8 Brilliant Tips on How to Save Money on Bills Each Month

inserting a coin to a piggy bank

31% of Americans have difficulty paying their bills each month. And, close to half of Americans say they're unprepared for an emergency that would cost less than $400. 

Is there any way to remedy this, or are we stuck living paycheck to paycheck, juggling bills and deciding which ones to pay and which ones to go delinquent?

Thankfully, there are several ways you can save money each month and provide a bit of breathing room in your finances. If you're wondering how to save money on bills, read on to see how the tips below can work for you.

How to Save Money on Bills: 14 Ways

When you're looking to lower your bills, initially you may consider cutting the cable cord or spending less on groceries. While those are great starting points, if you look even closer at your monthly expenses, you might find other ways to stash extra cash. 

Here are 14 ways you can start saving money on your bills today.

1. Check Your Insurance Policies

Insurance is a must-have, but if you're ignoring your policy you could be leaving money on the table. It's recommended to review your policy every six months to see if there are any changes that need to be made. This can include all insurance policies, like home, auto, and life. 

If you're not sure if you can save money in this area, contact your insurance agent to discuss your current policy. 

2. Workout At Home

Gym membership fees can sneak up on you, especially if you're not using it. Finding ways to workout at home can save you the $20 or so you're spending on a membership. Or, if you really love going to the gym, find a membership with a lower fee.

3. Inspect Your Home

Your home is where you're most likely to find places to cut bills. Utilities like using electricity, water, heating and cooling, and so forth can be evaluated and their usage reduced. 

For example, to lower your water bill, shorten showers or fix or replace faucets that may be dripping. Look around your home for signs damage or cracks where hot or cool air might be escaping. Sealing these will lower your bills and keep air where it should be. 

Installing solar panels can also save on electric bills. You might be wondering where to buy solar panels, but the first step would be getting an estimate and deciding how you want to use them. 

4. Come Into The Light

Did you know that using electricity is about 12% of your energy costs? Replacing your older dated lightbulbs with energy sufficient LED light bulbs will cut the cost, especially dimmable LED light bulbs. And always turn off lights when they're not in use. 

5. Reconsider Your Car

The average car payment per month is $479, while the average car loan is over $30,000. If you are a two-car home with these average payments, you could be really stressed.

Selling your car (or both cars) could relieve some of this financial burden. You could become a one-car family or simply trade the cars in for something more affordable. 

6. Evaluate Your Cell Phone Plan

Millions of people now have smartphones and it comes at a cost - an average of just under $100 per month! While some people need their phones for business, if it's a personal phone, chances are you can cut back on some features. 

Only pay for what you know you'll use and disregard other features. Some employers even offer a discount, so look into that possibility. Also, try to pay for your phone in cash if you can and avoid payment plans. 

7. Play the Coupon Game

Couponing is a great starting point for saving money on anything really - groceries, personal products, even clothing. You can clip coupons from the newspaper or there are apps available. Be sure to check weekly ads for coupon match-ups to get the best deals. 

Some people don't like couponing, and if you have a large family, it could be worth it to buy in bulk at a warehouse store. 

8. Meal Plan

Americans are spending roughly some dollar per month eating out. Creating a meal plan for the week can significantly reduce your spending in this area. When you plan, you're less likely to seek out fast food. 

Don't give in to the notion that every meal must be gourmet and Pinterest-like. A simple salad, chicken, and even soup are enough to satisfy, and doubling the recipe allows you to have leftovers and save even more. 

9. DIY

Household products can quickly add up. But if you have ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils you can whip up your own cleaning products and pocket the extra cash. 

Here are a few household products you can make yourself with ingredients that you probably have at home:

  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dishwasher tablets
  • Glass cleaner
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Air freshener
  • Soap
  • Toothpaste

These are just a small amount of items people use frequently that could be made in the comfort of your own home. 

10. Consolidate Your Debt

One of the reasons why people have difficulty paying their bills is because of debt. Whether it's credit card debt, medical debt, or student loan debt, when debt is mounting you're pinching every penny and scrambling to pay all the bills on time.

Debt consolidation could be the answer to this problem. Consolidating your debts into one monthly payment can eliminate some of the stress off of your finances and your mind. You're no longer juggling several payments and wondering which ones have or have not been paid.

If debt consolidation isn't appealing, a credit card balance transfer could help as well, especially if your APR is high. With a balance transfer to an APR with 0% or a percentage lower than your current APR, it could be worth it. 

11. Find Free Entertainment

A night out complete with a movie and dinner can cost upwards of $100. Even though going out every now and then is great, if it happens too often it could put a serious dent in your finances. 

Here are some free-entertainment or low-cost ideas so you don't feel like you're sacrificing fun for frugality:

  • Rent a movie 
  • Spend time outdoors exploring or hiking
  • Find activities at your local community center
  • Have a game night with friends or family
  • Teach yourself a new craft like knitting, painting, quilting, or woodworking
  • Visit the library and read or check out a movie or audiobook
  • Take a trip to a museum, zoo, or other local attraction (call ahead to see if they offer discounts!)
  • Deep clean your home (not really fun - but sometimes necessary, right!)
  • Start your own book club
  • Consider buying a membership to an attraction you love and save money on multiple visits

No matter your location, there's probably plenty of opportunities to engage in free or low-cost activities in your area. 

12. Healthcare Costs

The cost of healthcare is rising, whether it's through insurance, prescription drugs, hospital stays, well check-ups, or self-pay. If you're married and you have health insurance, take a hard look at you and your spouse's plans. In some cases, switching to one plan or having each person on their own plan could slice this heavy cost. 

It's also possible to shop around before you jump on board your employer's plan, especially if you have a family.

Prescription drug plans are available, but if possible always ask your doctor for the generic brand of your medication. These are much less costly. Check out online pharmacies, which tend to be cheaper especially if you buy in bulk.

13. Pets

Pets are a part of our families, but their needs can mount as well. Vet visits, grooming appointments, and medications can all be a financial burden. 

Try grooming your pet yourself at home. Though it's much harder, pets that need regular maintenance like brushing, teeth cleaning, or nail trimming can quickly drain our bank accounts. It may be worth the work to save the cash. 

Pet insurance could be helpful if your pet faces an emergency. Some pet insurance plans can cost just under or at $100 per pet, but each plan has its own stipulations. 

14. Childcare Costs

For each child you have, from the time they are born until they leave the home, they will cost you almost a quarter of a million dollars. While children are wonderful, there are plenty of ways to reduce costs that accompany them.

Childcare costs can be jaw-dropping. Find a friend or family member that is willing to babysit for a lower cost.

When you eat out, seek out facilities that have kids eat free nights

Education comes at a price, but it doesn't have to be expensive. If your child is college-bound, view in-state colleges because they typically have lower expenses.

Limit your child's extracurricular activities to one per child. With each activity comes increased costs. 

Kids need clothes, too! Save money here by shopping thrift stores, or saving other children's clothes for hand-me-downs.

Save on Bills: It Doesn't Have to be Hard

It's possible to cut your monthly expenses. The next time you're wondering how to save money on bills, these areas above might offer some hope. 

Looking for more ways to save money? Check out our page to learn more! 

 

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