Everyone loves to save money, it doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are. We’ve put together a list of six bills almost everyone has to pay and we share with you ways to cut them all.
Nobody expects their wireless provider to call them to say they’re eligible for a new, cheaper plan and no auto insurance company is going to lower your rates just because it’s a nice thing to do. But competition is your friend - and you can find cheaper alternatives to most of the services you pay for and make them earn your business, not take it for granted, and save a lot of money in the process.
It doesn’t matter whether your driving record is spotless or if you’ve had three accidents and two speeding tickets in the past year - you can definitely save on auto insurance. The auto insurance market has always been extremely competitive and has become even more so in recent years thanks to web based brokers that don’t need to pay for offices and sales commissions.
There are many services available online where you can enter the information needed for the quote - age, gender, address, car make and model - and get multiple competitive quotes within seconds. You can use this information to find a cheaper policy with the same coverage, or take it to your current insurance provider and ask them to match it.
Recent deregulation of utilities has made it possible for new, smaller, more nimble companies to offer electricity and gas cheaper than the big companies. This is similar to what happened when AT&T was split up decades ago - new phone companies popped up that were able to provide identical service to AT&T at a fraction of the cost.
Take a look at your current electric and gas bills and see what you’re paying - for electricity the cost is usually per “kwh” (kilowatt hour); for gas it’s usually per cubic foot. Then just do a quick search online and you’ll likely see plenty of companies that will be able to offer you these services for significantly less.
The Life Insurance market has become increasingly competitive, similar to what’s happened with auto insurance. New life insurance companies that sell primarily online can offer much lower rates than traditional companies due to their reduced overhead.
Additionally, if you’ve been doing things to improve your health - lost weight, stopped smoking, lowered your cholesterol - it’s likely you’re eligible for a lower insurance rate “bracket” that could cut your premiums significantly.
You should look at the terms of your current policy and compare to what you can get online - you’ll likely be amazed at how much you can save.
Cable TV, Internet & Phone
If you’re fortunate enough to have multiple cable TV, Internet and phone service providers (many companies provide all three) in your area, chances are you can cut your monthly bill significantly. They’ll never offer you a lower rate if you don’t ask, but by getting a quote for similar service from another provider, you’ll be able to threaten your existing company with losing your business, which in most cases they’ll do everything they can to prevent. This of course means lower rates and/or better service (more channels, faster Internet) than you were getting before.
Property taxes are one of the biggest costs of owning a home, often more than the mortgage. But with the recent increase in new home construction, and the trend toward tearing down smaller older homes to replace them with much larger and more expensive ones, there may be an opportunity for you to lower your property taxes. Additionally, if you purchased your house at or near the top of the market, you’re probably eligible for a reduction in taxes based on the current value of your home.
You can request a reassessment by contacting your County Tax Assessor. They will provide you with request forms and begin the process. Additionally, there are companies that will give you an estimate of what you can expect to save and will actually do the paperwork for you.
Credit Card Interest
Some banks charge interest on credit card balances that would make a loan shark blush. But just search “credit card rollover” and you’ll find many options to transfer your high interest balance to a card with a much lower rate. Many cards use very low interest rates on rollover balances to entice you to switch.
Of course make sure you read the terms and conditions before you make the switch - some cards have a limit on how long you can float your rollover balance at the low rate and sometimes there are other fees. But in general, there’s no reason you need to keep paying ridiculously high interest rates when there are much better alternatives.