Time Is Money – 9 Simple Tips On Saving On Your Monthly Bills

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Time is MoneyIf you’ve been reading for any length of time, you know that I’m a pretty frugal person. I’m a couponer and have secret aspirations to become an extreme couponer. Lack of time pretty much keeps me from accomplishing that, but there’s plenty you can do to save money that doesn’t involve a lot of time.

I’m all about saving money in as little time as possible. As part of this plan, I do an annual bill review to make sure that I’m saving money wherever I can. I call it my “Stick It To The Man” plan. I have to fund my adventures somehow. Why not save the money for me instead of giving it away to big corporations.

I do my review every year around June 1st. The date really isn’t important so pick whatever date works best for you. I set a calendar reminder each year so that I don’t let time get away from me. In this case, time is money!

Here are some simple tips on the process I follow:

  1. Figure out what your monthly bills are. You can’t brainstorm ways to pay less if you don’t know who you are paying and what you are paying them. Review your checking account statements, monthly auto payments, and credit card statements. Write down a list of payees and amounts that recur every month.
  2. See if there are any that you can eliminate altogether. Do you have a landline and a cell phone? Do you need both? Many people nowadays are dropping the landline and going completely cell. If there are bills you can live without, call and cancel the service.
  3. Can you bundle any of the services like internet/cable or internet/cable/phone? Sometimes you can save by getting everything under one provider. It also cuts down on the number of bills for easier tracking.
  4. Did you sign up at one time for a special contract deal that’s now expired? I had a 2 year deal with my internet and TV provider that went up to regular rates after it expired. Hint: They don’t always tell you about the expiration and you don’t always notice right away. I called and asked for another deal if I signed up for another year or two. The worst they can say is no but it’s worth a try.
  5. Is your gas and/or electric deregulated? If so, you can shop around and get a good deal based on your usage. Companies have to compete for customers and the cost per unit of energy varies greatly. When I lived in Maryland, both gas and electric were deregulated. Here in Texas only electric is but every bit helps.
  6. Sign up for budget billing if your utilities offer it. It doesn’t save you money, but they average your annual bill over 12 payments so you don’t have easy months and hard months based on usage. It’s a lot easier to plan on an amount than get hit with a surprise.
  7. Are there competitors that have better offers for services you’re getting? This works well with cable, internet, cell phones, credit card interest rates. Call your current provider and tell them about the better offer. See if they can match it. If not, consider whether it’s worth it to you to switch providers.
  8. Review things like phone plan usage or channel line ups. There’s no sense paying for a plan with bells and whistles if you never use the monthly minutes or watch the premium channels. A lower cost plan might be all you need.
  9. Check out sites like Lower My Bills to look into various options on insurance, phone, cable and more. A few simple questions and you can view offers from companies on the services you use. AAA, USAA, and even some employers offer discounts. Check to see if you’re eligible for any of them. I save on my cell phone through my employer.

As always, make sure that you make the decision that’s best for you and your situation. Watch out for termination fees and other cancellation costs. Make sure you have all the details to make your decision.

Look for more posts on easy ways to save money coming up. I’m full of cheap ideas. 😉

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