You might be overpaying on certain bills, like your internet service or cell phone, each month and not even realize it.
Money saving expert Andrea Woroch said the reason why many consumers waste money every month on bills like these is because they aren’t scrutinizing recurring charges for accuracy. Without a careful eye to examine these charges, consumers may be overlooking excessive fees, extra services or add-ons they don’t need and missing out on deals with a competitor that offers similar quality of service for less.
Wireless Service and Data
There are several ways you can save on cell phone carrier expenses. Samantha Hawrylack, co-founder of How To FIRE, recommends reviewing your cell phone plan. See if you can downgrade to a cheaper option. Making a few simple changes to your plan or going in on a plan with family members or friends can help you save a bit more money each month.
As you review potentially changing your plan, Woroch said review your data usage. This information should be detailed in your monthly bill. Compare the data usage with your plan’s offerings. If you’re using less data than you’re paying for, Woroch recommends switching to a lower-tiered option to reduce
According to the Department of Energy, your overall energy use and costs may be affected by the appliances and electronics you choose and how you use them. Woroch said you can reduce your energy bill by unplugging unused gadgets, like electronics, chargers and small kitchen appliances that continue to use energy even in “off” mode.
“For hard to reach areas like behind your entertainment system, use power strips which makes it easy to completely power down those electronics,” said Woroch. “You can even invest in smart WiFi which enables plugs and power strips that you can control from your phone.”
You might have shopped around for the best rate on insurance policies when you first bought your car or home, but chances are you haven’t checked the price on your policy or compared rates since and could be missing out on savings.
Woroch recommends running a quick comparison with the help of a trusted insurance comparison site. This allows you to gather and compare quotes in one place and make the switch to a cheaper plan, trimming an insurance policy statement by an estimated $34.71 a month.
If you have the amount in savings to do it, Woroch said you may consider increasing your deductible. Bundling services may also help reduce your bill.
Are you paying more than you’re saving at your bank? It’s possible, especially where bank fees are concerned. Some bank fees include a monthly service fee for checking accounts, which may range from $3 to $20 a month, and a monthly maintenance fee of between $1 to $10 for savings accounts.
While this extra fee is not likely to make or break you, Woroch recommends considering switching to free checking account options.
“Compare options at local credit unions or switch to an online bank which offers fewer fees and better interest rates on savings,” said Woroch.
“Research different providers and plans to find a cheaper internet service option that still meets your needs,” said Hawrylack. If your current internet provider is offering any discounts or promotions that allow you to save extra money, take advantage of these offerings.
If your gym membership is getting to be too expensive, there are many options available to cut these costs. Hawrylack recommends looking for discounts or promotions and inquire if your workplace offers a gym discount. Those who aren’t using the gym regularly may cancel their membership to save a little extra each month — or utilize the outdoors more if the weather is nice.
Subscriptions to streaming services are often billed as a cheaper option to cutting the cord with a traditional cable or satellite TV package provider. However, having multiple subscriptions with streaming services ranging from TV to music and non-streaming subscriptions like magazines and meal kit companies can quickly add up.
Here’s what you can do if you feel like you’re overpaying for too many subscriptions. Woroch said audit your subscriptions by reviewing your credit card and bank statements from the past year. Jot down each recurring charge. Figure out where you have a subscription and how much you’re spending overall. Then, reevaluate what you and your family are using. What do you really need? What don’t you really need? Cancel the extras you don’t need or use right now.
“Even a few bucks saved here and there for an unused photo editing app or online newspaper subscription saved will add up!” said Woroch.
Woroch also recommends tapping into free streaming services provided by the digital platform at your local library. You can use this space to rent movies, TV shows, documentaries and video games for free.