January is a great time to look for ways to fill up your piggybank. Luckily, just checking in with your service providers can help you save money on bills — and these tips can help put more than $1,000 into your pocket this year!
Save hundreds on your cell phone bill.
Thanks to a surge in the number of budget wireless providers, like MintMobile.com, Tello.com and Visible.com, it’s easy to cut your wireless phone bill by 50 percent, saving $500 per year. They offer the same quality service as large providers for just $15 to $40 per month. Prefer to stick with a major carrier? You can still save big. To compete with these budget companies, many well-known providers launched their own budget-savvy plans. For example, T-Mobile offers a 2.5 GB prepaid plan for $15 per month, AT&T offers an 8 GB prepaid plan for $25 per month and Verizon offers a 5 GB prepaid plan that starts at $40 per month and gets cheaper the longer you keep it. Call your provider to ask about their new budget plan, or compare rates for the lowest-priced option at Wirefly.com/content/phone-plans.
Cut thousands off car insurance costs.
If you’ve been paying bills on time and paying down debt, your credit score has likely gone up. That’s good news since this number is taken into account when assessing car insurance rates. Folks with good credit pay, on average, $1,000 less annually than those with lower scores. Check your credit score for free at CreditKarma.com or request your annual free credit report by calling 877-322-8228. If your score went up, call your insurer and let them know so they can recalibrate your rate. And compare rates by calling other auto insurers since some offer bigger good-credit discounts than others. Still working on building your credit? Ask your insurer about other discounts available; for example, because you’re retired, drive fewer than 10,000 miles annually or haven’t made a claim for more than five years.
Trim your cable bill by $50.
Today there are a whopping 175 million Netflix subscribers, 147 million Amazon Prime subscribers, 43 million Hulu subscribers and millions more subscribers to other services that stream movies and shows from major networks. And there’s a wide array of free streaming services, such as PeakcockTV.com, TubiTV.com and YouTube.com. If you use any of them, you can pare down your cable bill by removing channels offering the same content, saving you, on average, $50 a month. Also helpful: Since most shows and movies are available on demand, eliminating the need to record them, remove your DVR service with your provider to save another $10 a month.
Shrink the price of your internet connection.
The average cost of broadband internet is $57 a month, but you could cut five percent to 10 percent off that price by calling your provider and asking for a lower rate. In a Consumer Reports survey, two out of three folks with bundled internet plans who called their providers were offered a cheaper price, new promotional rate or other money-saving perk. On a tight budget? The federal government is offering monthly rebates of $50 for internet service if you meet a certain income threshold or receive benefits from Lifeline, Medicaid or SNAP. Learn more at GetEmergencyBroadband.org.
Save 5 percent on homeowner’s insurance.
Now you have another reason to spring for home security. Owning “smart” security technology like a video doorbell or app-connected smoke or carbon monoxide detector may make you eligible to receive five percent off your homeowner’s insurance. Call your provider for details.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.