Money can be so stressful (duh).
Our monthly bill total kept creeping higher and higher. Whether it was an introductory rate that expired or adding in subscription services little by little, Nate and I were frustrated with the money leaving our bank account each month.
Bills are such an accepted construct. A water cooler topic. Like “bills man, they really suck.” And that’s that.
Recently, Nate and I decided to closely evaluate what bills we’re paying for and if they were really necessary.
Here are the changes we made to save us a nice chunk of change:
Lawn mowing: I understand this isn’t something everyone pays for, but Nate and I were forking over $25 a week for our grass to get a haircut. Now that I’m not working a 9-5 (and also not with child) I have the time to do this myself (well, with a baby strapped to me) and save us $100-$125 a month for 5-6 months of the year.
HBOGo: We were spending $12/month for a subscription that was used maybe a few times per month. You might be thinking that $12 doesn’t matter but it can add up so quickly, especially if you cut out several small bills.
Netflix: I know, I know. Netflix?! Find a friend and share passwords and you’ve saved $120 a year. Put it towards your vacation fund.
Microsoft365: Nate checked with his work and realized they had this service available for all employees. $7 back in our pockets.
Spotify: We saved $10 by canceling Spotify and now I use Amazon Prime Music which is included free with every Amazon Prime subscription. Nate uses Spotify via work and we just saved ourselves another $120 each year.
Trash: I called around and was able to switch our trash service to a local company (Diamond Waste for anyone nearby) and lowered our quarterly bill from $81 to $65.
Cell Phone: Our bill with Verizon was $212 plus overages every month. We switched to Sprint and now pay $140. We also dropped our iPad from our plan since we didn’t use it with wifi often enough to justify paying for it.
Cable/Internet: We canceled cable! And it feels so good! Our pastor shared the average cost of cable over 10 years and it was horrifying. I didn’t want to let it go because of the Bachelor/Bachelorette series but then asked myself if I was willing to essentially buy the Bachelor for thousands of dollars. That helped us quickly make up our minds. No more of “the most dramatic season yet” for the Riedy family. The cable/internet industry has their bundling scam so just dropping cable didn’t save a ton. We got a quote from Verizon for an internet price and speed and Comcast agreed to match it. We went from $130 to $60 a month. HUGE yearly savings.
Peco: Nate frequently switches our electric provider to make sure we’re getting the lowest price possible. He puts reminders on our phone calendars to price check other companies when our current contract expires. He just recently did this and saved us about $20/month on our bill.
By making a few phone calls, we managed to save approximately $175-$300 a month (depending on the time of year for lawn mowing), which is just over THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS each year. This is just another way we’re sticking it to the man. It’s annoying that we’ve been paying more when we could have easily paid less. It was that simple, but these industries count on our laziness and ignorance to pad their pockets.
We also slashed our grocery budget in half which deserves an entire post on its own.
Lowering our bills puts us one step closer to the life we want to create for our family. It alleviates pressure on us to make ends meet, it places less demand on our jobs and frees room in our budget to be more generous.
If you’re stressing about money each month, see what bills you can cancel or lower. I think you’d be surprised how quickly the savings can add up!
Does anyone have any other tips for lowering their bills? We’d love to hear them!