Money

4 Smart Ways to Slash Your Bills and Save Money This Year

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Looking to build an emergency fund, pay off debt, or simply treat yourself? These tactics will help you dramatically trim your monthly bills and save money!

Shrink cellphone charges by 50 percent.

A secret that big wireless companies don’t want you to know? Small companies called “mobile virtual network operators” (MVNOs) use the same towers and technology as AT&T, T-Mobile. and Verizon, but charge you about 50 percent less. That’s because they buy minutes and data from the big companies at wholesale prices! And MVNOs Ting (855-999-7266, Ting.com), Consumer Cellular (888-726-7952, ConsumerCellular.com), and Google Fi (Fi.Google.com) all nabbed top spots in a Consumer Reports survey of wireless providers.

Slash cable costs by 25 percent.

The average American home gets more than 200 TV channels, yet typically watches only 17, according to a Nielsen study. If you’re not using most of the channels in your cable or satellite package, call your provider and ask if having them removed will lower your bill. Many companies (such as DISH and Spectrum) offer budget “tiers” that cost less with fewer channels, saving you up to 25 percent. Also smart: Return your DVR if you rarely use it and instead, watch your shows on demand to save the $8 to $20 monthly DVR rental fee.

Cut auto insurance by 33 percent.

Has your premium ticked up now that pandemic discounts have expired? If you’re still driving fewer than 10,000 miles a year, the new “pay per mile” rate may help. This policy offers the same full coverage as traditional insurance, but bases its fee on the number of miles driven, cutting your bill by about 33 percent — an average of more than $400 a year. Companies offering it include Allstate (800-255-7828, Allstate.com/auto-insurance/milewise.aspx), Metromile (888-242-5204, Metromile.com) and Nationwide (855-241-9720, Nationwide.com/personal/insurance/auto/discounts/smartmile).

Reduce utility bills by 30 percent.

If you’ve been home more, your electric, gas, and water bills may have climbed. Fortunately, many utility companies offer discounts for people like seniors and military veterans to save money. In Louisville, Kentucky, folks 65 and up earning $35,000 a year or less qualify for 30 percent off their sewer bill. And in Mesa, Arizona, adults 60 and up earning $25,500 or less are eligible for 30 percent off their water bill. On a limited income? Check your state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. You may be eligible for an electric rate reduction.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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