Take charge of your finances when you lower your monthly bills. With more disposable income, you can fulfill your financial goals and better manage your income as an independent worker in the gig economy.
1. Clarify your personal goals.
Decide where you want your money to go. You may wish to pay off student loans, credit cards, and other debt or save for your emergency fund, house, retirement, advanced education, or vacation. List short-term goals that you want to accomplish in the next 12 months and long-term goals. This framework gives you guidance and motivation as you evaluate your bills.
2. List your bills.
To lower your monthly bills, first list all your expenditures on a spreadsheet. Comb through your expense receipts and bank and credit card statements. Then collate your expenses into categories like mortgage or rent, utilities, debt, child care, transportation, food, health and wellness, insurance policies, taxes, entertainment, gifts, and miscellaneous. Now, you can see exactly where your money goes and make the necessary adjustments.
3. Choose strategic ways to lower your monthly bills.
Analyze which expenses match your financial goals and lifestyle. Here are a few suggestions you can make to lower your monthly bills.
While subscriptions can make life easier, cancel any recurring charges you don’t really need, want or use, such as:
- Television, video and, music streaming
- Gym membership
- Cloud storage
- Beauty and clothing boxes
- Meal delivery kit
- Car wash plan
- Satellite radio
- Audiobook access
- Prime or other delivery services
You’re probably paying a good chunk of monthly earnings on forgotten subscriptions. Budget and bill-tracking apps, like Truebill, are the easiest way to find subscriptions, manage bills, and cancel recurring charges. See how much you could be saving on unwanted subscriptions today.
Weigh the expenses that offer time savings. For example, decide if you want to spend money on a cleaning company, lawn care service, and grocery or fast food delivery. You can even consider the value of pre-chopped vegetables and fruits or frozen meals. Forgoing these conveniences could cost you more time, but the money savings may be worthwhile.
Invest an hour or so of your time, and review your home, health, life, and auto insurance policies, utilities, phone, television, and internet plans. Check to see if you’re paying for services you don’t need. Then contact your current providers and negotiate for a discount or select a more affordable plan that still meets your needs. Also, consider switching providers, which could save you big bucks.
After comparison shopping on major bills, examine your loyalty in other areas. Try generic food brands, thrift or consignment stores, and a different salon, grocery store or veterinarian. You may discover the same quality elsewhere for less money.
Conduct an energy audit.
Contact your electric company and ask for a free energy audit. Also, check other utility usage details and discover where and when you spend the most money. Small tweaks like better insulation, window and door caulk, or a smart thermostat could lower your monthly bills.
Repay or refinance debt.
Get aggressive about building a debt repayment plan. You can refinance to a lower interest rate loan, make extra payments and apply found money to your debts.
When you lower your monthly bills, you give yourself some financial breathing room. And you set yourself up to meet your financial goals. Use these strategic steps to better manage your money.
Ready to Get Started?
About the Author: Jennifer Turner writes web content for a variety of clients. As a gig worker, she understands the rewards and challenges of the industry, which is why she prioritizes daily self-care and follows a budget. Find her at WriterAccess.