Are you paying too much for those bills? If you’re wondering what the average cost of monthly bills is, it depends on the city you live in and the size of your home. For example, if you’re in the heart of Dallas or Houston, your average monthly bills are going to be higher than if you live out in Jefferson or Lockhart.
While some bills, like groceries and clothing, are necessary, you can manage your money wisely by stopping up several common spending leaks. Here are ten ways to save money on monthly bills.
1. Cut Subscription Services
Chances are you’re like a majority of Americans, with at least one streaming subscription service. But are you really getting your money’s worth from all of them?
Take a close look at your various monthly subscriptions—are they worth your money? Even though the costs might be low, cutting a monthly subscription that costs only $9 a month can save you over a hundred dollars a year.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat
By adjusting your thermostat 7-10 degrees for only 8 hours a day, you can save as much as 10% a year on your heating and cooling bill. There’s no reason to heat or cool your home when everyone has gone to work or school.
The temperature your thermostat is set to also plays a role in how much money you will spend heating and cooling your home. It costs more money to keep your home drastically different than the outside temperature. It’s better to have your temperature set to 78 degrees in the summer, while in the winter your home can be comfortable at 68 degrees.
3. Turn Off Your Lights
Keeping your lights on costs money. Making sure the lights are off when you leave a room is another easy way to save money on monthly bills. If you want to save even more money, change all of your light bulbs to energy-efficient bulbs. These bulbs typically use anywhere from 25-80% less energy, which is 25-80% less energy you have to pay for.
Your monthly bills are not like going to the grocery store and paying for milk, where you either have the money to pay for it or you don’t. Your monthly bills can, and should, be negotiated.
You can lower your cell phone, cable, and internet bills by simply calling the provider and talking to them about your options. Most companies are able to customize your service so you can still receive what you want, but at a lower cost.
5. Shop Around
Insurance is a required cost, but luckily, there are many competing companies and providers that offer the same services. Instead of sticking with the same company, shop around and see what their competitors are doing.
If you find a better deal, let your company know why you’re leaving them. Many companies have special deals and offers they can only offer to customers who are thinking about leaving. These offers might be even better than the ones you found when shopping around.
6. Cut the Cord
There are some bills that are optional. For those bills you can live without, live without them. Cable bills can quickly add up, and for most of us, there’s no need to have that many channels.
7. Ditch the Gym
You don’t have to go to the gym to be fit. Instead of paying every month for a gym membership you rarely use, choose instead to work out at home. Bodyweight exercises don’t require additional weights and can be done anywhere, including right in your living room.
8. Change Your Car
The reliability and fuel efficiency of your car can directly impact your wallet. If you have to keep paying to keep your car running or are continually having to visit the gas station, it can feel like you’re throwing away your money.
Switching to a more fuel-efficient car can add up and is a great way to save money on monthly bills. While you’re still paying for fuel, you’re having to do so less often, which means you’re paying less.
For example, if you had to drive 1,000 miles, a car that gets 35 miles per gallon would only have to buy 28.5 gallons, but a truck or SUV with a fuel efficiency of 15 miles per gallon would need 66.6 gallons of gas. Assuming the price of gas is only $2.00 (for easy math), you’d pay either $57 or $133 for the same trip, a difference of $76.
9. Unplug Your Devices
Some of your appliances and devices are secretly sucking energy around the clock. One way you can save on your electricity bill is to make sure some of the biggest offenders stay unplugged.
Start in your kitchen. Kitchen appliances like coffee makers, food processors, and microwaves are easy to unplug and will help drop your energy bill. From there, work on your electronics, especially entertainment, computer, or gaming systems.
Anything that keeps time or has small blinking or glowing lights is actually using energy while still being turned off. Even turning off these devices when you’re asleep or at work can help you save a few extra dollars on your electricity bill.
Additionally, your phone, tablet, or smart device chargers will still use energy even if they’re at 100%. If you need to charge any device, unplug the charger once you’re done to help save more energy on your bill.
10. Change How You Shower
By changing how you shower, you can reduce your water bill and your electricity or gas bill at the same time.
First, change the temperature of your shower. It’s tempting to take a scalding hot shower and steam up your bathroom, but it can get expensive fast. Not only will a cooler shower cost less, it’s also healthy for your skin and body.
Next, shorten your shower, or even turn off your shower while you lather up. A shower only needs to take a few minutes and is an excellent strategy for how to save money on your monthly bill.
What Should You Do with Your Extra Money?
Now that you know how to save on your monthly bills, you can start using the snowball method to start paying off debt. This method takes what you’re already doing and helps you gain momentum to get out of debt.
Make use of these easy-to-use money-saving tricks to get back in control of your money and finances.