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June 17, 2016

How to Reduce Your Monthly Bills

It's relatively easy to cut spending on miscellaneous purchases, but your regular monthly expenses can add up quickly, and they're easy to overlook. However, there are numerous ways to cut your monthly bills, and I will share many of them here.

I've decided to keep this simple and give you bullet points.

Electricity
  • Reduce your air conditioner use
  • Line dry your clothes
  • Refrigerator
    • Unplug the second fridge in your garage
    • Get a more efficient refrigerator if yours is really old (many utilities offer rebates on efficient fridges and will give you money for your old one)
    • Make sure the door is sealing well
    • Clean the coils
  • Switch your light bulbs to LEDs (they are now affordable and reliable, but keep your receipt and the UPC from the box in case you need a replacement under warranty)
  • Whenever you buy anything that plugs in, pay attention to the power usage and buy the most efficient option

Water
  • Water your lawn less, or even replace it with low-water landscaping
  • Take shorter showers
  • Install aerators on your faucets
  • Get a front-loading washing machine (make sure to care for it properly to avoid mold)
  • Turn off the faucet when you don’t need it on
  • Install a dual flush valve in your toilets
  • Put a brick or two-liter bottle in your toilet tank
  • If it’s yellow, let it mellow…

Natural Gas/Propane
  • Reduce your heater use
  • Insulate your attic and walls
  • Insulate your water heater
  • Take colder showers
  • Line dry your clothes

Garbage
Request a smaller trash can (if you think you need the big can, reduce your waste and recycle more)

Cell Phone
  • Don’t upgrade your phone every year or two
  • Switch to a prepaid provider, like Cricket
  • Switch to a plan with a lower data alotment
  • Use a family plan

Home Phone
Disconnect your home phone, or switch to a very minimal plan and use your cell phone most of the time

TV
  • Shut off your cable or satellite service
  • If you need TV, get an antenna, Sling TV, Netflix, a combination of these (or something else that’s cheaper than cable/satellite)

Internet
  • Stop renting a modem from your ISP; buy your own
  • Reduce your internet speed (3 Mbps is enough for us to stream video in 1080p)
  • Demand the “special 12-month introductory” price

Insurance
  • Shop around
  • Increase your deductible if you can afford to
  • Use the same provider for everything to get multi-policy discounts (renters insurance is basically free after the multi-policy discount when you get it from your auto insurance provider)

Housing
  • Move somewhere cheaper
  • Negotiate your rent
  • Refinance your mortgage
  • Fire your gardener; mow your own lawn
  • Fire your maid; clean your own house

Food
Read our full post dedicated to reducing food costs.

Automobile
  • Avoid luxury brands, especially ones from Germany
  • Perform preventative maintenance to avoid major problems
  • Work on it yourself

Gasoline
  • Get a smaller car
  • Walk or bike for short trips
  • Don’t idle
  • Accelerate more gently
  • Drive slower
  • Maintain your vehicle properly

Let me know in the comments if I forgot any recurring costs or you have additional ideas for saving money on the things I've listed.


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1 comment:

  1. Good suggestions; however, some may be too drastic for most people. I recently cut my auto insurance by $600/yr by shopping around and then using the quote from another company to lower my current rate. I told my insurance company that I will not be renewing unless I get a match or significant reduction in my premiums.

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