A smart woman saving money.
Personal Finance

Cut $50 Off Your Bills Today

It might not seem like a lot but $50 is a big thing. Saving just $50 a month will add up to $600 over the course of a year. In ten years, if invested, that could be over $10,000 easy. As you can see, it is these little things that really add up so let’s take a look at some simple ways to slash your monthly bills by $50 today.

You might think that your bills are what your bills are, but this is just not true. Almost everyone has a little room for improvement. Little changes that you can make to save $50 a month or even more. Here are but a few of them. Use one to save 600 dollars a year or stack multiple savings ideas to save 1200 dollars a year or more.

1. Switch Cell Phone Plans

If you are still using that big name carrier, you are wasting a lot of money. They charge you premium rates and they don’t even subsidize your phones anymore.

Pre-paid plans have come a long way and the only real difference these days is the fact that you pay at the beginning of the month instead of the end of the month. That and the fact that you are under no contract and can bolt whenever you like, if you find a better deal.

Pre-paid wireless uses the same lines at the major carriers and the only difference in service is that you may experience some internet speed throttling under peak usage periods. If you are not a power user, you won’t notice the difference.

So what about savings? A single user can expect to save round $50 a month for an unlimited plan and a family plan can net you monthly savings of around $100. You will have to buy your own phones but you have to do that now with the major carriers now anyway.

2. Change Car Insurance

Most people buy their car insurance and then just stick with it, year after year. This is just what the car insurance companies want you to do. They get you in with a good price and then hope you do not notice the small rate hikes.

Chances are good that if you have not changed policies in 3 or more years that you are paying $50 or more a month in premiums than you began with.

Put that money back into your pocket by taking an hour and comparing rates from other companies. Most of this can be done online so it won’t take long at all. Online quotes also give you an easy way to play around with deductibles to find the best rates. Usually a  little $500 deductible is best but you might be able to save enough money to make a $1000 deductible acceptable. Just make sure that you have the money to cover this expense if the worst were to happen.

Shopping car insurance is an easy way to save $50 but what if you are happy with your current carrier? You can still do an insurance audit with them. By changing deductibles or combining policies you still may be able to save that $50 a month without making the switch. It never hurts to call and ask about discounts.

3. Refinance Your Auto

Loans are difficult, we get it, but refinancing your loan can be a great way to save $50 or more a month on your bills, especially if your credit has improved.

Luckily, a vehicle refinance is not a difficult process. In fact, most of the work will be done for you by the company that you are refinancing with. Just fill out a short application and sign a few documents and they will take care of all of the details of transferring the vehicle lien.

So how much of an interest reduction is it going to take to save $50 a month? Well, in most cases, a savings of 3% a month in interest will do the trick. Any savings is worthwhile though, especially since there is usually never a charge for refinancing a loan.

Another way to save money, even if you only qualify for a similar rate, is to stretch the loan term. Adding a few extra months to that term can yield you  $50 a month in savings or more.

4. Cut Out Meat Just Once A Week

Meat is the most expensive part of our food budget and for the average family, you can save $50 a month by cutting meat from just one meal a week.

Instead of chicken tacos, go with black bean or pinto bean tacos. Instead of spaghetti with meatballs, go with just a tomato sauce. There are a lot of ways to make filling and satisfying meals without the use of meat and the benefits are numerous.

For starters, you have the money savings. With meat prices averaging anything from $4 to $15 a pound, the cost can add up quickly. Substitute cheaper foods like beans, rice and potatoes.

Another benefit is that eating too much meat is not the healthiest thing. I am not going to tell you to go Vegan because the protein in meat is important but you can have too much of a good thing. Lowering your meat intake can lower cholesterol and overall calorie consumption.

Finally, you have the environmental benefit. Livestock has a big impact on the environment, contributing to damaging methane emissions.

5. Cut Utility Costs

Your electricity, gas and water bills offer you many ways to save $50 or more a month. A dollar here and a dollar there and you are at your goal.

Let’s start with that water bill because most people water their lawn way too much. Twice a week is sufficient if you do it right. Water deep and about 2 hours before sunrise. That gives your lawn time to suck up the water without allowing mold and fungus growth. In addition, be sure to fix any leaky faucets and try to cut down on shower time.

Your electricity and natural gas usage will be mainly consumed by two things, your HVAC system and your water heater. Most water heaters are set from the factory too high and this costs a lot of money. Why keep 50 to 60 gallons of water at 140 degrees all day long when 120 degrees will suffice. The savings from switching will be very noticeable.

As far as your heating and cooling goes, a few degrees will do it. Keep your thermostat set at 2 degrees higher in the summer and 2 degrees lower in the winter. Make up for the difference by dressing more appropriately and using ceiling fans.

Wrapping Up

There you have it, 5 easy ways to save $50 or more in a month. Why not take action today and put these savings into effect immediately. Your budget and bank account will thank you.

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