Helen 200 x 200
By Helen Hartman, CRPC®

Whenever I speak about getting fiscally fit, I inevitably get the question- “how do I start/increase my monthly savings?” The ability to fund emergency and retirement savings account can seem challenging. I have compiled some tips on reducing monthly bills to free up cash and build savings.

1.  Mortgage Bill – Our mortgage bill is generally our highest expense every month. Today’s interest rates are considerably less than those 10 years ago. Sit down with a specialist and find out if you can refinance to decrease your payment. Investigate whether or not you can cancel your private mortgage insurance (PMI). If a house has 20% or more equity in it, the owner may not need PMI.

2.  Cable Bill – More and more consumers are learning the value of “cutting the cord”. There are many internet streaming services which provide various popular channels. Hulu, Amazon, and or Netflix are a few examples of internet options to get rid of cable services and save money. CutCable.com is a website that gives various viewing options.

3.  Cell Phone Bill – Cell phone bills can be reduced by knowing the competition. Being a highly competitive market, you can often times get a better deal when your existing provider is aware you are considering switching. Also, many cell phone providers give discounts to certain employers. Check with your provider for discounts.

4.  Insurance – Studies have shown that if you speak with an insurance agent in person rather than using the computer, the agent may be able to uncover the best fit for you saving on unnecessary coverage. The industry also offers various discounts due affiliation with certain schools and or professions. Always ask if there additional discounts you may qualify.

5.  Power Bills – Call your power provider for an explanation of the way your use is billed. Power companies may offer cheaper rates for non-peak hour usage. Once you understand the cheaper hours, you can plan your use.

6.  Water Bill – The water bill can be reduced through the installation of low flow showerheads, reducing the amount of water used. Also, water your lawn at dusk or dawn rather than peak Sun hours, more water will go directly on the lawn.

7.  Grocery Bill – Coupons have been a great choice for saving money on food and household goods. Today there are a few applications to be downloaded on a smartphone which will provide the coupons for you and deposit the money into a Paypal or Venmo account. Ibbota and Checkout 51 are 2 popular money-saving apps.

8.  Heating and Air Conditioning Bills- Insulation is a great means to reduce heating and cooling bills. Check for window and door leaks, use caulk to seal them and let less air escape.

Saving money isn’t always easy. Today’s lifestyle creates greater monthly obligations than in former, simpler days. Make a habit of knowing what you are charged for and if you can reduce those charges.

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