This is the first post in our series of “Fix your personal finances in 30 days“. It is a series dedicated to helping you improve your personal finance situation in 3o days without having to make any major adjustments to your lifestyle.
When I speak of monthly bills I am referring to reoccurring bills that can never be completely paid for in full. Monthly bills can be broken into two obvious categories, mandatory and not-so-mandatory. Typical mandatory bills include water, electricity, life insurance, car insurance, home insurance and health insurance . Typical not-so-mandatory bills include a huge range of bills including cable, phone, Internet, magazine subscriptions, gym memberships, etc. As you can see we need very little to survive as most monthly reoccurring bills aren’t mandatory. However, as stated in the introduction we’re not going to make major lifestyle changes so I’m not asking you to get rid of all your not-so-mandatory bills, just trim them all a bit.
Mandatory bills are somewhat difficult to save massive amounts of money but here are a few tips. Water is still very cheap but read my “tips to save water” article and you could save about $2 per month on your water bill. Electricity isn’t as cheap as water so it leaves a little more room for savings. Read my “tips to save electricity” to find out how to save more than $25 per month on your electric bill. Insurance is a very competitive industry. If you do some shopping around you can save hundreds of dollars per year on your car insurance, home insurance, life insurance and health insurance.
As I mentioned earlier there are a wide variety of not-so-mandatory bills that you can probably reduce or eliminate all together. Magazine subscriptions, movie and music subscriptions can be cancelled. You can reduce your cable bill by dropping to the basic plan or maybe even cancel all together. Gym memberships can be replaced with many creative exercises you can do from home. If you still have a home phone you may want to consider some type of VOIP service. It works almost identical to your current phone service but only costs about $20 per year. This can save as much as $275 per year compared to a traditional land line.