The following is a guest post from Jenna, a freelance blogger who is mainly focused on business innovation and breaking stories in business. She has been blogging since college where she studied marketing and has merged her love of keying stories into copywriting work as well as plenty of reading and writing for fun! Find and follow her on Twitter.
Save Money Every Month
Between rising healthcare costs, inflation, and stagnated wages, it’s clear the average American is in need of ways to cut down on monthly bills. Most of us find it difficult to cover the basics, let alone the extras. While some are quick to eliminate perks and cut down on so-called luxuries, going overboard in this department can wind up making life pretty unbearable, at which point, was it worth the extreme frugality? Rather than “roughing it” at home and reducing your family’s source of fun down to going to the library, it’s worth seeing if the monthly bills can’t be lowered first:
The concept of insurance sounds like a waste of money – until you need it to get through a crisis. In the meantime, reducing those monthly premiums and payments is the key to getting the most out of insurance. There are many ways to chip away at these monthly bills. For instance, perhaps your auto insurance provider isn’t aware your 17-year-old driver is a straight-A student? Such info can lead to lower monthly rates.
This method of seeking out ways to cut down on insurance costs applies across the board, from homeowners insurance to flood insurance. For example, informing insurers of a recently installed alarm system can see marked discounts on homeowners insurance; meanwhile, it’s possible to get flood insurance reduced by placing utilities in the attic versus the basement.
Many people are surprised to discover they live in a deregulated energy market either for gas, electric, or both. This means folks living in these areas have access to more than one energy supplier, enabling them to find out more about competitors to see if they can save by switching over. It can mean significant savings over the course of a year and beyond.
While it’s always a good idea to use energy conservatively at home, few of us like the idea of taking this concept to the extreme. Reducing dependence on energy–intensive appliances such as washers and dryers is useful, but who wants to go to sleep sweating in the summer – or shivering in the winter? The best way to save on utilities without losing your mind is to seek out lowered rates if possible, coupled with reduced usage around the house within reason.
Once upon a time, cable was king. If you didn’t like the king, you went for satellite or stuck to the basic set of seven or so channels. That was it. In such a limited system, the chances of seeing significant savings were minimal. Your choice was to switch sides, but the prices always crept back up, meanwhile after switching once you were out of sides!
These days it’s increasingly common to eliminate the cable or satellite bill altogether. This is of course due to the proliferation of streaming services available via internet, such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix. Added up and using these services is generally far less expensive than opting for classic cable or satellite. With that said, access to live coverage of news, sports, and ultra-fresh content is limited with streaming, so sports fans and news junkies out there should cut with caution.
Of course, while the internet is a welcome source of ways to cut down on the costs of entertainment, it remains a hefty bill in most households in and of itself. This is on account of the amount of bandwidth typically needed to supply a family with a satisfying rate of access at any given moment. It’s not unusual to pay around $50 or more a month for internet alone.
It may seem like small potatoes, but finding a provider willing to get fast speed internet to your home for less than you currently pay will add up annually. Add several years together and you stand to save into the hundreds potentially by doing your due diligence on the lowest cost option for the best speeds.
Lastly, the most overlooked bill in which frugal families can cut to save serious money is the phone bill. At some point, we as a society accepted the fact our phone bills would be, at a minimum, $100 and only go up from there. Given the sophistication of the modern smartphone, fair enough, but few of us can say we’ve tried everything within our power to save on the family mobile plan every month.
In fact, according to Consumer Reports, it’s possible for a family to save about $1000 per year by switching their cell phone provider. That’s not a typo – four figures is potentially being wasted every year by families unwilling to seek the best plan out there. With that kind of information, few readers will resist the urge to act.
Most Americans are stretched thin when it comes to money. Every little bit counts – especially in the monthly bills department. Lowering these bills or eliminating them altogether is likely the most effective way for frugal families to see significant savings in the years to come. See what you can do to save as soon as possible.