Saving money isn’t the most fun thing to do — but it can be one of the most necessary things to do. And it doesn’t automatically demand the tightening of your purse strings that you imagined. In fact, you can save a good amount of money by lowering your bills. And it can be a relatively painless process — just a few easy phone calls or emails and you’re on your way to saving major bank while doing absolutely nothing! And with all the money you’re saving, you can afford to treat yourself to celebrate your success. Win/win! Here, some ways to lower your bills without much effort at all.
Check your TV habits
Cable can cost upwards of $50 a month and that’s not nothing. Thankfully, cable companies are often down to work a deal if they think you might be cutting off your services. Call and talk to a representative and see what they can offer to keep you around — and if it’s not good enough, you might consider cancelling your cable and getting a few streaming services like Netflix and Hulu for a fraction of the price.
Call in a better deal
Shopping around for a new cell phone deal can save you big. It’s not something many of us think of doing, but browsing a few comparison websites can get you discounts you didn’t know existed. You can also check your data usage and if you’re using considerably under what your current plan is, you might want to scale back to save a buck. Another idea is to switch to a prepaid phone, which can be much cheaper than having a monthly plan. Whatever it is, it pays to investigate what phone plan works best for you.
Rethink your transportation
If you have a car, there are different ways to lower your bills. For example, if you have a loan with a history of timely payments, you can look into refinancing it. If your car is costing you too much, you can consider selling it and finding a cheaper one, or relying on public transportation for a while. I have a friend who switched to bike commuting and the occasional Lyft ride and has saved thousands this year!
Grocery shop with purpose
It’s easy to overspend on groceries because of one crucial flaw: Shopping without a list. I mean, how many times have you cruised the ice cream section and left with several pints of Ben & Jerry’s? I know it’s not only me! Unfortunately, impulse purchases like that can seriously add up. A better way to do it is to go into the store with a specific list of essentials and stick to it! (That way you buy just one pint of ice cream, instead of the entire freezer section!) Bonus points for checking your local grocery store’s website for coupons — a lot of stores now have all their weekly deals listed online. The combination of a list and coupons has been known to save me majorly on my shopping trips.
Make your living arrangements work for you
You can seriously lower the cost of your rent by doing several things. First, if you’re a great tenant with a track record of paying on time, you might negotiate with your landlord to lock in a better deal. If that’s not in the cards, you can always downsize to a smaller apartment or get a roommate. We’ve also got some great tips about finding a housing situation that’s perfect for you, on any budget.
Turn off your electronics when you’re not using them so they stop adding to your energy bill. You can also lower your heating bill dramatically if you drop the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees at night. So bundle up and get cozy — it’s saving you money!
If you follow these quick tips, you can lower your bills and have more money in your purse for the things that matter — like that extra pint of ice cream.