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 in the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.
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.
Common Monthly Bills List
Common monthly bills most people pay 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. You can view recommended budget percentages by category to see how much you should spend on each of these monthly payments.
How to Lower Monthly Bills and Save Money
If you think it’s difficult to reduce expenses, you’re not alone. In fact, many people think it’s impossible.
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Fortunately, that is not the case. It is possible to negotiate lower rates or cancel services.
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.
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 charges no fees and has rates as low as six 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.
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2. Cut the Cord
Getting rid of cable is one of the easiest ways to save money fast. We did it five years 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, Hulu with Live TV is great if you want a platform comparable to cable. After a 7-day free trial, you get the following for just $64.99 per month:
- 60+ 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 two devices at once
- Hulu’s complete library of content
Our Hulu Live TV channels list guide shows all the channels you receive as well as other benefits the platform offers. If Hulu 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? Read our Hulu vs. Netflix guide to see which platform is best.*
With a large number of cable replacements available, there’s no reason to have a contract or pay $110+ per month.
Potential monthly savings: $45
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 several cheap cell phone plans that offer prepaid options without a contract. In some cases, you pay only for what you use each month.
Ting is an excellent choice to lower your monthly cell phone bill. There are no contracts, and you can get unlimited talk and text for $10. You only pay for the data you use, at $5 per GB.
Frugal Rules readers receive a $50 credit when they sign up. This effectively gives you the first few months of service for free.
Potential monthly savings: $50
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Cost: $10/mo - unlimited talk/text + $5/GB
Coverage on T-Mobile and Verizon networks.
4. Negotiate Lower Bills With an App
Are you interested in lowering your monthly payments without having to negotiate with service providers? Billshark can help.
Billshark 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 Billshark with statements of bills you want to reduce. Then, the app goes to work.
Billshark can help you save money by:
- Canceling subscriptions
- Negotiating monthly bills
- Monitoring cable and internet outages
- Finding better auto insurance rates
Read our Billshark 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
- Multiple policies discounts
- Good credit score discounts
Gabi is an excellent resource that lets you simultaneously compare rates from up to 20 insurers.
If Gabi 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.
Potential monthly savings: $100
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8. Refinance Your Mortgage
Since homes are pricey, 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.
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.
Potential monthly savings: $200
*Need to manage you money while on the go? Consider the Simplifi by Quicken app. It’s ad free and provides a comprehensive view of your finances.
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.
Potential monthly savings: $400 (for a family of four)
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
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.
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 .45 percent on your cash, which is seven times the national average.
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$100 minimum deposit requirement
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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.
If you work during busy times, like evenings and weekends, you can earn up to $20 per hour. 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.
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? What are some other ways to save money each month? How much money do you save each month?