Four Easy Ways to Save Money on Bills

Source

Whoever said that death and taxes were the only sure things in life forgot to include the monthly bills. Unless you're independently wealthy and pay for everything in cash, you're sure to have at least a few bills to pay every month. Some of these are essential, such as your rent or mortgage, while others are not. When you're looking for ways to save money on bills, the key is to cut back what you pay each month in both categories.

Cell Phone and Communication Costs

The percentage of people who replace landlines with cell phones continues to increase every year. While cell phones are without question more convenient, it's also more tempting to add on features that you don't really need. Examples include unlimited minutes, downloadable games to play on your phone, and special ringtones.

When you receive your bill each month, take a moment to scan it and consider which services are truly essential. Additionally, your contract renewal period is the perfect time to see if another company can offer a better deal. You may even want to consider eliminating your cell phone bill altogether by using free services offered online by Skype.

Utility and Electric

While these services are essential, you also have a great deal of control over how much you spend on them each month. Fortunately, a little discipline can add up to big savings. Here are some ideas you can try right away:

  • Seal your doors and windows so air drafts can't make their way into your home.
  • Install a programmable thermostat to keep the indoor temperature at a minimum while people are away at work or school during the day.
  • Replace all low-watt light bulbs with ones that offer greater energy efficiency.
  • Install one or more ceiling fans to help circulate cool or warm air in your home and reduce the workload on your furnace or air conditioner.

Mortgage or Rent

One of the simplest ways to save money over the life of your mortgage is to pay it bi-weekly rather than monthly. Since the mortgage payment typically represents the largest bill, this system helps people budget for it more efficiently. As for cost savings, keep in mind that 26 bi-weekly payments result in one extra mortgage payment every calendar year. This is a nearly effortless way to pay off your mortgage quicker.

Some other ways to save money on housing expenses include refinancing your mortgage and taking in a roommate or renter. If you're currently looking at houses, don't be tempted to buy something larger than you need. If your financial situation changes in the future, you're still obligated to live there and make monthly mortgage payments until you can sell it. Renting and living with roommates is the more logical choice if you need the flexibility to move on short notice.

Insurance Costs

Home and auto insurance protect you from financial devastation in case of an at-fault accident, fire, or act of nature. However, most people have more insurance coverage than they need. You can easily reduce your monthly premium by choosing a plan with a higher deductible. If you decide to go this route, make sure that you have an emergency fund available if you do need to draw on your insurance benefits.

You may have fewer options for health insurance, depending on your overall health and the plans available to you. If you're young and generally in good health, the easiest way to reduce your premium is to choose a higher deductible. Regardless of your age, you should consider putting money into a health savings account to pay out-of-pocket costs on a pre-tax basis.

These are just some areas where a little discipline and planning can pay off big. What other suggestions would you make to someone trying to get a handle on their money?

More by this Author


Comments 6 comments

Happymommy2520 profile image

Happymommy2520 7 days ago from East Coast

Great tips. I really enjoyed this article. I might try buying a programmable thermostat. I never thought of that one!


nybride710 profile image

nybride710 7 days ago from Minnesota Author

Good luck, we love ours.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 6 days ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

NY Bride......Bravo! I'm with you. There are so many ways/ideas for us to $AVE!! For at least 40 years, matters of expense & budgeting has been a part of my life. I've contributed a couple of hubs on the topic, but basically, I live it.

I'll bet you are like me, always keeping her eyes & ears open to new and better ways to control our expenses. My sis & I were literally raised from little kids how to be conscientious handlers of our money. I will always be thankful to our parents for this direction.

Great hub...Peace & PENNIES! Paula LOL


nybride710 profile image

nybride710 5 days ago from Minnesota Author

You're right about that. I learned the hard way though and have become a bit "obsessive" about finances after my bankruptcy in 2008. Never again!


CYong74 profile image

CYong74 3 days ago from Singapore

You're right. A lot of people pay unnecessary $$ for power simply because they can't practice a little discipline.


nybride710 profile image

nybride710 2 days ago from Minnesota Author

Agreed!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working