When you’re trying to keep on top of your finances and save some money, the best thing to do is reduce your monthly expenses. Your starting point is probably going to be all of those frivolous purchases you make on a daily basis like takeaway coffee or lunch. They add up to quite a bit of money but if you’ve already eliminated that unnecessary spending and you’re still struggling to make the numbers add up, you’re probably spending too much on your bills. People’s instinct is often to start borrowing money because you can’t exactly stop paying all of your utilities. The thing is, you don’t always need to borrow money and get yourself into a cycle of debt. There are ways that you can reduce your bill and improve your finances without having to borrow money. These are some of the most common bills that you’re overpaying and how you can reduce the amount.

Mobile Phone Bill

You can’t go without a phone completely these days but you’re probably paying way more than you need to. If you get a brand new phone as soon as it comes out, you could be paying somewhere around $50 a month for it. That’s way more than you need to be paying because if you get a slightly older phone, it’ll be half the price and it’ll still do all of the stuff that you need it to. You should also be aware of what you’re actually paying for because the salespeople will often try to get you to take out a contract that you just don’t need. If you’re only making a couple of calls a day, you don’t need to max out on the amount of minutes you’ve got. The amount of data that you have on your contract is the thing that will push the price up the most and the majority of people don’t need the amount that they’re paying for. Whenever you’re at home you can use wifi so you don’t need it. When you’re out of the house, you might use a little for reading emails and viewing websites etc. but you don’t need to pay for the biggest package unless you’re going to be streaming videos and stuff. By just paying for what you need and getting a slightly older model, you can more than half the amount that you’re spending on your mobile phone each month.

Car Insurance

Car insurance is another bill that people don’t realize they can reduce. Most people think that the price is based on your age, driving history, and the car itself. Those are all big factors but there are a lot of other things that impact the cost of car insurance. The security of the vehicle is important because the price will be lower if the risk of the car being stolen is reduced. Putting it in a garage and having garage door repairs done so it’s secure will save you a lot of money. If you don’t have a garage to put it in, consider getting a steering wheel lock to deter thieves.

The job description that you put on the application also has a huge effect because they’ll increase the price if they think that you earn a lot of money. You can’t lie on the form but the way that you word your job title can change the price. For example, if you just put Nurse, the price will be different to if you put Assistant Nurse or something else similar. It’s worth trying a few different options and seeing which one gives you the cheapest price, just remember that it still has to reflect what your job is.

TV Subscriptions

Monthly subscriptions are one of the biggest problems that people come across when they’re trying to save money. A lot of the time people completely forget about things that they’re paying for and subscriptions to TV services are one of the biggest culprits. When it comes to online streaming services like Netflix, ask yourself whether you need more than one. A lot of the time, you’ve got the same TV shows and movies on different platforms so you’re paying twice for a lot of the stuff on there. If you’re also paying a cable bill you might not need streaming services at all.

You can also reduce your cable bill pretty easily if you know how. The first thing to do is call them up and threaten to cancel, giving the cost as your reason. Providers often give you a reduced introductory rate so if you call them up before the price increases and say you’re going to leave, they’ll usually change your deal and give you a much better price. It’s far easier for them to keep a customer than it is to find a new one so they’ll usually go out of their way to give you a better deal. You should also look at the channels that you’re paying for and decide whether you actually need them or not. Some of the premium channels are pretty expensive and if you only watch one or two shows on there, it’s cheaper to just buy the DVD when it comes out than it is to pay every month for the whole channel, although that only works if you’re willing to wait a few months.  

You can even just get rid of your cable completely; more and more great shows are on streaming services instead of TV channels these days and that trend is only going to get larger. If you’re finding that you hardly ever watch the TV anyway, why not just get rid of it entirely? There are more channels than ever on terrestrial TV so you might find that you can get enough for free.  

These are 3 of the biggest household bills that you just don’t need to be paying for. If you take these steps to reduce them, you can improve your financial situation without having to borrow money and land yourself in more trouble in future.

image credit
unsplash-logoAlejandro Escamilla

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