Financial Literacy: How Reducing Utility Bills Can Lower Your Monthly Expenses
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By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
Take a look at your last month’s utility bills. You’ll see quite a few expenses on there.
Some expenses, such as your monthly mortgage or rent, car payment and student loan repayment do not fluctuate from month to month. However, you may have some monthly bills that you can reduce to put a few more dollars in your pocket or savings account.
No matter what power source you use, your electric and heating/air conditioning bill will fluctuate depending on the time of the year. Now that warmer weather is here, you should see a drop in your monthly bill from your winter heating costs. You can make some changes right now to lower your bill.
Turn your thermostat up to about 70 degrees or so, depending on how hot it is outside. You can always use an electric fan in place of more expensive air conditioning.
On cooler days and nights, turn off your air conditioning completely. Also, make sure that lights and electronics are off when you are not using them. These easy fixes could save you money on your next electricity bill.
Internet Service Provider Bills
Although many people today insist that their cable, satellite or other electronic devices are essential, you do not need the fanciest and most expensive packages available. First, search around and see if there is a telecommunications company that can bundle your television and Internet for a lower price than purchasing the services separately. Usually, companies that offer both give you a discount if you bundle.
Next, take a good, hard look at what you use or do not use in your current package. Where possible, cut back on the overall number of premium channels, your Internet speed and the number of devices you use. Reducing the overall number of premium channels or cancelling all of them can save you a lot of money.
Also, give your Internet provider a call and ask if there are any promotions or discounts available. The company will often offer you something over the phone that you might not get otherwise.
Cell Phone Bills
A cell phone is no luxury in today’s world. But cell phone coverage can get expensive, depending on the package you have.
A good way to lower your cell phone bill is to find a package that meets your minimum needs.
While some providers may offer a good deal with unlimited talk, text and data, others increase your monthly bill according to how many minutes you use each month.
Overage charges add up quickly. Think about what you actually use your phone for and build a package around your needs.
In addition, call your cell phone provider and see if there are any promotions or discounts. You can usually save some money just by picking up the phone and reviewing your options.
Unfortunately, many people pay for more services than they actually use. By simply making a few changes in your home and calling your utility providers, you can lower your monthly bills right now. It never hurts to review your options and save money.
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