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Lower Your Bills
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Ways to lower bills are infinite…  you are limited only by your imagination. Take a look at spending. Be honest in differentiating needs and wants. Make efforts to trim… not to deny yourself. Rather to accommodate for what you really want.

Lose the "its not worth the hassle” attitude. Often the first answer from an insurance company is "no”—don’t take no for an answer.

When possible, negotiate for goods and services. Often paying cash will get you a discount.

Contact cable, internet and cell phone providers and request better terms.

  • Don’t pay for more minutes than you need.
  • Consider a pre-paid plan.
  • Don’t pay for services you don’t use.
  • Do you really need all those channels? (Seems like there is never anything good on no matter how many you have)
  • Consider canceling cable and using streaming services.

Consider an alternate energy provider. You can find information on your current utility’s website.

  • Consider keeping the heat in the 60’s in winter and the air in the 70’s in summer.
  • Consider taking advantage of peak rewards programs.
  • Ensure your home is energy efficient.
  • When updating, consider energy efficient appliances.
  • Encourage your family to conserve energy. Unplug unused appliances, etc.

Insurance

  • Shop around.
  • Bundle policies.
  • Pay annually or semi annually.
  • Raise deductibles (assuming you have an adequate emergency fund).
  • Consider dropping comprehensive on older vehicles.
  • Research the cost of insuring prior to purchasing a vehicle.
  • Protect against the catastrophic and don't skimp on coverages that you really need.

Reduce food costs.

  • Plan a weekly menu and cook your meals at home.
  • Make a shopping list. Don’t buy what you don’t need.
  • Purchase produce that is in season.
  • Eat out less.
  • When appropriate, use coupons.
  • Clean out your fridge and pantry.
  • Buy in bulk only the things you normally use.
  • Try the grocery store brand.
  • Take advantage of grocery store sales cycles.
  • Stop buying microwave dinners.
  • Use a slow cooker.
  • Make your own coffee.
  • Pack your lunch.
  • Stop buying bottled water.

Entertainment:

  • Cancel magazine and newspaper subscriptions you don't read.
  • Go to the library. Get books, movies, and music for free.
  • Eat out less.
  • Take turns watching each other’s children. Babysitters are expensive!
  • Research free things to do in your area.

Shopping

  • Buy clothing and other items at the end of the season.
  • Purchase last year’s model… or better yet buy used.
  • Consider swapping clothes. This is common for children, but churches and other organizations sponsor these for adults as well.
  • Consignment shops and thrift stores can be great.
  • Borrow or rent seldom used items.
  • Don’t buy things you don’t need or won’t wear.
  • When appropriate, use coupons.
  • If you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it.
  • Learn the annual sales cycles.

Taxes

  • The less you buy, the less you pay in sales taxes.
  • Take advantage of sales tax holidays.
  • Fight property tax assessments.
  • Own your financial assets in tax efficient vehicles.
  • File—many get refunds.

Other

  • Lose the "its not worth the hassle” attitude. Often the first answer from an insurance company is "no”—don’t take no for an answer.
  • When possible, negotiate for goods and services.  Often cash will get you a discount.
  • If necessary, downsize your house or car.
  • Be aware that merchants can now charge a "check out” fee to recoup merchant fees charged by credit card companies.
  • Refinance your car or home to a lower rate of interest. A lower payment may not save you money over the long term if you must extend the term of your loan.
  • Paying cash for gasoline can save you 5 cents per gallon.
  • Ride your bike to work.
  • Stop paying unnecessary fees. ATM, late fees, tickets, overdraft fees, etc. If you get dinged, call and request the penalty be waived.

The two biggest areas of overspending are housing and cars. If you spend too much on these expenses, it will be difficult to carve enough from spending to build a secure future and realize your dreams. Nevertheless, you can stretch your dollars further by adopting some of these strategies.

NOTE:  This list is not comprehensive.  We encourage members to share their money saving ideas to be added to this section.

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