Your monthly bills can be some of the most expensive items in your budget. Since these are recurring bills they can sometimes get overlooked.
Maintaining your budget is the only way to see if your recurring bills are increasing, staying the same, or being reduced.
If you are looking for help in reducing the monthly household expenses we recommend you check out Trim and let them help you automatically save money.
Here are the best ways to save money by lowering your household expenses month after month.
Save Money on Your Electricity Bill
1. The fastest way to save money on your electricity bill is not using your air conditioner and furnace as much. These two systems in your house add up to hundreds of dollars every month and thousands over a full year. Turn down the knob and start saving each month.
- In the winter we keep our heat at 65 degrees and bundle up. We live in New York so we are used to freezing temperatures in the winter.
- In the summer we keep our air conditioner use to a minimum. Any time we leave the house our Nest thermostat will automatically change to the “away” setting so no energy is being used.
2. Line dry your clothes instead of using your dryer.
3. Maintain your refrigerator so it stays efficient.
- Get rid of the drink fridge in the garage you don’t need it.
- Check and make sure there is a good seal on your door.
- Clean the coils! Dirty coils can make your fridge run very inefficient, which can cause it to run twice as much to maintain a safe temperature for your food.
- Think about upgrading to a more efficient refrigerator if yours is super old.
4. Switch out all your old light bulbs to LEDs. They will pay for themselves over time, plus they last much longer than your standard light bulb.
5. Turn off your electronics when they are not in use. If your computer is always left on your using much more energy than if you put it to sleep.
6. Change your settings on your gaming consoles. Many of these larger machines in your house (Xbox, DVR Box, TVs) all have “Power Saving Modes”. Check these out, they can save you a ton of money.
When it comes to saving money on your electricity bill every month you should really leave no stone unturned. Every little change to help reduce the amount of energy you use keeps more money in your bank accounts.
Reduce Your Natural Natural Gas & Propane Bill
1. Change out your air filter on your furnace every 3 months. A clean air filter allows your furnace to run at a much more efficient level. They are actually very affordable to buy in bulk so you have backups. We always purchase ours right from Amazon.
2. Reduce how much you use your furnace in the winter. If it is night time turn down the heat even more and grab another blanket.
3. The fastest way to waste money in the winter is not having good insulation in your house. A well-insulated house should be able to keep a comfortable temperature for extended periods of time without the need for the furnace to kick on every 20-30 minutes.
4. Turn off all air duct vents in rooms you are not using. We had a guest room for 5 years before we turned it into our nursery. Since it was rarely used we always made sure to turn off the air vents to not waste hot or cold air going into an unused space.
5. Insulate your water heater. Believe it or not, these water heater insulators can save you a good amount of money.
6. Turn your water heater temperature down altogether. In most houses, the water is too hot to even use without burning your hands. Why pay to heat water hotter than you need?
7. Take colder showers. Yea it might sound terrible, but it’s proven to have many health benefits. If you struggle to wake up in the morning give this a shot! We were forced to last winter when our hot water heater broke on us.
How to Reduce Your Monthly Water Bill
1. Take quick efficient showers (hint hint Brittany). One of the biggest ways we waste water every month is taking long showers. I honestly pride myself on taking 2-3 minute showers. Learn how to get in and out and watch your water bill get lowered quickly.
2. Install aerators on your faucets. This causes more air in your water and helps reduce the speed at which the water is coming out.
3. Get a front-loading efficiency clothes washing machine. Washing machines today are far more efficient at cleaning than those 20-year-old machines. Consider upgrading or finding a newer one used on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace.
4. Run your dishwasher on the “light load” setting. Chances are you don’t need to your dishwasher to run the dishes through multiple cycles to get them clean.
5. Turn off the faucet when you don’t need it on. Guilty of leaving it on when I shave my face. It’s a bad habit and something I am working on =).
6. Install a dual flush valve on your toilets. Newer toilets have a #1 flush and a #2 flush depending on the need.
7. Put a two-liter bottle in your toilet tank to displace the amount of water used in each flush. This might be extreme, but we have heard it works.
8. Stop watering your lawn! All your neighbors have brown lawns just like you. Don’t waste your time trying to keep it green. It also keeps your gas bill down not having to run your lawn mower.
How to Save Money on Your Garbage Pickup Service
1. One of the best ways to reduce your monthly garbage bill is to use a burn bin. Being able to take care of your own garbage saves you that monthly cost and allows that money to go into your pocket.
2. When you call your company, give them other deals that have come in the mail that you want them to match or to do better. We recently switched our garbage company to one that better suited our needs. We do not have enough garbage and recycling to put out each and every week. We switched to a service that allows us to put out our garbage every other week and was half the price! Call around to your local companies to get quotes for the best price.
Reduce Your Monthly Cell Phone Plan
1. Take care of your cell phone and don’t upgrade your phone every year or two. Back in high school, I upgraded my phone the second I hit the two-year mark (thanks Verizon). Now we try to keep the same phone for 4-5+ years before upgrading.
2. Switch to a prepaid provider. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles of a regular plan a prepaid plan is the way to go.
3. Call and ask for a “loyalty discount” or any discount that will reduce your bill. We try to negotiate our bills down every 6-12 months and it works like a charm. It’s much more cost effective to keep you as a customer than to lose you.
4. Use a family plan. They are still one of the best ways to save money on your cell phone bill. We are still on my parents family plan with Verizon and don’t plan on going anywhere else in the near future. We have automatic payments set up just like any other bill to make sure my parents get paid on the 1st of every month.
5. Buy a used phone on eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon. Now that the every two years “free” upgrades seem to have gone to the wayside buying a $800 phone seems crazy. There is no reason you can’t get a quality used phone from Craigslist, eBay, FB marketplace, or Amazon.
6. Get a plan only for the things that you use. If you don’t use a ton of data why pay for it? Give your cell phone company a call and explain that you want to reduce your bill and you are willing to give up some of the features on the account.
7. Switch to a new provider and take advantage of new customer pricing. Be careful they don’t skyrocket a year later. Do your research or you could end up increasing your bill over time instead of reducing it.
Get Rid of Your Home Phone
1. Do we even need to go over this? Disconnect your home phone! If you still have one. Do you live in the 90’s still? Unless you truly do not leave the house and don’t need a cell phone get rid of it. Total waste of money.
Ditch the Cable or Find Alternative TV Entertainment
1. Cut the cable altogether! We did many years ago and have never looked back. Saving us well over $1,000 per year. Almost all TV shows are now streamed services like Netflix, Hulu, Roku, Sling, etc. You can always hook up a computer to your TV to watch other shows as well.
2. Get a digital antenna to get all your local channels. We bought a digital antenna so we could still watch our football on Sundays. Also, most of the big time shows are broadcasted for free on the major TV networks.
3. Start watching Youtube videos regularly. I personally have 3-5 channels I watch religiously. Like they have become part of my daily/weekly routine. Find someone creating content around the topics that interest you and start being entertained for free.
Reduce Your Monthly Internet Bill
1. Did you know you can buy your own modem? They cost around $30-$40 on Amazon and you could save $5 a month from your internet service provider. It will pay for itself in less than a year.
2. If you can live with lower internet speeds, reduce your speed and lower your package if you can live with lower speeds. Look at what in your household uses the internet and if it is only a few phones, computers and gaming system, a lower speed should be fine.
3. You need to master the art of negotiation. It can save you so much money, not only for the internet but for any bill you are trying to cut back on. Call your service providers and negotiate a better price.
Lower Your Home & Auto Insurance
1. I don’t know about you, but we are always getting junk mail from different insurance companies. When looking to get the best rate, always shop around and get quotes from as many companies as possible.
2. Increase your deductible, make sure you are willing to take the risk of paying more if an accident happens. We stick to our $500 deductible since our cars are used and not worth very much.
3. Use the same insurance company for all your items needing insurance. You will get a multi-policy discount which can really add up in reducing your monthly bills. Also, sticking with the same company for a few years you can start getting a “loyalty” discount. We use Liberty Mutual and love them!
Reduce Your Monthly Food Bill
1. Your monthly grocery budget is not going anywhere and everyone needs to eat. However, there are so many ways that you can reduce this monthly bill. The most important aspect to saving in this budget category is to plan out your meals. Have a plan so you do not overspend and buy items that are unnecessary. Using a service like $5 Meal Plan is a great way to get recipes sent right to your inbox to help you make tasty meals and save money.
2. Never go grocery shopping hungry. I hate when I make this mistake and I always end up buying more because everything looks appetizing.
3. Do you use coupons when you go shopping? I use a cashback app called Ibotta when I am done shopping. All I have to do is find the items that I bought in the store and upload my receipt. The days of clipping coupons are gone. Ibotta makes it super easy! Another thing that I like about Ibotta that saves my food budget is that I can still buy off-brand items and get paid for them. We have found that there is not much of a difference between brands.
4. Always clean out your refrigerator before you go shopping. This allows you to inventory what you have already so you are not overspending and buying duplicates.
5. The last tip is to cut back on your food budget is to eat leftovers and do not let food go to waste. Stretch out those meals as long as possible. Take them for lunch the next day. Anything other than throwing them out.
Lower Your Rent or Mortgage
1. Buy a house that you can afford! Don’t buy a property you will struggle to pay for. The rule of thumb when purchasing a house is less than 30% of your monthly income. Always live under your means.
2. Remember you need to master the art of negotiating. Negotiate for a lower monthly rent payment. Search on Craigslist or the internet for other local rental rates. When your lease is going to be up, you can talk about other comparables in your area in order to get the best deal.
3. Refinance your mortgage if interest rates are much lower than when you first got your mortgage. The market is always changing, so if there is an opportunity for you to benefit from a lower rate than do it!
4. Don’t ever pay for services you can do yourself. Whether it is a plumbing issue or something around your house that broke, DIY first. Youtube and Google are the perfect resources to try it yourself first and then seek help if you were unsuccessful. We have saved ourselves thousands of dollars by simply trying to fix things ourselves before calling for help.
Reduce the Amount You Spend on Your Automobiles
1. BUY USED! I am sure you have heard this before, but the moment you drive a new car off the lot you already took a few hundred even a few thousand dollars off the top. Cars are a depreciating asset, financing something that is losing value constantly is a terrible financial move. We call it the Millennial Money Trap.
2. Avoid luxury brands for two main reasons. The first reason is your auto insurance is going to increase when you go to get coverage on your luxury brand. The second reason is that car repairs on luxury brands are normally higher because the parts required to fix it are more expensive. There is no need to try to keep up with the Joneses! Buy a reliable used car brand like Honda or Toyota.
3. Follow your preventive maintenance program for your car. Read carefully because they normally have two programs A and B. The difference depends on what type of conditions your car regularly drives in. The more short distance, dusty, salty rides the more frequent maintenance needs to be done like oil changes.
4. Get one of your handy buddies to show you the ropes in car maintenance. You can save a fortune by learning how to repair your own car. I regularly do my own oil changes and brakes. Watch Youtube videos on other people making maintenance repairs on their vehicles first so you know what to expect. One of our favorite car maintenance YouTube channels is ChrisFix.
Stop Wasting so Much Gasoline
1. Gas can be expensive and it always seems to be on the rise. By spending a little extra to purchase a fuel-efficient car might be a good way to go.
2. If you are able to walk or bike for short trips in your area do it! Why waste the gas or cause more trips on your car than you have to. In college, we lived in a village and it was awesome to be able to bike around everywhere we wanted to go.
3. Drive slower and don’t drive over the speed limit. Most cars are designed to run the most fuel efficient at 60mph. Anything over that you are wasting gas because of air drag.
4. Try not to let your car idle longer than 5 minutes. Starting your car takes just as much gas as idling for 5 minutes, so anything over 5 turns it off. Remember this tip when you pull in to a restaurant or coffee shop and the line is long.
5. Accelerate slowly and brake ahead of time. Any time you accelerate fast and brake early your wasting gas. No braking does not use gas, but staying on the gas pedal longer without coasting does.
6. Maintain your vehicle properly (tire pressure, air filter, oil changes). I set a reminder on my phone to have an alert to remind me to check both of my vehicles on the first of every month.
7. Do not buy premium gas unless you are using it in small engine machines (mower, jet ski, dirt bike, snow blower). If you can get ethanol free gasoline, it’s worth the extra cost to run through your smaller engines. Much cheaper than having a major repair from the ethanol gumming up your engine parts.
Reduce Your Student Loans Payments
1. Refinance your student loans by using a tool like SoFi. It’s completely free and could save you thousands. Head over to use SoFi’s refinancing tool now to see if it might a good option for you to refinance.
2. Pick a plan that you can handle paying each month, but know the impact of changing your plan. We recommend always paying off your student loans with the highest interest rate first, most companies will do this automatically.
3. If you have low-interest rates 1-5% consider paying the minimum and investing the left of money that you would have put towards your loans. On average, the stock market provides a 7% return on invested money so you might be better off paying your loans off slowly while you invest. Check out Vanguard, Personal Capital, Betterment or Robinhood, those are our two favorites!
Reduce or Ditch Your Monthly Gym Membership Fee
1. Consider using your local high school or colleges if they offer a community plan. It can be a fraction of the price and really help you reduce your bill.
2. Check your health insurance because some companies will provide you with a reimbursement for using your gym membership. It’s a win/win for everyone, you stay in shape and your insurance gets the benefit of you being healthy and not having to cover more medical bills.
3. Have a makeshift home gym. Check out Craigslist or a garage sale for some used the equipment. Use resources available to you that are free. A local track, ride bikes, tennis or basketball court. Youtube again has some amazing at home workouts.
4. If you are staying with the gym membership you already have, find out if they have a referral program. Get a few of your friends and family to sign up with you and you could land yourself up to a year for free.
5. Join a local fitness group and get out with friends and get your sweet on!
Find a Cause Worth Donating Too
1. We suggest you find a great cause that you can get behind. Make sure you do some research and that your money is getting used the way you want it to be. We pick donations that will have the greatest impact on building God’s kingdom. God will always provide and when you give to others he will give back to you tenfold. This has happened in our lives many times.
Interested in learning more ways to save money and live your best life possible? We created a private Facebook group just for the readers on our blog. You can join here for FREE and be surrounded by other like-minded individuals striving to live a life with more freedom.