I consider myself somewhat of an expert on cutting costs. I don’t like paying for things I don’t use (who does), and I find myself frequently combing through my own finances to find ways to trim down those recurring expenses. However, there are always a few things that slip through the cracks unnoticed, like the quarterly membership to a gym I haven’t been to since I moved, the wine club I swear I unsubscribed to, and the magazines that mysteriously keep getting renewed every year.
Here at Metromile, we’re all about saving money. We want our customers to only pay their fair share for the things that they use. Your monthly expenses don’t have to wreck your budget, so we’ve rounded up our best tips on cutting down your most expensive bills and making the most from your monthly budget. Buh-bye, overpriced cell phone bill. See ya never, streaming service I used once and then forgot about. Let’s get into it.
The Top Budget-Busting Expenses & How to Cut the Cord
- Cable TV: With the abundance of shows and movies available on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and Showtime, who even watches cable TV anymore? What’s truly crazy is that the average cable bill rings in at about $80/month! Save yourself some major dough and cut the cord with your cable TV bill – because you probably won’t even miss it when it’s gone.
- Cell Phone Plan: Besides your rent or your mortgage payment, your cell phone plan might be one of the most expensive bills you’re locked in to pay each month. But it doesn’t have to be. Many cell phone carriers offer less expensive plans with no long-term contracts. Also, apps like Hiatus will negotiate a lower monthly cell phone bill with your provider on your behalf, saving you money and time.
- Car Insurance: Wait, are you telling me that you’re a low-mileage driver and still paying the same insurance premium as someone who drives 3x more than you? Hold up, that just isn’t right. If you find yourself driving under 1,000 miles every month, you’re most likely a low-mileage driver who could literally be saving hundreds of dollars every year by switching to Metromile. Same great coverage for less money – what’s not to love?
- Dining out: What starts as a dinner here and a drink there can quickly cascade into delivered lunches every day and happy hour every week. Even if you hate cooking, it pays to research some easy-to-make meals. Go grocery shopping and prepare large batches of food to eat throughout the week and never pay for overpriced Seamless delivery again.
- Recurring subscriptions: I know, I know – getting a package in the mail is fun and exciting. It’s like a present for you, from you, every month! YAY presents! However, when you sign up for subscription services like Birchbox, wine clubs, dog toy boxes, etc., it can really eat away at your bottom line. The next time your subscription package arrives, make note of how many of the items you will actually use/enjoy. You might be surprised to see that most of the time, those subscription boxes are filled with junk that just ends up cluttering your home. Cancel that recurring subscription, save the money, and enjoy a less-cluttered space.
- Prescriptions: Depending on your medication, the cost of prescriptions can take a huge bite out of your monthly budget. Consider switching to generic medications instead of brand-name prescriptions – they’re the bio-equivalent of brand-name drugs but can cost 80-85% less. Apps like GoodRx, LowestMed, and BlinkHealth can also help you determine the lowest prices of medications at your nearby pharmacies. Also, if your job offers an FSA or HSA account, utilize that account to stockpile some pre-tax dollars to pay for your prescriptions and doctor’s appointments.
- Shopping & Entertainment: Whether retail therapy is your way to chill after a long day at work, or you like catching a new blockbuster every weekend (me), finding ways to trim down these indulgences will always be better for your bottom line. When shopping online, I always do a quick Google search to find promo codes and can usually root one out (Retailmenot is the best promo code aggregator). By signing up for loyalty programs at my local movie theater, I manage to always save on concessions or the price of tickets.
There you have it. Are your wheels already turning thinking about which bill you’re going to slash first? Go forth and cut the cord with your biggest budget-busting bills with confidence. Besides, why should you be paying more than you need to for anything? Nowadays, there are so many ways to cut down your monthly costs. As always, get a quote with Metromile today and find out how much you’ll be saving each month! Be safe out there and see you on the roads.
Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram