How to Cut Down Your Monthly Bills

Kristina Kraus
Greater Nevada Credit Union
We could all stand to save a little more money, even if it’s just a dollar or two a day. One of the easiest ways to cut back on expenses is to start with evaluating our various monthly bills. 

Cell Phone

With so many options these days, ask yourself if you have the right plan for your needs? Sometimes the fees that carriers charge for going over your data plan end up costing more than just bumping up your plan. Sites like whistleout.com or consumerreports.org help you compare cell phone plan options so you can find the best one.

You can also look for special offers on cell phone plans. For instance, Greater Nevada Credit Union members can take advantage of Sprint Nextel discounts.

Gas & Electric

You probably spend the majority of your power bills on heating and cooling your home, though there’s no need to keep your house at a comfortable temperature while at work or to max out heating and cooling while you sleep. One of the best tips for keeping those costs down is to install a programmable thermostat. When it’s cold out, you can always layer your bed with blankets and have the heat kick up right before you wake up. When it is hot out, investing in a ceiling fan or having a floor fan running with the windows open may be all you need.

Energy efficient bulbs are another great way to cut down your power bills. As your older bulbs go out, begin to replace them with the more efficient bulbs. According to the Department of Energy, if you switch over your home’s five most used light fixtures, you can save $75 each year.

Cable

For many people, cable TV is no longer needed because now you can easily access your favorite TV shows other ways. Specialty stations like HBO have their own apps that stream their shows live or you can get an app like Sling TV that provides you with 20+ channels of live TV. Even sports stations offer individual packages. If you don’t have a smart TV to stream these apps, you can buy a device like a Roku or Apple TV. Just make sure you have a good high speed internet connection before you cut the cord on cable.

Water

During the warmer months water bills tend to go up to water lawns. If you have a yard to maintain, schedule watering during the cooler times of day so you can use less water. Other big water users can be washing machines, showers and toilets. Appliances and fixtures that reduce water use can help, and tips like only running full loads for dishes and clothing also ensure you don’t use more water (or energy) than needed. See some other water saving tips here.

Car Payments, Mortgages, and Insurance

We all know that big ticket items such as homes and cars (plus the insurance to protect them) can be a big chunk of our monthly bills. Why not see if you can lower those monthly payments through refinancing your loans, and by getting free insurance quotes for better rates when your policy comes up for renewal? For instance, Greater Nevada members are always welcome to speak with a loan consultant to see if refinancing is an option. Greater Nevada Mortgage loan consultants are also available to talk about home loan refinancing.

There are all kinds of ways to save more money, so take time to evaluate your current expenses, do a little research, and take the steps needed to Live Greater!
8/19/16