With every passing year, it seems that our bills are getting higher and everything around us is getting more expensive. Whether you feel the pinch of prices or not, there is nothing wrong with minimizing bill costs and setting aside more money for more important things like savings, investments, entertainment, and travel.
To get a better idea of how you can minimize costs and lowering (or eliminating) some of your bills, here are some useful tips that anyone can try:
Get a Breakdown of your Bills
Before you can start to save money on bills, it helps to know exactly how much you are spending each month. Write down all of your expenses to see how many bills are being paid on a regular basis. While many people might think this is an unnecessary step, you may be surprised once the list is complete. With instant payment withdrawals and quick online transfers, it’s amazing how many people are unaware of just how much they are paying on bills throughout the year.
Learn the Difference Between Want and Need
This is a tricky step that a lot of people have a hard time with because it’s difficult to separate the wants from the needs. In simple terms, a need is something that is essential to live. Needs include a home, utilities, food, medication/medical services, insurance, and transportation. Alternatively, wants are those extras that make like more fun. Wants include eating out, concerts, expensive travel, non-essential electronics (like the newest smartphone or large HDTV), and anything else you would like to have but can live without.
By learning to separate the two, you can decide what actually adds value and what is merely a frivolous spend. This also helps you refocus energy on the more important things in life and curb spending to get more money saved in the bank for savings and investments.
Look for Providers with Better Deals
In general, once we’re set up with our service providers, we tend to forget about them and just go on paying recurring bills and using the services as usual. Why bother going through the hassle of changing providers when it’s such a pain to do so?
As a way to save a lot of money on several bills, take a look at the companies you regularly pay for services like the internet, mobile phone, cable, and utilities. A lot of companies rely on customers who sign up with them and never again consider shopping around for a better deal.
Every now and then, take a moment to look at your service provider’s competitors to see what kind of promotions they have running or call them to see if they have a better offer to what you are currently paying. More often than not, companies are more than willing to give you a good deal so they can gain their competitor’s business. Another approach that people don’t often consider is calling their current service providers to see if they can offer a better deal for being a loyal customer. The mere mention of cancelling their services will often be enough to get a special offer from them.
Become More Energy Efficient
Most of the time, utility bills run high from using up too much energy, and that generally comes down to poor energy consumption around the house or people who are inefficient with their energy usage -or a combination of those two points.
Some of the most common ways energy is wasted:
- Old appliances using up high levels of power
- Old bulbs using up too much power
- Poor home insulation
- Too many electronics plugged in
- Misusing heaters and air conditioners
- Running appliances inefficiently
The easiest way to reduce power bills is by being more mindful of your energy usage at home.
Some simple steps that anyone can take are:
- Turn off lights in rooms that are not being used
- Only run dishwashers and washing machines when they are full
- Wash clothes in cold or cool water
- Switch to energy-saving light bulbs
- Program the thermostat at a comfortable room temperature
- Avoid using heaters or air conditioners all day long
Another step to help reduce bills over time includes investing in energy-efficient appliances. That’s not to say to have to blow all your money on a whole new set of appliances but over time, make a plan to swap energy-sapping models for more modern eco styles.
Focus on Minimizing Interest
Major bills that lots of people have to deal with are paying off loans and credit cards, including the interest that comes along with them. Although some debt amounts are incredibly high and stressful to even look at, it’s the interest that really makes these bills a pain.
One of the ways to reduce debt and minimize these types of bills is by making these payments a priority to reduce the amount of interest that accumulates over time. Prepare a plan to make larger payments than the minimum and even consider consolidating debt into one single payment. Debt is never easy to deal with but the faster you can reduce the amount, the better off you will be.
Groceries and Take Out
Everyone loves to eat out and socialize but it can quickly take a toll on your wallet. Often considered to be part of the “food bill”, eating at restaurants and take out are far more expensive than cooking at home. That doesn’t mean you should never eat out or call for delivery but reducing these instances will help save a ton of money.
To track roughly how much is spent on take out in a month, write down or save receipts every time you order. Once the month is up, add up how much was spent and reassess if each order was necessary or even worth it. If you are still not convinced, for comparison, try to avoid take out and cook meals at home. Add up grocery bills at the end of the month to see exactly how much was saved in the process.