7 Ways To Lower Your Monthly Bills
STORY: Priyanka Elhence
15 December 2022
With the ever-increasing cost of living, it’s never been more important to find ways to bring down your monthly bills. Cutting down on monthly expenses not only gives you more breathing room in your budget, but it also keeps you from unknowingly wasting your hard-earned money. Whether you are trying to achieve big personal financial goals, or just trying to through the next month as best as you can, getting your spending under control will go a long way.
Try some of these tactics to save precious $$$$ every month:
1. Track your current spending habits
The first step is to track your spending habits for a month so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with. Once you know where your money is going, it will be easier to confront reality and make decisions.
2. Cancel those unnecessary subscriptions
One of the first places to look for reduced spending is with your monthly subscriptions, especially the ones where your money is automatically withdrawn each month without you noticing (streaming services, cloud storage, etc). While each cost may seem small and affordable, they all quickly add up when you see their combined cost per month. Identify one or two of the subscriptions that you hardly use and consider cancelling them. If you change your mind, you can always restart the subscription later.
3. Are you really using that gym membership?
Likewise, be honest about your gym membership. While there’s no denying the health benefits of regular visits to the gym, COVID has taught us that you can get just as good a workout from exercising at home. Instead of committing to a pricey gym membership, consider using a daily app, working out at home or with a friend, or taking your cardio outdoors.
4. Service your air conditioner regularly
A well-maintained AC unit performs significantly more efficiently than one that isn’t serviced regularly, as cleaning the AC filter ensures the ducts are clean and the unit isn’t being overworked. Not only will this help lower your utility bills, but it potentially increases your AC's lifespan.
5. Look after your car too
Yes, car maintenance costs time and money, but without regular checks, you could end up with higher costs in the long run. For example, slightly misaligned tyres can result in lower fuel efficiency, while under-inflated tyres are a big safety hazard and can also significantly reduce your gas mileage. Plan your driving trips carefully for the month and consolidate the errands you run each day (or week) to help cut back on monthly fuel expenses. The more you can consolidate your car rides into fewer trips, the more you'll save on petrol, as all the petrol wasted when starting up the car plus time idling in traffic, can quickly add up.
- Shop online to avoid impulse purchases or at least go after a meal when you won’t be tempted with unhealthy and unnecessary purchases.
- Opt for generic home brand items when it comes to toiletries and home supplies, rather than buying the more expensive, name-brand products. Be it toilet paper or aluminium foil, most generic store brands are similar in quality to name-brand items, but can give you huge savings.
- Seasonal produce tends to be cheaper when doing groceries, as are imperfect looking fruits and vegetables (think ugly fruits that offer the same quality and nutrition).
6. Lower your electricity bill
- Unplug unused gadgets - Even when switched off, many electronics such as desktops, printers, TVs and the cable box, continue consuming energy. Get into the habit of unplugging gadgets you aren’t using (including your phone charger) to minimise money you’re wasting without even realising it.
- Switch to LED bulbs - Although the initial cost of LED bulbs is higher than regular light bulbs, they're worth it as your home will become more energy-efficient.
- Wash laundry with cold water - Washing clothes in cold water can save up to 90 percent of the energy your washing machine uses (that’s a lot of $$$). Plus this welcome and convenient change will also help reduce your carbon footprint at home.
- Switch to solar energy - If you enjoy the luxury of living in a landed property, going solar is a great way to help save yourself money each month on energy bills and also help save the planet at the same time. Yes, there is a costly upfront investment when you decide to install solar panels, but with Singapore’s intense heat, you’ll be powering up your entire house mostly from solar energy, so think of the long-term savings too.
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