3 Household Bills You Could Be Saving Major Money On
Bills, bills, bills. Unfortunately, we all deal with them. We all have to pay them. We all dread that day when that white envelope arrives in our mailbox and we tear it open to see a number that’s sky high. The shock sets in, then the panic, then the unpleasant reality.
If you feel like you are paying too much in bills every month, you are certainly not alone. But did you know that you might be spending far more than you actually need to? Here are a few places where you’re probably spending too much – and some ways to cut those nasty bills way down!
Cable bills are often among the highest household bills because there are few services to choose from, so the cable companies can jack their prices and consumers simply just have to deal with it. Some cable providers are cheaper than others, yes, and that could be one way of cutting this bill, but another way is to bundle all of your home services into one package that’s usually sold at a special price.
If you’ve moved into a new home or apartment and acquired cable, Internet and home phone services gradually, one at a time, you’re spending too much money on your bill. Call your cable company to have all of those services bundled into one bill. There will likely be a special price for this bundle, and request that you be charged that special price rather than paying for each service separately. Oftentimes, all it takes is an extended commitment to continue each service, and the company will be happy to switch your bill.
For those of you who maybe only want cable or only want Internet or maybe even both but not all the other stuff, here’s a little trick for you. When your bill gets to be too high, call your cable provider and tell them you are switching your services. Be ready to actually go through with this should this trick not work, but most likely the company will ask you why you’re switching, tell them it’s too expensive for you, and they will work out a special offer for you and likely lower your bill.
Reducing your energy bill could either be a huge undertaking, or a small one, depending on the size of the project you’re willing to tackle. Obviously, installing an energy-efficient heating and cooling system in your home would be a large undertaking, but there are simple steps you can take to significantly reduce your energy bill, too.
Consider replacing the old light bulbs throughout your entire home with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs or LED lights. Both last 10-25 times longer than regular light bulbs and will save you on energy costs. In the summer, keep blinds over windows closed to block out the warmth of the sun to reduce cooling costs, and set an automatic thermostat a bit warmer when you leave the house for an extended period of time.
In the winter, keep blinds and shades open to let in the warmth of the sun so that you can set your thermostat a bit lower to reduce heating costs. Turn all power off when you leave your home for any amount of time, and unplug any power strips that aren’t in use. If you’re willing to spend some money to save some money, consider purchasing energy-efficient appliances for your home. Dishwashers, washing machines and dryers use a lot of energy unless you purchase one specifically built for reducing your home’s energy consumption.
Many people are afraid to switch insurance providers when they see that their medical, car, homeowners or whatever else kind of insurance bill is becoming too high. The worry is that you got a great deal when you signed up for your insurance that covered a large amount for a little bit of money.
Well, guess what – that awesome deal that you got on your insurance 10 years ago probably isn’t such a great deal anymore. Do some shopping around and compare prices and coverage of several different insurance providers. If your company provides your medical insurance coverage options, consider taking a look at the exact coverage you are getting and the coverage that you actually use, then see where you might be able to cut back a bit.
If you come across a provider who offers a better rate for more coverage than you currently are getting, you should not be afraid to switch to them. You will never be uninsured if you switch, as most insurance companies transfer coverage directly and immediately so there will be no lapse in time for which you are covered.
Jackie Ryan is a freelance writer who is always looking for new ways to save money. Last year, she completely winter-proofed her entire home to save big bucks on heating bills (but she refuses to get rid of her outdoor snow melting mats that save her from shoveling!), and the change has been so huge that she’s currently “summer-proofing” now, as well!