A new year is upon us, which means it’s time once again to come up with another set of New Year’s resolutions. Whether you’re looking to save more for your retirement or want to clean up your finances, one of the simplest things you can do is exercise more control over the bills that whittle down your monthly budget.
Listed below are 5 strategies you can use to lower your bills for the new year.
Cut Your Cable and Switch to Netflix
It’s become harder and harder to justify the higher cost of traditional cable over streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, which are not only cheaper, but offer more content. If you want access to live news, an old-fashioned roof antenna will get your over-the-air (OTA) channels for free.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting
While lighting falls under your electricity bill, your lighting expenses are the low-hanging fruit that can easily be lowered by switching to energy-efficient technology. Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which use up to 90 percent less energy over incandescent bulbs, are the perfect solution for your home lighting. In addition, the average LED has a lifespan over 15,000 hours, which means you won’t have to spend as much cash on light bulb replacements.
Determine If You Used Gym Membership
Before you renew your gym membership, look at your gym usage over the last 12 months to see if you’ve been consistent about working out. It may be that you’re subsidizing other people’s gym memberships by going to the gym just once a week.
If you live in a part of the country that’s conducive to walking and outdoor activities, you may be better off buying your own weights and going for a run every day. You can also sign up for more affordable at-home exercise programs that let you exercise with minimal equipment.
Eliminate Recurring Fees
From car club memberships to subscriptions to magazines you don’t even read, there are many types of recurring charges you don’t really need but are still paying. Watch out for duplicate services you may not be aware of; your auto club membership may offer roadside assistance, but this service might actually be a perk that comes with your car insurance or credit card.
Shop for Competitive Insurance Quotes
Today’s insurance market is highly competitive, so it’s a good idea to ask for quotes from different providers. Even if you haven’t filed any claims insurance rates can be affected by calamities like flooding, which can raise rates among some providers while others remain steady. Bottom line? Shop for quotes online and over the phone. You might even be able to haggle a discount by bundling your car, life, and home insurance from one provider.
The bills and their accompanying strategies in this guide are just the tip of the iceberg. You can whittle down your credit card bills, dining expenses, and Internet costs. Good luck!