11 Simple Ways to Lower Your Monthly Bills and Save Money
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. Read our disclosure to see how we make money.
One thing budgeting teaches you is that you don’t need to settle for overly high bills. If you don’t find ways to lower your monthly bills, you will never break living in the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and not reach your financial goals.
Thankfully, it’s quite simple to lower your bills and save more money each month.
Common Monthly Bills List
If you think it’s difficult to reduce expenses, you’re not alone. In fact, many people think it’s impossible. They may not like negotiating or believe a provider won’t reduce an expense.
However, in most situations, that is not the case.
Let’s take a look at a common monthly bills list for most people:
- Mortgage payment
- Utility and electric bills
- Auto insurance bill
- Car payment
- Debt repayment
In each of the above, it’s possible to save money. In the event of a debt like a credit card payment, you might even be able to reduce the expense and pay it off sooner!
Familiarize yourself with the recommended budget percentages by category to see where you should stand with each of these monthly payments.
Lastly, if you can’t lower your bills any further, consider finding a way to earn extra money to supplement your income. You can devote the funds to a specific bill, or apply it to savings.
Postmates is an excellent option to make extra money. You deliver meals, groceries, or even dry cleaning with Postmates. The on-demand app lets you create your own schedule so you can work when it’s best for you.
If you work during busy times, like evenings and weekends you can earn up to $20 per hour. You just need to be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license, pass a background check, and have a smartphone to work with Postmates.
How to Lower Monthly Bills and Save Money
It can be challenging finding ways to spend less money. You may even ask yourself ‘how can I lower my bills?’ but not know where to start.
It often involves simply asking for a lower monthly price. It costs more for a company to replace you as a customer than it does to give you a lower price, so you often have some leverage.
If you want to reduce your expenses, here are the 11 best ways to lower your monthly bills and save more money.
1. Consolidate Credit Card Debt
The average U.S. household carries approximately $7,200 worth of credit card debt. And the worst part of credit card debt is the interest.
Credit card interest rates are super high, making it difficult to eliminate debt.
If you have balances on multiple cards, it can be a challenge to keep track of all your monthly payments and interest rates. To simplify your credit card debt payoff strategy, you can consolidate your balances to have one monthly payment.
SoFi is a terrific platform to use to possibly lower your interest rates. The lender has rates as low as six percent and charges no fees. This helps you save money on interest and kill debt faster.
Read our Sofi loans review to learn more about the lender.
There are many other ways to lower your interest rate and pay off debt. If you’re struggling with debt, consolidation is often one of the best ways to pay off debt once and for all.
2. Cut the Cord
Cutting the cable cord is one of the easiest ways to slash expenses. We did it four years ago and wish we would’ve done it sooner.
There are several affordable streaming alternatives that provide significant savings relative to a high-priced cable contract.
Hulu with Live TV, in particular, is great if you want a platform that gets you as close to cable as possible. For just $54.99 per month, after the 7-day free trial, you get the following:
- 60+ live TV channels
- Cloud DVR service, which lets you record live shows when they are and watch when it’s more convenient for you
- Ability to stream on two devices at once
- Hulu’s complete library of content
Our Hulu Live TV channels list guide shows all the channels you receive, plus other benefits of the platform. Hulu Live is just one of the options out there to get content without cable.
There are many options that let you get the feel of cable and save big money each month.
Read our guide on how to cut the cord on cable, which includes the best options to get content without paying $110+ per month.
3. Lower Your Phone Bill
If you’re like most people, you use your phone every single day for various purposes. In fact, many of us don’t go anywhere without our phones. Just because it’s valuable doesn’t mean you must overpay.
If you have a plan with one of the major four carriers it’s likely you’re paying at least $70 per month for service. Thanks to discount carriers that operate on the towers of the major ones, there’s no need to pay that much each month.
There are several cheap cell phone plans you can use to reduce your monthly expenses without giving up quality service. Most plans are prepaid, without a contract, and you pay only for what you use each month.
Ting is an excellent choice to lower your monthly cell phone bill. You can leave whenever you wish and you can add extra lines for $6 per line. The average monthly bill with Ting is $23 per month.
Frugal Rules readers receive a $50 credit when they sign up. That effectively gives you the first two months of service for free.
4. Negotiate Lower Bills With an App
Do you like the idea of lowering your monthly payments but don’t feel like negotiating?
When you sign up for an account you provide them statements to bills you want to reduce and then the app goes to work.
Billshark can help you do any of the following:
- Cancel subscriptions
- Negotiate monthly bills
- Monitor cable and internet outages
- Find better auto insurance rates
5. Refinance Student Loans
If you have high-interest private student loans, you may want to consider refinancing them to save money. Just like other debts, interest eats into your monthly payment, meaning less money is applied to the actual balance.
*Related: Want to save on internet service? Check out our guide on how to get free Wi-Fi at home to save big bucks!*
The average student loan balance for the class of 2016 was over $37,000. If you’re facing that amount or more, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
Refinancing or consolidating your loans may be a good way to get relief and lower your monthly bills.
SoFi is a great company that can help you find the best rates when refinancing your student loans. It lets you compare rates from various lenders and save money on payments.
6. Shop Around For Better Auto Insurance Rates
Auto insurance companies change their rates every few months based on a variety of factors. This is why you should always shop around for better car insurance rates at least once a year.
However, 40 percent of drivers haven’t compared in at least three years. If you haven’t compared rates recently, you may be overlooking one of the best ways to save money every month and keep more money in your budget.
If you don’t compare rates, you may be overlooking some common auto insurance discounts, such as:
- Safe driving discount
- Low mileage discount
- Automatic payment discount
- Multiple car discount
- Multiple policies discount
- Good credit score discount
These just scratch the surface of possible discounts. You may be able to score additional ones to lower your auto insurance bill. But you have to do the work to find them.
For instance, you can compare rates at Esurance to see how much money you can save each month.
Gabi is another excellent option that allows you to simultaneously compare rates from up to 20 insurers.
If Esurance or Gabi doesn’t meet your needs, consider some of the other best cheap car insurance companies to save money.
7. Refinance Your Mortgage
Your largest monthly bill is likely your mortgage. Housing costs can easily eat up your monthly budget. While a good rule of thumb is keeping your housing costs to around 30 percent of your income, it can still be a steep payment.
The reason most people pay their mortgages for so long is because of the interest included in the monthly payment. It’s surprising to see how much of your money goes toward interest rather than the principle.
Refinancing your mortgage, when rates decline, allows you to lower your interest rate and even shorten your term. You can go from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage and save thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.
LendingTree is an excellent option to refinance your mortgage. They let you compare rates from up to five lenders and find the best fit for your needs.
Not only is refinancing one of the best ways to save money fast, it allows you to pay the mortgage off quicker if you maintain the same payment amount.
8. Switch to a Basic Gym Membership
Don’t stick with a pricey gym membership that you can’t really afford. Sure, it’s nice to have state-of-the art equipment, a sauna in the locker room, and a cafe, Wi-Fi, and pool on-site.
However, you don’t really need all these things to get a good workout in and improve your fitness. While you can work out at home, there are ways to get a cheap gym membership and save money.
An expensive gym may have nice amenities, but if you don’t use them you’re wasting money.
9. Lower Your Grocery Bill With Meal Plans
Lowering your grocery bill can seem like a struggle. However, there are some simple things you can do to save money at the store, including: limiting shopping to only twice a month and buying items in bulk.
Meal planning is another overlooked way to save money at the store. It helps you stay on track, reduces expensive impulse purchases, and you know exactly what I’m eating each day.
*Related: Love to watch movies, but hate paying full price? Check out our guide on the best places to watch free movies online and save loads of money.*
If you have trouble coming up with meal ideas or have some picky eaters in your household, you may want to try the $5 Meal Plan. They have a free 14-day trial and provide the tools needed to make a meal plan that meets your needs, along with sample shopping lists.
10. Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
It’s easy for utility bills to spiral out of control, especially if your home isn’t energy efficient. For instance, having energy-efficient windows reduces your central air or heating usage, causing you to save money.
Plus, you may qualify for tax breaks if you make energy efficient repairs on your home throughout the year.
If you rent your home, talk to your landlord about some of these money-saving ideas. You never know what they’re willing to try unless you ask.
11. Track Your Spending
One of the simplest things you can do to lower your monthly bills is to track your spending. It’s important to know how much you’re spending on things in the first place.
*Related: Looking for ways to boost your credit? Read our review of the best credit repair companies to fix your credit.*
When you know how much you’re spending, it’s easier to explore ways to reduce your expenses and keep track of savings if you do lower bills. You don’t have to do it the old fashioned way.
You can use a program like Tiller to automatically track your spending for you. Tiller connects with your bank account and puts all your spending into a Google sheet for you to monitor your expenses.
Tiller offers a free 30-day trial, and costs $7 per month after that.
How to Lower Your Bills FAQs
Reducing monthly expenses is a terrific way to get back on track financially. Here are a few common questions many people have when they try to limit costs.
How much should you save each month?
Everyone has a different list of bills to pay. However, regardless of your specific situation, the key is purposeful spending.
A good place to start is $500.
If you think you can’t do it, here’s how to save $500 a month. You may not be able to save that much, but the ideas apply no matter how much you’re trying to save.
What should I do with my extra savings?
As you begin to lower your monthly bills, you may wonder what to do with the extra money. You may want to spend it, but don’t give into the temptation to foolishly spend.
*Related: Want to cut the cord but don’t know which platform to pick? Check out our Hulu vs. Netflix guide to see which platform is best.*
Here are some great options for using your extra money wisely:
- Pay off debt
- Build your emergency fund
- Save more for retirement
- Save for a large expense with Qapital
- Put it in your vacation fund
It’s OK to use some of the money for fun; just make sure to be smart with most of your newly-found money.
Where should I put my extra savings?
This depends on your situation. If liquidity is key, you want to put it in a high-yield savings account to earn the most interest possible while still staying liquid.
CIT Bank is one great option. You can put your money in their Savings Builder account to earn interest. If you can save $100 per month and start with a minimum balance of at least $100, you earn .55 percent on your cash.
Lowering your monthly bills can be easy and painless. You just need the right strategy and the right tools. Go through your budget to determine what you’re spending and where you can find opportunities to save.
With a little effort, you can lower your monthly bills and start putting more of your money to work for you.
What are some ways you lower your bills on a regular basis? What are some other ways to save money each month? How much money do you save each month?
Latest posts by Choncé (see all)
- 5 Best Phone Plans for College Students for 2020 - September 18, 2020
- Pinecone Research Review 2020: Is it A Scam or Legit? - September 16, 2020
- 9 Best Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms to Make Money - September 14, 2020