1 Check that you’re not over-insured
You’ve probably got all kinds of insurances on your monthly budget, such as vehicle, family, tech, contents and home insurance, but do you really need all of them? I’m not suggesting that you go without insurance as that would be risky – what I mean here is that you might be double-insured for some items without realising it.
For example, if you’ve taken out insurance on your phone, either alongside your contract or as part of a tech ‘bubble’ insurance, you might not need this if the phone is covered on your contents insurance or your specialist home insurance.
You just need to check the details of the policy to see if it covers you taking the phone out of the house and what exactly it covers – damage, loss, theft etc. If you’re already fully covered for that particular item, you won’t need the additional policies to protect it and can strike these bills off your monthly budget without missing out on being insured.
2 Are you using all your phone allowance?
Often, we overestimate how much data, minutes and text messages we’ll use when taking out a phone contract. If you’re not even getting close to the limits of your contract each month, maybe you can move down to a lower package and save money each month while still using your phone as much as you already do?
It’s easy enough to check your monthly usage of data and calls etc through your phone bill. If you’re paying for hours of inclusive minutes but actually hardly make any calls and only use the data, there’s probably a better tariff you could be on.
For example, I have a pay as you go SIM from giffgaff with no contact, which allows me to change my tariff as often I like. I can choose to buy a data package if I’m going to be working away from my home WIFI, or to top up with good old-fashioned credit to make the handful of calls needed. I receive a monthly usage statement from the company which tells me just how few minutes and messages I’ve actually used, so I know that I can definitely make savings without having to cut down on usage.
3 Have you over-estimated your mileage?
When you take out your vehicle insurance, it’s likely that you had to put down a figure for the mileage you plan to do that year. Again, it’s likely that we will over-estimate and just choose a big-enough figure to cover everything.
But that figure can have an effect on the cost of your insurance so it’s worth actually adding up how many miles you’ll be doing in your car so you can get a better idea of the mileage needed for you policy.
It’s possible to work out your mileage more accurately if you make the same regular trips in your vehicle each week – to school, work, the supermarket, nan’s house etc. You can look up the journey from your home to each of those places and add up the miles required for the round-trip.
It can be more difficult if you don’t have a regular routine but, if you travel for work, you’re probably keeping track of the miles you do in order to get a travel rebate from your company or via the travel expenses for your self-employed accounts.
If you can figure out how many miles you’ll travel, you can give the insurance company this number and possibly reduce the cost of your insurance. ALWAYS add on plenty of extra miles to cover unexpected journeys and holidays, as you don’t want to find yourself uninsured if you go over your allotted mileage figure.
4 Check that your family isn’t double-subscribed
This tip can help you to cut costs for your household as a whole. It’s possible that you are paying for a streaming service, gaming or music subscription that another member of the family within the household is also paying for.
I’ve often heard of teens paying for a music streaming for their own devices without checking if their parents are also paying for it to play music through the family’s smart speaker etc. If you’re paying for something twice, you can probably switch to a multi-device subscription and save money on that particular bill overall while still enjoying the service.
I hope these ideas will help you to cut the cost of some of your monthly bills without causing you to give up anything you enjoy or need. Let me know what other thrifty hacks you have to save money on bills in the comments below, I’d love to hear your ideas.
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