Budgeting is a critical part of reaching your financial goals. One thing budgeting teaches you is that you don’t need to settle for paying expensive bills. Finding ways to lower your monthly bills can help you stop living paycheck-to-paycheck and have breathing room at the end of month.
Thankfully, it’s simple to save more money each month. By finding ways to lower your monthly bills, you can reach your financial goals faster.
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Common Monthly Bills List
Every budget is different, but there are some common monthly expenses most households face. Some typical monthly bills include:
- Auto Insurance
- Car Payments
- Debt Repayment
- Mortgage payments
- Utility and electric bills
It’s possible to save money on all the expenses listed above. Read our guide on recommended budget percentages to see how much you should spend on each of these monthly payments.
*Deal of the day: Earn 4.65 percent (11x the current national average) on your cash with CIT Bank’s Savings Connect account. Start with $100, and electronically deposit at least $200 a month to earn this rate! All deposits are FDIC insured up to the $250,000 per depositor maximum.
How to Lower Monthly Bills and Save Money
Many people believe it is difficult or impossible to reduce expenses. Fortunately, that is not the case. It is possible to negotiate lower rates or cancel services.
Here are the best ways to lower your monthly expenses and save money.
1. Consolidate Credit Card Debt
The average U.S. household carries approximately $7,200 in credit card debt. Due to high interest rates, it can be difficult to eliminate credit card debt quickly.
This is especially the case in a rising interest rate climate.
If you have balances on multiple cards, it can be challenging to keep track of all your monthly payments and interest rates.
To simplify your credit card debt payoff strategy, you can consolidate your balances. This way you only have one monthly payment.
SoFi is a terrific platform that can help you lower your interest rates. The lender has no required fees and has rates as low as 8.99 percent. This may help you save money on interest and kill debt faster.
There are many other ways to lower your interest rate and pay off debt. If you’re struggling with debt, consolidation may be one of the best ways to pay it off once and for all.
Potential monthly savings: At least $15 (if you reduce your interest rate by two percent and can pay off a $7,200 balance in five years). The savings might be higher if you currently make the minimum monthly payment to your credit card.
|Sofi - Fixed Personal Loans with Autopay
Cost: 8.99% to 25.81% APR*
No fees required. Secure a low rate on loans and kill debt.
2. Cut the Cord
Getting rid of cable is one of the easiest ways to save money fast. We did it nearly a decade ago and wish we had done it sooner.
There are several affordable streaming alternatives that provide significant savings relative to a high-priced cable contract.
In particular, Sling TV is great if you want a platform comparable to cable. You get the following for just $40 per month:
- 30+ live TV channels
- Cloud DVR service that lets you record live shows and watch them when it’s convenient for you
- The ability to stream on one or three devices at once
Our Sling TV channels list guide shows all the channels you receive as well as other benefits the platform offers.
If Sling isn’t for you, there are many alternatives that let you have the feel of cable while saving each month.
*Related: Want to cut the cord but don’t know which platform to pick? Take our free quiz to learn which streaming service is best for you.
With a large number of cable replacements available, there’s no reason to have a contract or pay $200+ per month.
Potential monthly savings: $100
3. Lower Your Phone Bill
If you have a phone plan with one of the major carriers, you likely pay at least $70 per month for service. Instead, consider a discount carrier that uses the same towers as the major carriers.
You can enjoy similar network coverage and save money every month.
There are numerous cheap cell phone plans that offer prepaid options without a contract. In some cases, you pay only for what you use each month.
Tello is our favorite choice, with plans as low as $10 a month. If you’re on Wi-Fi a lot you could reap significant savings.
Read our review of the top cheap cell phone plans to help you save $50+ per month.
Potential monthly savings: $50
|Tello - no contract phone service
Cost: $10 to $29 per month
Coverage on a 4G LTE/5G nationwide network.
4. Negotiate Lower Bills With an App
Are you interested in lowering your monthly payments without having to negotiate with service providers? Rocket Money can help.
Rocket Money is a bill negotiation app that works with service providers to find opportunities to save you money. When you sign up for an account, you provide Rocket Money with statements of bills you want to reduce.
Then, the app goes to work.
Rocket Money can help you save money by:
- Canceling subscriptions
- Negotiating monthly bills
- Monitoring cable and internet outages
- Finding better auto insurance rates
Read our Rocket Money app review to learn more.
Potential monthly savings: At least $25
5. Refinance Student Loans
If you have high-interest private student loans, you may want to refinance them to save money. Like other debt, interest is a large portion of your monthly payment.
Refinancing or consolidating your loans can lower your monthly bills because you can get a lower interest rate. In addition to paying less interest, you can have a smaller monthly payment.
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. This may help you save money on payments.
Potential monthly savings: $50 or more
6. Shop Around For Better Auto Insurance Rates
Auto insurance companies change their rates every few months based on a variety of factors. As a result, you should compare car insurance rates at least once a year.
You may be missing out on some common auto insurance discounts to save more money, including:
- Safe driving discounts
- Low mileage discounts
- Automatic payment discounts
- Multiple car discounts
- Good credit score discounts
- Multiple policies discounts
The Zebra is an excellent resource that lets you simultaneously compare rates from multiple insurers.
If The Zebra doesn’t meet your needs, consider some of the other best cheap car insurance companies to save money.
Potential monthly savings: $68
7. Track Your Spending
Tracking your spending is one of the easiest things you can do to lower your monthly bills. It’s important to know how you spend your money to avoid overspending.
By knowing how much you’re spending, it’s easier to find ways to save more money.
You can use a program like Tiller to automatically track your spending. Tiller connects with your bank account and puts all your spending into a Google sheet so you can monitor your expenses.
From there, you can adjust your spending habits.
Tiller offers a free 30-day trial. After that, it costs under $7 per month. Read our review of the top free budget software programs for alternative options to save money.
Potential monthly savings: $100
|Tiller - manage your finances easily
Enjoy a 30-day free trial when you sign up with Tiller. Automatically get your daily transactions synched into a Google Sheet.
8. Refinance Your Mortgage
Your largest monthly bill is likely your mortgage. While keeping your housing costs to around 30 percent of your income is a good rule of thumb, this can still be a steep payment.
When rates decline, refinancing your mortgage allows you to lower your interest rate and potentially shorten your term. You can go from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage.
This may save you thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage. However, in a rising interest rate climate you need to be more judicious in refinancing.
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, but it also allows you to pay the mortgage off faster if you maintain the same payment amount.
If you don’t own, getting a roommate is an excellent way to help with your monthly rent payment. Just make sure your landlord is ok with adding a person to your apartment.
Potential monthly savings: $200
9. Start a Meal Plan
Lowering your grocery bill may seem like a struggle. However, meal planning is one of the best ways to save more money at the store.
Planning your meals as you create your shopping list reduces expensive impulse purchases and unplanned restaurant visits.
If you have trouble coming up with meal ideas or have picky eaters in your household, you may want to try $5 Meal Plan. They have a free 14-day trial and provide you with tools to make a meal plan that meets your needs.
They also provide sample shopping lists.
You can pair this with using a grocery rebate app that lets you take advantage of discounts. Do your shopping like normal, then you take a picture of the receipt with the app.
It claims any savings for you, and you can withdraw funds once you reach a $20 balance.
Potential monthly savings: $400 (for a family of four)
|Ibotta - get rebates on your shopping
Get $5 when you upload your first receipt!
This popular shopping app works at the grocery store and online. Redeem earnings for cash or gift cards.
10. Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
If your home isn’t energy-efficient, it’s easy for utility bills to spiral out of control. For instance, you may pay more in central air or heating costs if you don’t have energy-efficient windows.
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.
Potential monthly savings: $15
11. Switch to a Basic Gym Membership
Joining a gym is a fantastic way to get fit, but they’re also expensive. If you want to cut costs, 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 on-site. However, you don’t need all these things to work out and improve your fitness.
While you can work out at home, there are also ways to get a cheap gym membership and save money.
Potential monthly savings: $50
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 lower their expenses.
How much should you save each month?
Everyone has a different list of bills to pay. A good place to start is $500.
If you think you can’t do it, here’s how to save $500 a month. While you may not be able to save that much, the ideas apply no matter how much you’re trying to save.
Read our guide on the importance of paying yourself first and how it can help grow your wealth.
What should I do with my extra savings?
As you lower your monthly bills, consider saving your money or making extra debt payments.
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
- Put it in your vacation fund
It’s OK to use some of the money for fun. You should find a balance to achieve your goals.
Where should I put my extra savings?
This depends on your situation. If liquidity is key, place your cash in a high-yield savings account to earn some of the best interest rates available.
CIT Bank is one great option since they have high interest rates and no fees. You can put your money in their money market account to earn interest.
It’s FDIC-insured and operates similar to a savings account.
You also earn 1.55 percent on your cash, which is 3 times the national average.
|CIT Bank - start your emergency fund
$100 minimum deposit requirement
Open a high yield savings account or money market with $100!
What should I do if I can’t lower my bills?
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 put the money you earn into a savings account.
For example, DoorDash is an excellent option to make extra money. You can deliver restaurant meals with DoorDash. The on-demand app lets you create your own schedule so you can work when it’s best for you.
DoorDash driver pay varies depends on numerous factors. If you work during busy times, like evenings and weekends, you can earn good money.
You 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 DoorDash.
Read our DoorDash driver review to learn more.
Lowering your monthly bills can be easy and painless. There are several strategies and tools to help you save money every month.
Go through your budget to determine what you’re spending and where you can find opportunities to save. The ongoing rewards are worth the minimal effort.
What are some ways you lower your bills on a regular basis?
*Earning more on certain types of orders (ex. alcohol): Earn more per order as compared to restaurant orders. Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries you accept and complete, time of day, location, and any costs. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from tips, peak pay, and other incentives.
*Get paid instantly (DasherDirect): Subject to approval
*Cash out daily (Fast Pay): Fees apply
*Start Dashing today: Subject to background check and availability
*Dash anytime: Subject to availability
*Personal Loan Disclaimer: Fixed rates from 8.99% APR to 23.43% APR APR reflect the 0.25% autopay discount and a 0.25% direct deposit discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 3/06/23 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. Direct Deposit Discount: To be eligible to potentially receive an additional (0.25%) interest rate reduction for setting up direct deposit with a SoFi Checking and Savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A. or eligible cash management account offered by SoFi Securities, LLC (“Direct Deposit Account”), you must have an open Direct Deposit Account within 30 days of the funding of your Loan. Once eligible, you will receive this discount during periods in which you have enabled payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/month to a Direct Deposit Account in accordance with SoFi’s reasonable procedures and requirements to be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion. This discount will be lost during periods in which SoFi determines you have turned off direct deposits to your Direct Deposit Account. You are not required to enroll in direct deposits to receive a Loan.
Notice: SoFi’s Refinance Loan is a private student loan. Understand that when you refinance federal loans, you forfeit all flexible federal repayment options that are or may become available to federal student loan borrowers. If you expect to incur financial hardship that would affect your ability to repay, you should consider federal consolidation loan options.
Notice: Though SoFi offers an Unemployment Protection Program and career services, SoFi’s Refinance loan is a private loan. Understand that when you refinance federal loans, you forfeit certain flexible repayment options that are or may become available. If you expect to incur financial hardship that would affect your ability to repay, you should consider federal consolidation loan options.
*NOTICE: If you are a federal student loan borrower, you should consider all of your repayment opportunities including the opportunity to refinance your student loan debt at a lower APR or to extend your term to achieve a lower monthly payment. Please note that once you refinance federal student loans you will no longer be eligible for current or future flexible payment options available to federal loan borrowers, including but not limited to income-based repayment plans or extended repayment plans.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Fixed rates range from 5.24% APR to 9.99% APR with 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates range from 6.24% APR to 9.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates will never exceed 13.95% (the maximum rate for these loans). SoFi rate ranges are current as of 9/08/2023 and are subject to change at any time. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. You may pay more interest over the life of the loan if you refinance with an extended term.
Choncé is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI), personal finance freelance writer, and blogger who focuses on helping others manage their money better in order to live a life with more possibilities and fewer limitations. Her work has been featured on Business Insider, LendingTree, Credit Sesame, and Barclaycard.