Do You Question the Cost of Your Monthly Bills?
Every month I get a series of bills, and they all tend to be about the same each month. My utility, internet, and tv subscriptions are all predictable within a few dollars. My electricity is billed on a rolling average, so it doesn’t fluctuate a huge amount either. Most people probably have the same experience, and as long as the variations aren’t extreme, won’t question the actual amount. As far as groceries, frankly I buy the same things over and over and cook the same meals in rotation. So, my grocery bill is pretty similar every time I go with small adjustments for seasonal price differences on produce items. I wish I could get the same predictability with lower numbers, though.
Save on TV Options
I know if you were to google cheaper TV options there would be many pages of links to blogs and articles about how to save money and still see all the shows you love. I’ve written several myself (here and here) then took some advice from Money Talk News to narrow down the choice that has worked best for me. It honestly seems crazy to me that internet and cable/satellite costs as much as $200 a month! I now pay about $100 total for internet and a few inexpensive streaming options.
How Can You Control Food Costs?
You have to eat, and it isn’t cheap to eat nutritious meals. However, there are ways to keep your grocery bill in check, as we have posted on our own blog (here and here). And Ashley Patrick at Budgets Made Easy has great tips and budget spreadsheets and she writes about ways to spend within your food budget painlessly. The two most important tips I can share are to meal plan before you write your grocery list, and buy food in season, including the regular seasonal sale items; my favorite is June since its National Dairy Month.
Electricity Can’t Be Controlled, Right?
Well, it’s not likely that you will be able to just call the electric company and ask for a better price, even where it is deregulated, and you probably need a contract to get the best rate. There are plenty of other ways to reduce your electric bill, though. The best way is to get used to being a little uncomfortable at home by keeping your house a bit warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. For more tips, here is a post from our blog that provides more detail.
Entertainment is a Regular Expense, or it Should Be!
Every article I have read about setting up a budget says to be sure to include some sort of entertainment funds. Honestly, I don’t think I could stick to a budget for more than a month if I didn’t have a little “fun money” programmed into my life. For some people, that part of the budget is covered by their cable/satellite/internet bills. For others, it might be eating out on a regular basis, seeing a movie in a theatre instead of at home, or going to some kind of cultural event like museums or live music events. All of these are expenses that can be limited, and I recommend treating your fun money as a bill category, so take it seriously. For me, the entertainment bill is usually music-related.
Is It Easy?
Being a good steward of your money takes a bit of effort, and for many people, it isn’t easy. I happen to love lists and spreadsheets, so I use an Excel template to track my monthly bills and income. It takes me a few minutes twice a month to update it with income and actual bill amounts. Each month I duplicate it to a new page and update the due dates and amounts so I have a current snapshot. Then I can compare to past months to make sure I am staying on track. The visual representation of your spending habits is really insightful.
What Can We Do to Help?
No, really, I am asking how we can help you! At BillCutterz we are in the business of helping people save money and get control of their monthly bills. Take a few minutes to look at your bills, and then if you think they are too high (and who doesn’t?), take a few more minutes and sign up on our site. Our team of amazing Savings Experts will then go to work analyzing your bills and negotiating to ensure you have the best possible rate.