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When you are working to become debt free, every dollar matters! One good way to find extra money to put toward your debt is to reduce your monthly bills.
1- Reduce Your Spending Habits.
What do you spend money on daily or weekly that isn’t necessary? Is it Starbucks? Sonic? (<– That’s my kryptonite.) Smoking? It may not seem like a huge deal to drop $7 a day on a frappachino, but it adds up!
- You could save over $2,000 a year just by dropping starbucks (you’d probably drop a few pounds too!)
- You could save over $9,000 a year if you stop smoking! You will also save on life insurance premiums!
- You could save $7,500 a year as a family of 4 if you decrease your eating out trips from three times to once per week.
- You could save over $3,000 a year by using Coupons for groceries. Here’s a post to learn how.
2- Reduce Your Electric Bill
- Shop Around! Depending on where you live, there could be some competition among Electricity providers. Simply shopping around can make a HUGE difference. I found a competitor with a much lower rate, and called my current Electricity Provider to cancel. When I told them what the other company was offering, they matched it. Win! Now I don’t have to pay a reconnect fee! Call your provider and ask for a discount. It can’t hurt!
- UNPLUG! Many common electronic devices are sucking electricity, even when they’re turned off. This includes your computers, TVs, coffee makers, printers, chargers, etc. Unplug these when you aren’t using them. An easier way is to connect them all to a power strip, and just turn that bad boy off when you go to bed or leave the house!
- Change your air filters! Air filters keep all of the junk from clogging your HVAC system. When the filters themselves get full of dust and debris, your air conditioner will have to work harder to cool your home. You should swap your air filters out every few months to reduce the energy needed to keep your home cool or warm. I use FilterEZ. They ship the filters to my house every 3 months, which is a good reminder to go ahead and change them. Their prices are great, and your first shipment is free! You can sign up for a free trial here.
- Get a Programmable Thermostat! These puppies can save you hundreds over the year on your electric and gas bills. They are smart thermostats, and they learn from your adjustments and even adjust themselves based on humidity and other factors. You can install it yourself by reading the directions and watching youtube videos. That will save you some money. I recommend the Nest Learning Thermostat. Here’s what it looks like:
3- Reduce Cable/Satellite Bill
- Shop Around! Again, my first tip here is to SHOP AROUND! Competitors are always offering lower rates to sign you up. Call your provider, and tell them Dish Network is offering you an amazing deal. They will lower your bill to keep you around. I promise.
- Share with your family! If your parents or your bestie already have a streaming account, or a cable account, ask them to share their password for a year! It won’t affect their service at all. All you need is a smart TV to log in. Maybe next year, when your debt free, you can pay for the service and let them mooch off of you for a year!
- Find an Alternative. If you can cut your cable or satellite bill for a year, you could save lots of cash. Consider Netflix, Amazon Prime, Roku, Hulu, the list goes on and on. We use the Amazon Fire Stick. It like this:
4- Reduce Water Bill
- Grab a Bucket! This is my favorite tip. You know how whne you take a shower, it takes some time for the water to heat up? No one wants to jump in a cold shower!! Put a large bucket in your shower to fill up when the water is still to cold to get in. You can use that bucket of water to water your plants, mop your floors later, wash your car, anything you need water for. It’s a cute little way to save money and save water!
- Shorten Your Showers! (this is not an issue for moms, as we are always taking the fastest showers possible, often with kids watching and screaming). Shortening showers from 10 minutes to 5 minutes could save you $100 a year!
- Swap out your Hardware! If your live in an older home (pre-1992), your shower heads and sink faucets use more gallons per minute (GPM) than newer hardware. Replace showerheads and low flow faucet aerators to save money
5- Reduce Your Cell Phone Bill
- Are you a slave to the cell phone company? We have friends whose cell phone bills are more than their car payment! That’s ridiculous! There are so many options out there these days, you don’t have to fork over hundreds of dollars a month anymore to Verizon or AT&T.
- I, personally, use Straight Talk. I pay $45 a month for unlimited text, calls, and data. I have zero issues with my coverage. My Dad uses straight talk as well. You can bring your own phone, and you aren’t subject to any contract. I like that. I never pay any overages, it’s legit $45 a month.
- Some other inexpensive options are: Vonage, Cricket, Total Wireless, Republic Wireless, and so many more. Ask around!
- You can bring your own phone to these, so if you don’t have an unlocked phone, buy one on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or something like that. Amazon also has refurbished phones with excellent condition and prices. Straight Talk Alison has some great phones for low prices.
Bottom line…stop overpaying! One day, I decided to lower every bill that we had. I spent a few minutes on the phone that day, and lowered our monthly bills by $90. Just in a few phone calls! It’s worth the effort!
Let me know how much you save!