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How To Save More On Your Monthly Bills

With the downward spiral of our economy people are continually finding themselves in financial hardship. The job market doesn’t have much to offer, unemployment and debt rates are rising dramatically, and people everywhere are struggling to keep their monthly bills in good standing order. When financial hardship sinks its teeth in many people find themselves in a stressful state, and the weight of it all can be cruel and crushing. Financial trouble, despite the negativity that is commonly associated with it, is not a hole that can’t be climbed out of. In fact there are several tips and tricks you can follow to help you prioritize, organize, and save more money on your monthly bills.

Prioritize Your Needs

One of the best ways to start saving on your monthly bills is to determine if there are any that you can eliminate altogether. This process is simple. First sit down and go over all of your monthly bills. Many people have payments due for things like rent, gas and electricity, telephone service, cellular phone service, water, garbage, Internet, cable or satellite service, car insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, auto loans, groceries and gas. Some of these are necessities but others are more luxuries than anything else. Once you have all of your bills totaled up and laid out in front of you, you can then begin the process of whittling your total down.

If you have both a house phone bill and a separate cellphone bill you can generally eliminate one of them without noticing any real loss. Many people have switched to only having cellular service to eliminate the need of separate, home phone service. Also, check with your cellular service provider to see how many minutes, data or text you are averaging per month to determine if you could save a little extra by downsizing your plan.

If you have auto insurance coverage billed to you monthly you can call your agent every month to determine whether or not you might be eligible for any additional discounts or deals that you are not currently receiving. Most people don’t realize how much they can save by just asking. Many insurance providers will not go out of there way to tell you if you are missing out on any savings, and it never hurts to ask.

If you are making monthly payments on an auto loan you can call the bank that is holding the loan and continually check if refinancing is an option for you. Most people who make their payments on time are eligible to refinance after the first six months of the loan. You might not save a ton of money this way but every penny counts.

Many people are now working online, shopping online and paying bills online, all of which can help save on monthly fuel costs. If you rely heavily on the Internet then do some research and make sure that you are getting the best possible deal from your provider. If a better deal exists then switch service providers to save a little extra cash.

Many utility companies like PG&E offer an averaging program where they calculate your annual bill average and allow you to pay that exact amount every month without it every fluctuating. This is a great little tip that can cut your utility bill dramatically. PG&E also offers a CARE program that gives low-income households an additional discount on their monthly utility bill. I highly recommend checking them both out.

Cable and Satellite television services are more of a luxury than anything else. Eliminating your cable bill altogether is a great option, especially with the popularity of video streaming services like Netflix and Redbox. Most Americans pay an average of 85 dollars a month for cable or satellite service. You can subscribe to Netflix for less than five-dollars a month. This is a huge way to save money while still giving yourself a relaxing form of entertainment.

After determining what you spend per month on fuel costs you can also find ways to lower that expense as well. If you are commuting in a gas-guzzling car or truck perhaps its time to think about trading it in for something more economical that gets better mileage. You can also consider car-pooling with friends or co-workers.

Prioritizing is a very important step in lowering your monthly bills. Take the time to really determine what you need and what you can live without.

Organize Your Bills

Organization is also an important factor in lowering your monthly bills. Once you have prioritized and eliminated unnecessary expenditures, you can organize your remaining bills and come up with a comfortable plan for how to budget your month out.

Online banking has become hugely popular and makes it easy and convenient to monitor your spending and organize a comfortable payment plan for your month. Look to see what bills are due at what point in the month and group them together based on your pay schedule. Knowing what will need to be put away on each payday, as well as what you will have left over is pivotal in determining how your month us going to play out financially. Having a solid plan in place and knowing exactly what needs to be put aside will relieve you from the financial stress that you previously felt burdened with.

Look Into Simple Ways To Earn A Little Extra Income

Nothing helps relieve financial stress better than pocketing a little extra cash. Here are a few simple things you can do to add a little extra coin to your pocket.

Sell unwanted or unused items on Craiglist. Craigslist.com is a website devoted to helping people sell their unused or unwanted items and thousands of people use it daily to make a little extra cash. Maybe you have some old sporting equipment or electronic devices that are just laying around collecting dust. You can take pictures of your items and post an ad on Craigslist with a brief description and what you price you are asking for. This can help on two levels; getting rid of clutter and making some quick, easy money.

Host a weekend yard sale. Many people have garages, closets, and spare rooms filled with old stuff that doesn’t get used anymore. Why not get all this stuff together and host a little yard sale? You can eliminate the buildup of clutter in your home while making money at the same time.

Join an online survey panel. Granted the Internet is full of scam sites where people are just salivating to take your money, but there are some legit websites that you can complete surveys for with monetary compensation. Just be sure to do your research and never pay for a membership to any of them, chances are if they are asking for money it is more than likely a scam.

Donate plasma or take part in medical research programs. Getting paid to donate plasma will depend on your blood type, but many people have begun to do this to make a little extra money throughout the year. Many college campuses also host medical research trials where you can participate as part of a focus group, or drug trial participant. If selected some of these trials will pay you a decent amount for participation throughout the entire length of the study.

Lowering your monthly bills, and making a little extra money throughout the month can do wonders to eliminate financial stress. The weight and pressure can be overbearing and it is also important to mention that taking the time to get away from the stress is just as important. You might not have the extra money to splurge for a night on the town, but there are other ways to take your mind off the burden of bills. Hosting a game night or a movie night with friends or family can be a great, free of cost way to take a break and have a little fun. Giving yourself this leisure time is just as important as taking the time to evaluate and lower your monthly bills. Keeping your spirits up is a great way to remain positive and optimistic, which in turn makes many of life’s stresses much easier to bear.

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