With the average American household spending over $100 a month on cable (fortune.com) and the cost of putting a cellphone in each of the hands of a family of four ranging about $200 a month (time.com), it can feel like your bills are taking up too much of your paycheck. While completely cutting out these bills would mean giving up a lot of conveniences here are a few things you can do to make sure you aren’t paying more than you need to:
Cut the Cable
Cutting down or cutting out your cable can save you hundreds of dollars each year. If you find that you only watch a few of the channels you’re paying for then call your provider and ask to be put on a smaller package. Really scrutinize your bill and see if there’s any extra fees you can rid yourself of. If you’re paying for multiple DVR boxes but you could get by with just one then cut them out. It’s worth strongly considering whether or not you even need cable. Paying for a streaming service, such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, would cost a lot less each month while still giving you access to excellent content.
Switch It Up
Even if you’ve been with a certain provider for years that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily treating you the best. It’s always worth having a look around to see what competition is out there, and what they can offer you. Make sure you look into all of your basic bills, including your cell phone, cable, internet, and car insurance. Some companies offer a special rate to new customers, but the condition might be having to sign a contract. Don’t let yourself get trapped in a multiple year contract that will see you paying more as time goes on.
Bundle Your Services
Most providers offer you a special rate if you choose them for multiple services, and since many providers don’t just offer one service it’s easy to find a decent bundled package that can save you money each month. Having the majority of your services with one company also makes bill paying more efficient.
Fully Utilize the Power of the Internet
As a method of communication the internet is unrivaled, and if you’re properly utilizing its power then you can seriously cut your costs. Chances are that you’re definitely paying for internet each month which means that automatically you have access to a number of ‘free’ services that can provide you with all of your communication needs. By deciding to only speak to people on platforms run by the internet (such as Facebook or Skype) you might find your need for a large cellphone plan has been eliminated. While it’s still a good idea to keep a cellphone (in case of emergencies) you can cut down to a much more cost effective plan.