What if I told that you that I could save you thousands of dollars by reducing some of your major monthly bills?
What if I also told you that I could give you the same service, for half the price, with MORE flexibility?
Would you believe me?
Perhaps our lack of belief that we could have the same services for half the price is why so many of us refuse to look at the competition.
I have easily saved a few grand in a years time by finding deals on service providers for many of my luxury utilities, without giving up my favorite tv shows, my quality cell service, or my internet. For example:
- I replaced my satellite with alternatives: saved 50.00/mo
- I utilize Cricket Wireless instead of Verizon or AT&T: saved $130.00/mo
- I started shopping at Costco (estimated savings): saved $50.00/mo
- I shopped for better insurance premiums: saved 200 a year or $16.00/mo
- Total savings for 1 year: roughly $2,352.
- Savings for 2 years: $4,704
Do you get my point?
All from a few minor changes.
Even if saving isn't your forte, having that extra money for you to enjoy is well worth reading the article below. Just through the implementation of a few of these suggestions, you could added a nice chunk of change to your life, by giving up practically nothing.
1. Reduce Your Cell Phone Bill
I truly can't believe how many people OVERPAY for their wireless service. I pay $35 flat for my wireless line (which includes talk and text) and 2.5 GB of data. Flat. I repeat, FLAT. Meaning I pay NO TAXES, NO FEES. I pay only 35$ for all of that: high speed data, unlimited talk and text, and reliable service (I run off AT&T coverage).
The worst part of our awesome savings? You could go as far as saying that even WE are over paying. Companies like Total Wireless and Virgin Mobile now give you even more bang for your buck, meaning more data for less money. And NO, you don't have to give up 4G LTE or coverage either!
If you have Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint.. you could very likely benefit from dropping them. Prepaid MVNO networks will likely suit your needs more while providing the same coverage and larger allotment of data then any of the 4 main postpaid contract companies could.
MVNO networks include companies like Straight Talk, Total Wireless, Cricket Wireless, Boost Mobile, Metro PCS, TracFone, Net10 and the list goes on and on. They work by renting tower space from any of the big 4, rather then building their own. Some of them offer higher data and speeds while others offer better coverage (like those who rent space from AT&T and Verizon). The MVNO networks have grown by leaps in bounds in the last couple of years.. thankfully due to people seeing how much they can save and therefore creating a demand for them. In fact, much of the price drop from the big 4 is driven by the prepaid market.
Networks like Verizon and AT&T destroy you with high taxes and fees, but if you don't pay attention to your bill you probably haven't even noticed just how high they are. Remember, when you sign up for service with one of the 'Big 4' they aren't going to advertise these extra fees to you.
You can read even more about it here or by clicking the image above.
2. Reduce Your Cable or Satellite Bill
Have you been a victim of signing up for a satellite company and thinking your receiving a big promotional rate? Then, after 6 months or a year, you realize that on the your bill somehow doubles? This deal you think is great when you sign up is somehow NOT when you are paying $100 for what you originally had for $50?
Here is how you can either fix, or avoid that situation all together:
- Call your provider and threaten to leave. As irrational as this may sound, will work, I promise. Set up a time to cancel service (before the end of your month so you have some cushion) and hang up the phone. You WILL get a call within the next week (so if they don't offer it right away, don't panic) promising to renew your "promotion" and your bill will go back to its original price (in my case it was $50). Therefore, I saved $50 a month or roughly $600 a year, until I dropped it all together).
- Switch providers. When I was with DirectTV, I received promotional offers from Dish Network. This included a $200 gift card and $20 a month plans.. it was incredible. I highly contemplated switching but then I discovered the new thing called...
- Cable cutting - Cable cutting means no contract and no crap. Cheap services with only the channels I need, through my internet! I was sold! Options like SlingTV, Playstation Vue, DirecTV now have no contract, no hassle options - simple and cheap. Prices range from $20 to $65 + depending on how many channels you want. Then there is the nothing but Netflix (or hulu, or any pay on demand service) which costs a whopping $7.
- Piggyback off of someone you know - If your friends or family have a Dish or DirecTV account, you most certainly can use their online privileges to watch the live TV you love. All you need is a Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, AppleTV, or a smart TV (literally any - or just a computer if you prefer) and you are on your way to watching your favorite shows for free.
- What do you need? Their username and password. You will be asked to verify your device (which takes 1 minute, literally) and you are all set! Great TV for free! This is how we watch all of our NFL games!
3. Your Monthly Shopping Habits
I wrote an entire article on how you can save money and save time by utilizing services such as Amazon Prime and Ebates. You can read that article here (or click on the image to the right).
However, if internet isn't your forte - then perhaps shopping at wholesale stores are. Sam's Club and Costco are two fantastic resources for buying food and household supplies for cheap.
Some of the things that I have found saving myself a significant amount of money on includes food such as chicken, individual chip bags, coffee (You can find the Keurigs for .30 cents a piece in bulk, try to beat that at Walmart) socks, laundry detergent, garbage bags.. and the list goes on and on.
SHOP AROUND. Shop for new premiums on your car, your house, your toys... you name it. Premiums change all of the time, especially with our changing lives. I have saved hundreds of dollars by checking for better premiums every year. Don't always trust your insurance agent, do it for yourself so you know you are getting the BEST deal. Additionally, you could ask your insurance agent (if its competing) to do a new search. Don't have a new vehicle (or lease or finance)? Then drop your insurance coverage to liability.
5. Adjust Your W-4's
Claim at least 1 on your exemptions on your taxes. This doesn't exactly jump out at you as a monthly bill... but it sort of is.. or can be. And it can go both ways. By claiming one or two for tax exemptions.. your getting more back in your paycheck. For me, that is more monthly money that I can plan around - which is how I like to manage money, most importantly, its more monthly money I can use for debt payoff which is like a return in itself, especially if there are some heftier interest rate. I also like to KNOW exactly how much money is coming in and how much money is coming out. It usually equates to roughly 100 extra a month. In addition, if you are looking to invest that money, its also wiser to take it in your monthly paycheck and invest it over time - to capitalize on the ups and downs of the market. However, if you prefer a bulk payment at the end, for spending or guaranteed end of the year pay out... then obviously claim 0.
We saved nearly $300 off of our monthly bills. That is $3600 in our pocket at the end of the year that we did practically nothing to achieve. We have more data then we will ever use... all of the TV we could imagine and our insurance costs are a drop in the bucket. Not too mention, the extra money in our W-4's are being thrown into our remaining debt. Not bad.