Seems like the prices of all services are rising nowadays. But that doesn’t have to be true for you. These simple tips can help you cut costs and save on monthly bills — including cable, insurance, and more.
Reduce electricity costs
The price of electricity keeps climbing, costing the average household nearly $120 per month. A simple way to slash your bill? Plug “smart plugs” into electrical outlets, then plug TVs, lamps, and other electronics into them. One to try: SONOFF S40 WiFi Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring (Buy from Amazon, $25.99 for 4). They monitor how much electricity appliances use, so you can see how much money you save by turning them off when not in use. They also allow you to set a timer to automatically turn off plugged-in devices, and let you control appliances from a smartphone app, where you can turn them off and on remotely. A study from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority found this easy step cuts your bill by up to 16 percent, saving you over $200 per year.
Save on cable TV
A new analysis from CordCutting.com reveals that the average monthly cable TV bill has grown by a staggering 52 percent in the past three years, from around $96 to $147. No wonder millions of customers have switched from cable to streaming services. But what if you prefer the convenience of cable TV to watch your favorite channels over managing multiple streaming services? Good news! To compete with streaming platforms that are luring their customers away, cable companies have introduced lower-priced tiers that offer lots of channels. For example, Spectrum offers Spectrum TV Select, which provides more than 125 channels for just $49.99. Call your cable provider to find out if they also offer lower-priced options.
Cut car insurance
A new report from Insurify.com shows that since 2019, the average cost to insure a car has risen more than 18 percent. Luckily, simply shopping around for a lower rate can save you up to $961 a year on your coverage, and many drivers who looked for cheaper auto insurance found a lower-priced policy! Why? Coverage is similar from insurer to insurer, but the way each company determines your risks varies, which leads to big differences in price. To compare rates, visit Experian or TheZebra.com. To save even more? Look for car insurance deals on Black Friday. Sounds surprising, but some insurance companies offer discounts when you shop on the day after Thanksgiving — as much as 10 to 30 percent off the first six months of coverage.
Shrink wireless charges
Tired of paying high prices for your wireless phone plan? You could switch to one that costs as little as $9 a month and still keep the high quality of your connection and coverage. Simply switch to a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). Instead of owning cellphone towers, these discount wireless providers buy mobile phone service from major providers at wholesale prices, then pass the savings on to you. Just log on to Wirefly.com/compare-MVNOs to compare plans. Want to stick with your carrier? Most offer discounted plans like the AT&T Unlimited 55+, T-Mobile Magenta 55+, and Verizon 55+ plan just for seniors! Call your provider to learn what they offer.
Many of us have made at least one late payment this year, tacking another $25 to $100 of late fees onto our bill. Avoid it by opting in to receive text or email notifications that remind you when your bill is due, or set up a monthly alert on your smartphone or calendar.
Also smart? Try auto-pay. This allows companies to automatically deduct payments from your bank account. Your bill will always be paid on time, and some businesses give you a discount for using autopay, saving you even more.
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.