When you have a full-time job (plus a side hustle) and still struggle to make ends meet, it’s time to cut back on spending. But knowing where and how to reduce household bills can be difficult.
To help, we’ve found how to significantly cut the ten most common household bills in less than 5 minutes.
First things first – check if you’re overpaying compared to other people
The only way to know if you’re overpaying for something is to see what everyone else is paying – Status Money lets you do that.
Status is a free app that helps you view, track and control every aspect of your financial life. But what makes Status unique is the ability to anonymously compare your money habits to other people. This lets you view how you’re doing financially in context to similar people and find saving opportunities.
For example, if you’re spending $100 a week more than other people in your city, it’s a good place to start trying to save.
Smart shoppers know that price doesn’t indicate quality. Often, store brands are identical to more expensive name brands.
But finding the best product can be difficult and expensive. A unique way to discover alternatives is to join Shopper’s Voice®, an online survey that lets you earn samples, coupons and free stuff.
Luckily, they’re accepting new applicants right now. You won’t want to miss this.
A quarter of Americans have errors on their credit score. That’s scary because a small decrease in your credit score can cost you thousands a year in higher living costs.
The first step to making sure your credit report is correct is to check it for free using Credit Sesame. If there are any incorrect items, a service like Credit Bear can put you in touch with a credit repair agency. After giving you an obligation-free credit report analysis, the agency will fight credit bureaus and banks to improve your credit score rapidly.
Check your credit score for free with Credit Sesame then use a credit repair agency to improve your credit rapidly
3. Bank fees
Let’s face it – bank fees suck. They’re unfair and totally unnecessary. Chime Bank thought the same thing so decided to offer 100% fee-free banking .
Unlike traditional banks, Chime operates online only and doesn’t have any physical branches meaning they offer completely free banking. Opening an account takes 3 minutes to and you get a checking account, savings account and debit card.
Besides no-fees, the other big reason to use Chime is is the ability to get your paycheck two days early when getting paid via direct deposit. If your rent falls due right before payday, those two days are huge.
Nobody thinks about getting insurance… until something happens and you need it. If you couldn’t afford to replace your valuables today, it’s time to consider getting insurance.
A solid (and insanely popular) choice is Lemonade. They’ll insure all your personal property against theft, loss, and damage starting at just $5 a month. Even better, your stuff is covered even if something happens to it outside your house. When you think about how much it’d cost to replace your phone or laptop, $5 a month for insurance is a crazy good deal.
Best of all, everything is done online so you can sign up and make a claim almost instantly on your phone.
5. Debt repayments
Debt can feel impossible to pay off if you’re only making minimum payments. Consolidating unsecured debt can help you escape the neverending debt cycle.
Simply put, you can consolidate your unsecured debt into one at a lower rate. The advantages are threefold – one monthly repayment, lower interest payments and potentially a reduction in the amount owed.
If you have over $10,000 of unsecured debt, you can see debt relief options.
6. Everyday shopping
Store loyalty programs and cashback programs are an awesome way to save money – if you actually remember to use them. To always get rewarded for purchases, you’ll want to download Drop.
Drop supercharges your credit and debit cards by giving rewards for everyday purchases. Best of all, it works in the background so you earn automatically – just register for free, link your credit or debit cards then go shopping to save. It’s that easy!
Points earned are redeemable for gift cards to stores like Amazon, Seamless and Whole Foods. Combined with cashback apps and credit card rewards, Drop can save you some serious money.
7. Car insurance
Every driver knows how cars can quickly become money pits. Gas, repairs, insurance – it all adds up. The quickest way to save on car expenses is to switch to more affordable car insurance.
Changing car insurance providers every 12 months can save you serious money because the insurance industry is so competitive. Policy providers are always trying to win consumers over with low rates and additional coverage options.
To find the best price, use a free personalized price comparison service like Quote Genius. You can speak with a local insurance agent and get multiple quotes in one phone call.
8. Online Shopping
It’s a little-known fact that most stores offer up to 25% cashback on every purchase as well as exclusive promo codes through cashback sites like Ebates. You don’t even need to change the way you shop – just make sure to open the store through Ebates’ portal before checking out to watch the savings add up.
9. Investing fees
Buying stocks in companies you’re already familiar with is a straightforward way to start investing. But brokerage fees can be a killer if you’re being through a traditional broker. The easiest and most affordable way to start investing in shares is with Stockpile.
Stockpile lets you buy fractional shares of individual companies with just $5. That means instead of dealing with confusing ETFs, you can buy shares in trusted brands like Amazon, Netflix and Google. It’s the best way to learn about investing with only a few dollars.
To help new investors begin their portfolio, Stockpile is giving out $5 in free stock when you sign up. Don’t skip this one!
10. 401k management
The earlier you start investing in your 401k, the wealthier you’ll be when retiring. And when you consider the average worker will pay over $135,000 in 401k fees over their lifetime, having a retirement fund with low management fees is a huge value-add. A great option is Blooom. Their median client saves $41,456 over the course of their retirement*
It’s a 401k robo-advisor that automatically optimizes your 401k, making you the most money possible.No confusing piecharts here – everything is presented simply so you can understand where your retirement fund is invested. Just take three minutes to link Blooom to your 401k and they’ll do the rest.
Want to cut your household bills quickly?
Discover new products for free – Shopper’s Voice®
Stop paying outrageous bank fees – Chime
Insure all your stuff starting at $5 a month – Lemonade
Check your credit score and lower mortgage repayments – Credit Sesame
Get cash back automatically every time you shop – Drop
Compare and switch to more affordable car insurance – Quote Genius
Consolidate your debt into a lower repayment – Debt Genius
Buy stock in your favorite company without high fees – Stockpile
Avoid expensive 401k management fees – Blooom
Receive money back shopping online – Ebates
*$41,456 investment fee savings based on median blooom client 401k balance of $47,131 assuming $5,000 annual contribution, pre-blooom investment expense ratio of .56%, post-blooom investment expense ratio of .22%, and 30 years until retirement as of January 9, 2018. Blooom is limited to the funds available in your employer-sponsored retirement account. There is no guarantee blooom can or will reduce your fund expenses.
Image: Luke Porter