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10 Best Ways to Lower Your Bills Now

Want to save more for retirement or other financial goals? There are plenty of ways to put money back in your bank account. 

By
Laura Adams, MBA,
Episode #524

6. Save power at home.

Whether you own or rent your home, there are easy ways to cut your power bills. One option is to find out if your utility company offers an energy management program, which reduces power during occasional periods of high demand.

If you’re willing to give them control over certain appliances (such as your water heater, pool pump, or central air conditioner) during limited times, you can receive a nice rebate. This is a great option if you’re away from home during a large part of the day.

If you can’t get a power rebate, do your part to conserve power and water. Consider lowering the temperature on your hot water heater to 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit and doing more loads of laundry using cold water.

See if your thermostat is programmable so you can turn up the heat or cool air just before you get home, rather than paying for it all day long. If not, you can purchase a basic programmable thermostat for as little as $15 on Amazon.

See if your thermostat is programmable so you can turn up the heat or cool air just before you get home, rather than paying for it all day long.

7. Save gas on the road.

Many gas stations located near highways charge more per gallon than those farther away. So, choose a less expensive station and pay for gas using a rewards credit card that gives you cash back or points for every dollar you spend on gas.

Also, keep an eye on your tires because they lose pressure slowly over time. Driving with underinflated tires reduces your fuel economy. Check your owner’s manual or the sticker in the driver’s side door to find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle. Every two PSI of air added to your tires can improve gas mileage by one percent.

8. Cancel unused memberships and subscriptions.

Look back over the past 12 months and consider how often you really use memberships, such as a gym or country club. If you’re not using them at least once a week or every other week, you’re probably not getting your money’s worth.

If you’re getting a newspaper or magazines that you don’t read, cancel them at renewal. You may be able to get the same content for free online. If you drop a service, but really end up missing it, you can always purchase it again in the future.

9. Shop your auto insurance.

Every driver needs auto insurance, but you may be overpaying if you haven’t shopped and compared quotes in a while. No two insurers charge the same rate for the same policy because they evaluate policyholders differently.

For instance, if you’ve received a moving violation, don’t have good credit, or drive a high number of annual miles, carriers have unique calculations that factor these into your rate. You may find that your current auto insurance provider is giving you a good deal, but you won’t know until you shop at least several different companies. 

Most insurers offer a discount if you bundle your auto policy with a home, condo, or renters policy. If you use different companies for different types of insurance, ask for a bundled quote. Also consider getting quotes with higher deductibles on your auto and home policies. That will lower your annual premium, but the savings varies depending on the state where you live. Check out sites like MetromileUSAA, and Liberty Mutual Insurance for free quotes.

Most insurers offer a discount if you bundle your auto policy with a home, condo, or renters policy. If you use different companies for different types of insurance, ask for a bundled quote.

10. Pay less interest on your debt.

Reducing your debt, or the interest rate you must pay for it, helps cut your monthly expenses. If you have large debts, such as home loans, look at refinancing your mortgage for less when interest rates have dropped at least 1% below the rate you’re paying. For student loans, you may be able to consolidate them or do a refinance, depending on whether they’re from the federal government or a private lender.

If you have smaller debts with double-digit interest rates, such as credit cards or personal loans, consider if a balance transfer credit card could save money by cutting your interest to 0% during a promotional period. 

See also: 8 Pros and Cons of Using Personal Loans to Consolidate Credit Card Debt

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