Editor’s Note: this post is updated from an original post
Now is a good time to review your regular bills. Make a list of the bills that are paid regularly, such as electric and gas bills, internet and TV, cell phone, trash service, home and auto insurance, etc.
Start with the monthly bills and select one. Review every line item on the bill. Do you understand everything that you are being charged for? Are there items on the bill that you don’t need or use anymore? Are you being charged to rent a piece of equipment that you don’t have anymore?
For internet, TV service, and other similar bills, if you have had the same service package for a year or more, call the customer service center and ask if there are any discounts or different packages that may be available.
I recently called my internet and cable TV service and found that we were eligible for a free upgrade to a much faster internet service. The customer service rep did the upgrade while I was still on the phone. While that call didn’t save any monthly money, I felt it was a very worthwhile call. I am thrilled with the faster internet speed. As well, she gave me another number to call because it appeared that we were also eligible for a lower-cost package. I’ll be calling that number soon!
Go through each of your regular bills one by one, slowly and in detail. If you find a charge that should not be there, make the call or send the email and get the process started to get it eliminated. While it may only be a few dollars of savings, keep in mind that a few dollars each month adds up. Saving $5.00 a month is a savings of $60.00 a year. What would you do if someone handed you $60.00 at the end of each year?
Credit card bills should be reviewed each and every month as they arrive. Did you sign up for a monthly “club” that you haven’t used in 3 months, but are still getting a $19.99/month charge? Did a company accidentally double bill you for something? Are there charges you don’t recognize? Even a $.25 charge that you didn’t authorize should be investigated. It may be a test charge by a card thief to see if the card is good as well as to see if they are able to make undetected charges on your account.
A periodic review of your regular bills helps to prevent money being completely wasted on services or items that you no longer use or need.
Even better, as soon as you discover and remove an unnecessary charge, set up an automatic monthly transfer of that amount to your savings account. You won’t miss the money and your savings account will start growing effortlessly.
Take a look at The Fat Dollar’s post on Automatic Investing for more ideas on increasing your regular savings.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and patpitchaya.