Although not the most fun activity ever imagined, lowering your bills paves the way to keeping more of the money you make. With that, you can do a lot more fun things, buy that gadget you really wanted, or just save up for a rainy day. Regardless of your decision, a few quick tasks you can tackle this weekend can cut the cost of your bills.
Alter Your Usage
You incur the most costs through usage. Sometimes it happens by using too much electricity or by overpaying for services you don’t need. To pinpoint overuse, you need to figure out how much you actually use.
With cellphone bills, just track your minutes, data, and text messages for a couple of months and see how far under your limit you fall. Many people cling to unlimited data when they’d save as much as $ 15 a month by dropping down to a capped amount they’ll never actually exceed. The same goes for text messages and minutes, plus you have VOIP services and Google Voice over Wi-Fi to help you avoid too much. You obviously don’t want to inconvenience yourself to the point of frustration, but a happy medium can net you some decent savings.
With electric bills, you have tons of options which we’ve detailed before. Cleaning your air vents and replacing filters help your air conditioner run more effectively. Running your dishwasher and laundry machines at nights gets you lower electricity rates from some electric companies. Letting your dishes dry naturally, rather than with machine-provided heat, also saves. You can probably leave your smartphone plugged in for the rest of eternity, though, given how little that costs.
Get Lower Rates
By now you ought to know that you can often lower your rates for many services by just making a phone call. Speak to sales, ask if they have any deals available for you, and point to cheaper rates from other providers if you want to encourage them to offer you something anyway. This works for lots of different services and you can make the call every 6-12 months. I once got an upgrade from 30mbps internet to 100mbps for $ 30 less per month—indefinitely. It seems like an overly simple option, but promotions go on all the time and companies don’t necessarily expect to hear from existing customers. Make a call and you might save a lot.
Switch to Cheaper Providers
You probably overpay for some service without realizing it. Cellphone bills are a common one, but you can use this tool to check which provider offers the best deal for your needs. With all the streaming options available through TV packages now, you might not get the most out of cable. See if you get cheaper rates with IPTV (via your telephone service provider) or satellite instead. If you just like to stream, you can save a little more with Amazon Prim Streaming than you can with Netflix. (Of course, that depends on whether you can get what you want on Amazon.) Whatever services you have, if there’s competition in the market it pays to regularly look at your options. You may often find you could do better with another company.
While it may seem redundant, you should audit your own bills once a year. Just because you found the cheapest options 365 days ago doesn’t mean you’re still getting the best deal. A regular audit can keep costs down year over year. For more in-depth tips, check out our bill-by-bill guide to saving money on your monthly expenses.
Have a great (and less-costly) weekend!
Photo by Adstock RF (Shutterstock).