Save Money Fast by Lowering Your Bills
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How to Save Money on Fixed Expenses
Sometimes, you are saving all that you can, eating nothing but Ramen and your money is still GONE!
It may be because you just have too many bills. Sure we can cut the grocery budget down and never drive anywhere to save on gas. But what might be really keeping us back is our fixed expenses.
These large expenses can sometimes be absolutely unnecessary. So, this post will show you how to evaluate these expenses to limit or cancel them.
it’s not deprivation
Don’t think of lowering your expenses as depriving yourself or downgrading your life. Think of it as a stepping stone, a challenge, so you can get to a place where you can achieve financial goals that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Getting to those goals will make the sacrifices worth it.
In this post
- Let the pros negotiate your bills
- Car loan
- Pay off debt
easy ways to cut down on bills
These are expenses that are so easy to cut down because all you have to do is change some of your habits, change packages or cancel the bills. Easy peasy.
Subscriptions or memberships usually have a monthly expense. These are usually NOT necessary and are consider wants. Consider slashing these bills for a while as you get your finances in order.
Fun subscription services include:
- TV/Movie streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Sling, etc.
- Fun, box subscriptions like loot crate
- Music streaming services like Spotify
- Website memberships
- Gaming subscriptions like Playstation Live
Look at your bank statements, find your subscriptions (you may have more than you think) and determine what you can give up for now.
Then call or login and cancel! Don’t even wait to do it. Do it as soon as you decide, so you don’t delay.
If you are currently paying a subscription to view the news and current events, may I ask why? You can head on over to Google to get the latest updates on worldwide news and your local news for free.
If you have subscriptions to a physical newspaper or an online news website, consider canceling the subscription.
Convenience services include:
- Food subscriptions like Blue Apron
- Food delivery like Instacart
- House cleaning
- Lawn care
These services are completely optional and yes, it takes more time for you to cook things yourself, go to the grocery store to pick up your own food, clean your own house and cut your own grass, but if you’re strapped for cash, these services don’t seem worth it.
There are other types of memberships and services that charge you monthly. Be on the lookout for clubs that you or your children are a part of, warehouse grocery memberships like BJ’s, Sam’s Club and Costco, and the big kicker – the gym.
You may not be using these memberships to their fullest potential. It may be more cost effective to cancel these for now.
lower your phone bill
Phone bills are a hard bill to lower since we all have individual phones and expensive plans for a lot of data usage.
However, you can lower this expense by buying a phone you can afford, out-right in the beginning. Do not lease or finance a phone. It’s not worth it since the phone will have a newer model by the time you’re done paying for it.
But a cheap phone outright and lower your payments immediately.
Then get the lowest phone plan you can find. Yes, this will limit your data and prevent you from watching all the YouTube you wish, but you can just adapt.
Do everything you can over WiFi and when you’re out and about, be present and not sucked in on a phone.
Take a look into StraightTalk service from Walmart. My family swears by it. $45 a month gets you unlimited talk, text and data AND you can bring your own phone.
Is that cheaper than a $30 limited phone plan? No. It’s an option, but I hope you have the willpower for the $30 plan.
Cutting cable is easy if you don’t watch a lot of TV. If you watch a lot of TV, consider changing this habit. You can find more productive and fulfilling uses of your time. It does take time to change your habits, so here are quick alternatives to cable.
This goes against previous suggestions, but if you’re going to pay for TV, might as well get a good deal. Streaming services like Netflix or Hulu have plenty of shows and movies to keep you entertained.
And they are considerably cheaper than cable.
I suggest sticking to one service at a time and switching out if you get bored.
Finding Free TV
Sometimes, you need to get your creative juices flowing and see where you can find free TV.
Here are some ideas for you:
- The library is an awesome resource. Plenty of libraries have shows and movies you can check out for free.
- Dust off your DVD collection and replay some of your old favorites.
- Ask to borrow DVDs from friends or family.
- If you have a smart TV, see if it has free channels. Roku TVs have lots of channels like Roku Channel and Discovery Go with tons of free shows and movies.
- Get an antenna and see what’s up on your local, free satellite channels.
- Am I allowed to suggest watching pirated stuff on the internet? Well… there’s that
- Make watching TV an excuse to hang out with friends and family.
cancel internet if you dare
Please don’t click away!!! I’m not crazy, I swear. I still have my internet and I never want it to leave, but this is an option. Growing up, the internet was the first thing to get canceled when my mom was having money problems.
You can still survive without internet. You just may not like it. If you’re willing to go to extremes to get your finances in order and you actually do this, you are officially a badass!
Advantages to Cancelling Internet
Not having internet at home can have plenty of advantages. You can spend distraction-free time with your family. Actually have the time to really create a hobby. You may even get better sleep without having screens glare at you.
If you pay $100/month on internet, then you can save $1,200 every year.
Alternatives Ways to Get Internet
Since I have gone long periods without internet at home, I know how to sniff it out. Here are some ideas:
- Hit up the library.
- Get super close to places with free internet. A lot of them reach the car, but it’s slow.
- Use a mobile network. Good smartphones have a hotspot feature. If you’re paying for data anyway, hook it up to your computer.
- Just use your phone for internet.
- Some gas stations have free wifi.
- Some Barnes and Nobles have free wifi.
- Check out this list. It’s a little outdated but can give you some ideas in your area.
lower your electric bills
For some reason, a lot of budgeting tools and websites consider your electric bill as a fixed expense. However, it’s most likely varies depending on how much electricity you use for the month.
So should it be a variable expense? I digress… But if you want to see how to save money on variable expenses, check out this article.
Make it a Game
Watching your electric bill get lower can be fun! You can challenge yourself to turn lights off and see how long you can go without turning them off in the first place.
It’s fun to do simple switches like replacing light bulbs to energy friendly versions and see the effects on your bill each month.
Get your whole household on board and set rewards for low bills!
Energy Saving Tips
Here are some ways to save money on your electric bill that you can do right now:
- See how long you can go without turning the lights on (light a candle or use flashlights), without charging things and without turning on the ac/heat.
- Unplug everything that isn’t in use. Energy vampires are appliances that still use electricity even when they are turned off. If they’re plugged in, they’re costing you.
- Use smart power strips, that cut off electricity to the things plugged in with one simple switch.
- When replacing broken appliances, opt for energy efficient ones including light bulbs
- Hand wash dishes instead of using the dishwasher
- Use a clothesline instead of the dryer
- Put electronics on energy saving mode including phones
a cool service that will negotiate bills for you
If you hate calling companies (or people for that matter), then you especially hate the idea of calling companies to NEGOTIATE bills. But! Now there’s a service to do this for you.
BillFixers call up your service providers and try their best to get you a better deal. And you only pay them if they can save you money. They only want 50% of the savings for 1 year.
So, if they save you $100 a month then you give them $50 of your savings for a year.
And best yet, you never have to pick up the phone. You don’t even have to talk to BillFixers. Just upload your bills, provide some info and wait for them to do everything!
hard ways to cut down on bills
Harder things take serious actions and a lot of time to do. We’re talking life changes. But it’s all in the name of saving money and getting our futures in order.
cut your housing expenses
Housing expenses might be our biggest cost. Experts advise spending no more than a third of your income on housing expenses. A THIRD! I’m here to tell you that this statement is insane and way too much.
Find a Cheaper, Smaller Place to Rent or Buy
Look around endlessly for the smallest, cheapest (and safest) place you can rent or buy. Also, make sure it’s in decent condition so you’re not constantly spending money doing repairs.
This will save you literally thousands in housing costs. Smaller places tend to be cheaper and if you can’t cram into a small space, consider getting rid of things (and maybe selling them).
This does not have to be your forever home. It just needs to be a transitional place as you meet your goals.
Rent Out Your Property and Live Somewhere Cheaper
Or, if you own a house and don’t want to sell it. You can still take the tip above and buy/rent a smaller home, BUT become a landlord and rent out the other place.
Make sure rent at least covers your mortgage and insurance payments and you should be good to go. You can keep the house you like while also reducing your housing costs by living in a smaller space.
You can also put your house up on Airbnb or HomeAway. This is a lot more work. You have to get in a mindset of running your house like a hotel. There’s going to be different people in a short timeframe and you have to be leary if no one books your place. Then how will your mortgage get paid?
But if you live in a tourist town, then this route may be a fun way to go.
Roommates can be a fun experience. You can pretend that you’re still in college and have a blast. Roommates make every bill HALF off. I think that is seriously a good deal.
If you can squeeze in more than one roommate, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Hell, Move Back in with Your Parents
There’s no shame in moving in with family. Hell, if Mom or Dad allows it, never leave until you’re financially stable in the first place. These kinds of situations are a blessing in disguise.
It’s not an excuse to be a freeloader until you’re 40. But rather an opportunity to save some serious cash and then move out debt free. Be sure to thank them!
cancel your car loan
Besides housing costs, a car loan is the next biggest expense. Buying a car that you can’t afford just for status, looks or wants is an irresponsible mistake when you’re broke. And if you’re paying money every month on a car loan, then you definitely could not afford it.
The BEST thing to do is to buy a used car outright for $10-$15k. But, NO ONE has that kind of cash lying around. So the next best thing? Find a decent car for no more than $15,000 and pay the thing off ASAP.
But what if you’re already stuck with a huge debt on an expensive car?
Sell the Damn Thing
If you’re financing a car that cost more than $15,000, sell it. If you make any money off of it, use it to buy a used, cheaper car.
But reduce that car payment as best as you can.
Pay Off the Loan ASAP
If you don’t want to sell the car, then work your ass off to pay off the loan as soon as possible. Any extra money, tax refunds, bonuses, extra paydays or birthday money should be flowing into your debt payments.
I have family that had a car payment of $600. Do you realize how much your life could improve with an extra $600 a month? You could have that money if it wasn’t being taken from you.
And that’s true with any debt.
pay off debt
Debt is a big expensive bill that keeps adding interest every day. The minimum payments can drive you crazy. So if you saved anything from the above advice, transfer that savings to pay off a debt.
Even a small one that is demanding $50 a month from you can have a big effect on your finances.
reduce your bills
Bills are big! And you may think that there’s no way to get away from the fixed expenses because they’re all necessary right? Well, I hope this post showed you some ways to lower your bills.
How much did you save?
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