Money

4 Ways to Slash Your Everyday Bills in Half

Save more with these simple tips.

Want to finally save up enough for a new sofa or a dream vacation? You can squirrel away hundreds, even thousands, and reach your financial goal by December with these easy tips that cut household bills by 50 percent or more. By simply rethinking your monthly household costs, you can pocket tons of cash in mere months! Check out our tips below.

Cut your cellphone bill.

The average mobile phone plan costs between $45 and $100 per month—but you can trim it down to as little as $14! Those pricey plans are geared toward high-data users who watch videos, play games and text constantly. But research shows folks ages 45 and over typically use half as much of these services as high users.

To find out how much data you need, visit MyRatePlan.com, input your phone habits, then click “Cell Phones and Plans” in the top menu to find the right plan for you. Or, call your phone provider and ask about smaller data plans with lower rates.

Lower your internet fees.

Many companies now offer online services — and at more competitive prices than what you may already be paying. To compare providers, visit Wirefly.com, type in your ZIP code, and you’ll get a list of area providers and their prices.

Not able to switch? Ask your current provider if they offer an “economy” tier. Xfinity and Cox offer economy plans that will save you $120 per year compared to their base plan. This lower-priced option has slower speeds, but they’re enough for posting on Facebook, using email, and watching an occasional YouTube video.

Trim your car insurance.

If you aren’t covering hundreds of miles every week and you’re a safe driver, you could end up saving up to $600 a year on car insurance! Simply call your insurance agent and ask to sign up for a “usage-based” plan, now offered by most major auto insurers (including Allstate, GEICO and State Farm). They track your driving habits via a device in your car or an app on your phone to learn things like distance traveled, time of day you drive and driving style, then use the information to see if you qualify for a lower rate. If you do, it can reduce your premium by up to 50%!

Save on medications.

Think you’re getting the best price for your prescriptions? In an undercover study of 200 pharmacies, volunteers who asked the pharmacist: “What’s the cheapest price possible for my medicine?” were given lower prices than those who didn’t ask! The reason? Pharmacists know about programs like co-pay assistance, rebates and bulk savings, but they may not tell you unless you request it. Also be sure to shop around: One study found a startling difference of $749 between the prices of drugs at different stores! Another way to save? Compare prices at RetailMeNot.com.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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