For the frugal-minded, saving a couple of dollars is a reward in itself. But even the less budget-conscious would agree that saving a few dollars every month is a worthy endeavor. Since most of our recurring bills are usage-based, we stand to save plenty if we can get creative. Here are a few uncommon ideas for slashing those bills and racking up those savings.
Call your cable company
There is a good chance that you are paying too much for your cable TV and internet services. While many frugal-minded thinkers advise you to cut your cable bill completely, since there are so many online video entertainment services, many of us still enjoy traditional TV. But even we stand to save a few dollars.
The simplest way to accomplish this is to call customer service and tell them you want to cut services and lower your bill. Right off the bat they might accommodate you, signing you up for various promotions that will save you money without cutting service. Even if they don’t, you can always start removing the services you don’t need. They’ll let you know right away how that will affect your bill.
Switching cable companies can help you save, too. The cable space is highly competitive, and almost all providers offer new-user promotions. Even more, they might offer you an additional discount for switching from a competitor. Those savings usually expire after a year or so, but after that you can always switch back.
Replace energy consuming appliances
If you have an old oven, air conditioner, refrigerator, or furnace, there’s a good chance that it’s costing you every single month. These old appliances consume much more money than their modern counterparts, which reflects in your monthly electricity bill. Replacing them with newer, energy efficient models can cut that bill dramatically.
Yes, these require up-front costs — in the cases of the furnace and refrigerator they can be significant. But the money they save you will start to add up. If you’re in your home for the long haul you’ll recoup your money and then some. (And remember, you’ll have to replace these at some point anyway.)
Here’s one appliance that you might not think of, but that can save you: your water heater. These are notorious for breaking and springing big costs on homeowners. If you replace yours with a tankless electric water heater you not only get a more reliable appliance, but you also will save on your monthly electric bill. Plus, as you can see, the prices aren’t all that bad.
Watch TV elsewhere
Your TV eats plenty of electricity. Watching less of it will help cut your electric bill. But we’re not looking to make big sacrifices in order to save money every month. We’re just trying to find creative ways to save while maintaining a similar mode of life. The great thing about TV these days is that you don’t need to actually watch it on a traditional TV.
Tablet computers and even laptops are now equipped with apps that let you watch your home TV. You typically have to be within your home to enjoy these services, but if you do you can watch TV while using a device that consumes less electricity. A tablet, for instance, uses less energy than a lightbulb when charging. Your laptop uses about the same amount. A TV uses much more.
There’s a smaller screen, of course, but you’ll also be closer to it. This might not be feasible for group viewings, but if it’s just you watching TV you might consider using a portable device in order to save energy.
With these three suggestions alone you stand to save significant money on a monthly basis. In the long haul these savings can be dramatic. It will certainly be worth the small sacrifices and up-front costs involved.