I’m always looking for ways to save money on bills. This is particularly important with monthly reoccurring bills.
If you are overspending by $10 per month on multiple bills, it can make a huge difference in your families budget.
When was the last time you reviewed your cell phone, cable, dish network or internet bill? What about the random bills like your google drive, iTunes or other miscellaneous costs.
I bet if you take a few minutes and look at your most recent bills you will notice a few extra charges that weren’t there when you started your original plans.
It isn’t uncommon to find random and often mysterious charges on long-term accounts.
For example, my daughter got a new phone a few weeks ago. She went from one iPhone to another iPhone and yet for some reason, we had a $30 upgrade charge on our account.
When Aaron called on the charge we were told it was a standard upgrade fee. The poor girl didn’t have a clue what to say when he started questioning her on exactly how this was considered an upgrade.
My husband was eventually able to get them to reverse the charge.
You have to be super vigilant or you will get a lot of little charges. Those little $5, $20 & even $30 charges add up very quickly, especially if they are monthly charges.
How to avoid paying extra on your monthly service bills
1. Review your bills regularly
This is harder then you would imagine. I know in our house, some of the bills are emailed to me, and some to my husband. Other bills we receive in the mail. The worst are the bills that require a login to view.
A few years ago I set the vast majority of our bills for auto-drafting.
I love the convenience of knowing that if I’m busy and forgot to pay something it will be taken care of automatically.
However, since it is done automatically I am not as vigilant at reviewing the bills, as I should be.
I finally started writing down the price that our regular phone, internet, cell phone and various other bills should be on a monthly basis. I use these forms to keep everything organized.
If I see higher numbers than normal, I know to check the bill.
2. Review your banking/credit card statements
This ties in with the point above. If you have your bills set for auto payment you need to be reviewing the payment source regularly.
You’ll never notice the increased fees if you aren’t paying attention to your bank accounts or credit cards.
Companies love it when you set up auto-payments services since they know most people will stop paying attention to the bills.
When reviewing your banking statements don’t forget to check for 5 Ways to Avoid Banking Fees.
3. Contact your cell phone, internet, and cable providers annually.
You will find that most companies change their pricing periodically. We recently contacted our internet provider and were able to get a faster connection and save $20 per month just by making a phone call.
We didn’t even have to threaten to change services. I just asked about the latest promotions that were available to longtime customers.
Don’t assume that you are getting the best deal.
On a side note, the salesman we spoke with told us that the promotion he gave was only good for a year. He recommended we call back in 11 months and was sure that they would have a new promotion going.
4. Ask to have fees reversed
Just because someone has tacked on a fee doesn’t mean you need to pay it. I know it is a hassle, but most of the time you can get fees reversed simply by speaking with someone.
Be ultra polite when I making these type of requests. I joke with the person in the call center. I know that they deal with a lot of rude negative people. You will stand out if you are polite and be significantly more likely to get great service.
If for some reason, the discussion does get heated, I’m always quick to apologize and let them know that I’m frustrated with the situation and not them personally.
5. Do Your Research
If your fees are getting out of control and you are having issues getting them reversed do your research. You need to know your options with the current company.
More importantly, you need to know your options with other providers. In most situations, there are multiple providers who can offer similar services. If you need to jump ship, make sure you’ve done your research and know your options.
6. Check the services on your bill
It is easy to sign up for an extra service and then years later realize you aren’t using that service. For example, Aaron and I had a fax line in our home for years. We used it regularly for work. About a year ago, I was looking through our bill and noticed we were still being charged for this service.
I could have sworn we had canceled it the previous year. Either they didn’t cancel it or my memory is faulty. Either way, we paid for an extra phone line for almost a year. I was so annoyed!
It is amazing the little incremental savings you can find when you start digging into your regular bills.
This is also a great time to assess your current needs. Do you still need a home phone? What about cable service? We use Amazon Prime now and save a lot of money. I think their service is as good as Netflix and significantly cheaper, particularly when you add in the additional benefits.
Make this your month to save money on bills by getting rid of extra fees
When you see a bill show up or an auto payment process, take a few minutes and review the bill.
- Are their extra charges you don’t recognize?
- Have you contacted the company in the last year to see if there are new specials available?
- Do you still need the services?
- Could you combine services?
- Could you save money by switching to another vendor?
- Are you happy with the service?
- Think outside the box. Is there a way to save on this service?
I went through this process last month. I saved $20 a month on our internet bill and an additional $16 a month on our phone bill. It took less than an hour to review all the bills and make a few phone calls. I just saved $432 dollars over the next year with an hour of work.
It is easy to get caught in the, “We don’t make enough income trap,” but sometimes when we do a bit of searching we can find little wins that save money on bills.
For other money saving tips you may want to check out these posts:
- How To Cheat Your Clothing Budget And Dress In Style
- 7 Simple Ways to Start Saving Money Now
- 14 Money Saving Tips to Lower Your Grocery Bill