a lot of more useful things! It will be an adjustment at first, but I promise that after about 2 weeks you and your kids will be detoxed from sitting in front of the TV.

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