Remember when getting mail was fun? Wasn’t it nice to be able to check your inbox without seeing “payment due” in the subject lines? Wouldn’t it be more fun to spend your hard-earned cash on a vacation rather than on utilities?
The truth is bills are an (unfortunate) part of adult life.
Since we can’t make them disappear completely, let’s focus on the next best thing—how to save money on them. Keep reading to learn how to keep more money in your pocket.
First of all, we have some bad news—you need to take a hard look at all of the bills you’re responsible for. That’s right. Every. Single. Bill. We know this step can be disheartening (seriously, why is life so expensive?), but knowing exactly what you’re working with is essential if you want to save money on your bills.
Once you’ve taken stock of your expenses, there are two important things you need to do:
- First up: mark your calendar with each bill’s due date, or set reminders on your phone. This will help you avoid expensive late fees.
- Next: see if you can consolidate. Does your Internet provider offer cable? Can you bundle your phone bill with your family members? You’ll often get a better deal if you consolidate, plus it’s one less due date to keep track of.
Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly
Not only are expensive utility bills hard on your wallet, but they also contribute to environmental damage. Who wants either of those things? To do a good deed for your wallet and the planet, consider making a few green investments like:
- Low-flow faucets
- Energy Star appliances
- Energy efficient windows and doors
- LED light bulbs
You wouldn’t buy a new car without doing some research first, right? Apply the same mindset to any service you pay for to make sure you’re getting the best deal. You don’t want to miss out on saving just because you didn’t make a few phone calls (or, more accurately, do a little Googling).
As an added bonus, you may stumble upon a few perks as you conduct your research. You might be able to get faster Wi-Fi for less than you’re paying now, or you score yourself a month of free HBO. Companies don’t always advertise their latest deals, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t available. The bottom line is it never hurts to ask!
Small Changes Add Up
You don’t have to take cold showers or eat dinner by candlelight if you want to lower your monthly expenses (unless you enjoy a good shock to the system or some old-fashioned ambiance). Simple, sustainable changes can make a world of difference. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Unplug appliances like your microwave or blender when you aren’t using them
- Turn on a ceiling fan instead of turning up the AC
- Put on a sweater instead of cranking up the heat
- Shorten your showers by five minutes
- Turn off the lights when you leave the room (old advice, but hey, it works!)
None of these changes are difficult and they won’t decrease your quality of life. What they will decrease is how much money you spend on your bills.
Don’t Wait Another Month—Start Saving Now
There’s no reason to delay implementing these money-saving strategies. The sooner you start saving money on your bills, the sooner you’ll be able to use the extra cash for more important things (like shoes, or, you know, savings).
Keep in mind that even small savings add up over the course of several months or years, so don’t waste a single penny!