No matter how much you want to downsize your life and your expenses, there are some bills and obligations you simply can’t do away with. Maybe you’d like to get more information on how to save as much as possible on your car insurance, or perhaps you’d like to maximize your health insurance plan. No matter what it might be, know that there’s a lot you can do to cut down on those unavoidable expenses life throws at you.
Cut the Cord
If you have cable, you might be getting tired of the limited viewing options you have (despite having thousands of channels), the number of commercials you have to sit through and the cost of your service. There are plenty of streaming services available that let you watch a glut of TV shows and movies, all without commercial interruptions and at a much lower price compared to cable. To expand your streaming horizons, see if any of your family and friends would be willing to share services with you; that way, you each only have to pay for a single service while sharing several others.
Make Your Home More Efficient
Going without electricity might be a step too far for you in your quest to lower your energy bills as much as possible. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to keep your energy use and bills low, which you’ll especially appreciate during the hottest and coldest months of the year. For instance, sealing up cracks and gaps in your windows and doors eliminates drafts that can cause your HVAC unit to work harder than necessary. You might be able to switch to a less expensive energy provider in your area to save money as well, just do your research to see what kind of service you can expect. Your old washer, dryer, air conditioner or other appliance could be costing you money with its inefficiency; upgrading to something newer and more energy-smart can save you money.
Renegotiate When It’s Time for a Renewal
If any of your bills have a renewal period, such as your insurance, use that time to your advantage to see if you can get a lower price. This is an especially useful tip if you’ve been a loyal customer for a while and have paid your bills on time; both make you look like a solid candidate, and companies want to keep doing business with people like you. If you experience any pushback, you can always threaten to take your business elsewhere.
Refinance Your Loans
For both your mortgage and car loan, consider refinancing them if your credit score has improved since you first applied for a loan. While you might be able to get a lower monthly bill after refinancing, it’s best to pretend as if you have the same rate. That way, you’ll rack up less interest over the months and can shorten the overall length of your loan, saving you money in the long run. Just know that there might be some fees involved if you do apply for refinancing, since you’re essentially getting a new loan.
Consider Renting Out a Room
Maybe you have an extra room in your home that you aren’t using. You can rent the space out to someone who needs a place to stay, or maybe even let the person use the room as an office or creative space. You can use that extra income to cover your bills, put it in a savings account or tuck it away for retirement. No matter what you decide to use the room for, be sure you do your research on the person renting it. You want someone trustworthy, whom you get along with and will pay her or his rent on time. Background checks are most certainly the way to go.
Be Cautious About Your Use
With something like your phone where you’re charged for your overall use, be mindful and cautious of just how much you. Use your home’s wifi instead of your phone data, and get an idea of just how much and how often you’re online for computer use or streaming so you know what kind of internet package and speed is best for your particular use.
There are some expenses in your life that you just can’t avoid no matter how much you’d like to. For those costs, do everything you can to reduce your bills as much as possible.