Many people think to save a lot of money you have to “go without”. That simply isn’t true. There are many things in your life you can continue to enjoy, but you just want to make sure you aren’t paying too much for them. Sit down and make a list of every bill that you have on a recurring basis and how much that recurring charge is. Most people’s largest bills are usually mortgage, rent and car payments. Although there is a lot you can do to decrease those payments as well, this article is about the smaller everyday things you shouldn’t let run like a leaky hose.

Here’s a few things to consider:

Cell phone plan: I mentioned this earlier and it’s a good one. Call up your mobile phone service provider and talk to their billing department. They all have the ability to easily check to see if you are using all of the services you are paying for. Do you have unlimited minutes but only use 100 minutes a month? Do you have a data plan that is too large? Just give them a call. If you haven’t reviewed your cell phone plan in a while this is usually an easy place to find some “money under the cushion” and make that monthly expense a little smaller.

Car insurance: Having insurance on your automobile not only protects you and other drivers it’s also the law. Insurance also varies greatly upon where you live as most insurance policies are based on your zip code and how frequent accidents happen in that particular area. BUT, even if you live in a small city give your insurance company a call. Insurance companies are VERY competitive and you might be able to qualify for discounts you didn’t know about. I personally did this last year and found that I had qualified for long-term driver, auto alarm, airbag and disc brake discounts. They also gave me a complimentary loyal customer discount and my rates literally dropped almost in half! That’s not an exaggeration. That phone call lasted about an hour and I saved big! If they can’t give you any discounts then SHOP AROUND. There are plenty of good insurance companies. AIS has a great tool for comparing several insurance companies all at once. You can find it here.

STOP BUYING Individual- sized BOTTLED WATER! Fact: In 2012 50 BILLION bottles of water were sold equating to 1500 bottles a second AND 80% of those bottles end in up in landfills. That’s 60 million bottles every year. Buying individual sized bottled water is a huge waste of money and is absolutely dreadful on the environment. I am not suggesting everyone start drinking tap water. In my area the tap water provided by DWP is actually pretty good when filtered. BUT, even if you are a huge fan of Arrowhead, Sparkletts or any other quality water buy them in gallon size containers (or larger) and use a reusable drinking bottle for on-the-go. Typically a small bottle of Arrowhead will cost almost half of what a 3 gallon jug of it at the grocery store will cost you. Buy your favorite water in larger quantity and then just fill up your bottle on a daily basis. I love my Contigo bottles.

Internet Access: Again… Call your ISP and make sure you aren’t paying more than new customers. Many Internet Service Providers offer specials and promotions all year long and they are all very competitive. You may even save money by bundling your internet with your phone and/or cable service. See if you are getting the latest and greatest rate or if you qualify for any new promotions.

How about on your next day off you take a few hours and do ALL of these suggestions? When you add them all up you might find you will immediately save yourself some substantial money every month.


  1. Eric J. Nisall - DollarVersity Reply

    I can’t even find an auto insurance agency that even comes close to matching my rates, much less one that has been able to beat it. All of those commercials promising hundreds of dollars for switching just make me laugh.

    I’ve never heard of those water brands before, but I’m not a big fan to begin with so it’s not much of a surprise to me. The only brand I will ever buy (and it’s maybe once a year) is Fiji, but for my tastes, a good filtration system should be all that’s needed for clean-tasting water unless the source is really terrible. Besides, since the water is bottled in plastic, if it sits long enough before being consumed, it will start to have a funny taste from the packaging anyway, defeating the purpose.

    • @Eric – Our insurance company is really low. We’ve checked around and compared, but by calling them we were able to snag some discounts we didn’t know about. As water, filtration systems are the best.

  2. Greg@Thriftgenuity Reply

    I think I am in pretty good shape on these, although, I am going to review the cell phone plan shortly.
    I have to share my money-saving success on water filtration though. We changed the filter in our fridge and it was dispensing properly. After a month of trying to troubleshoot, we finally figured it out and fixed it with a couple of o-rings from the hardware store. Only cost $3. Sure beats calling a repairman!

    • @Greg – I love my water filtration via the fridge. It beats the cost of bottled water and is more environmentally friendly. I really need to get a better cell phone plan and ditch cable. Just have to figure out the whole football thing come fall. 😉

  3. I need to call comcast and see if I can get a six month deal or something. We’re paying full price now and I don’t like it one bit. Good tips. We rarely purchase bottle water. It’s much better for everyone to bring a water bottle from home.

    • @Midlife Finance – Yes, our cable is out of control. We’ve only paid for cable for over a year, but it’s insanely expensive and we really only have it for football season. Need to follow up on this.

  4. One great way to save money is to buy clothing at a place like the Salvation Army or Goodwill. I have been able to get some great deals for used clothing at thrift shops and garage sales as well!

    • @Eva – Great tip. We occasionally find household items there but should check out the clothing as well. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Good suggestions on how we can save. Apparently, some of us still waste a lot of money because of these things we don’t really need or make use of really well.

    • @KC – I, myself, need to call my cable and cell phone companies again to see if I can save a few bucks. Calling about once a year usually saves us some dough.

  6. Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter Reply

    I ended up saving a ton by calling a local agent of our insurance company, Geico, and she knew about “Geico Advantage”. We literally pay $55 a month for full coverage on a Prius and liability-only for my Aveo.

    • @Crystal – That’s a great rate! I thought my insurance company was really inexpensive, but maybe I should check it out.

  7. Paul @ The Frugal Toad Reply

    I ditched water bottles for a Brita water pitcher I keep in the fridge, works great! To cut down on some recurring expenses I’ve started looking at all the domains that I have setup with the intention of doing something with, I just shut down several. As far as insurance, I have comparison shopped several times over the years and couldn’t find an agent that came close to what I am paying now.

    • @Paul – I need to replace my cable with an antennae and my cell phone plan with something cheaper. We literally used only 59 minutes of talk time last month between our two phones and we’re paying for a lot more than that. However, our insurance and water is under control. 😉

  8. SuburbanFinance Reply

    It’s insane just how large of a markup the bottled water has. I never buy it. I also recently negotiated my phone bill, which saved me tons.

    • @SuburbanFinance – Bottled water is definitely over priced. It’s great about your phone bill. We’re thinking of bundling to save more $$.

  9. Cell phone and cable were two big ones for us. We didn’t stop either service but we found ways to lower the bills considerably. Now we are looking at getting rid of the service we have and going with Straight Talk which will cut our bill in half. Bottle water I just never get why people spend so much water on this. At the least just buy a filter.

    • @Thomas – I agree, filters are so much cheaper and reduce waste! Is Straight Talk VOIP? I like the idea, but the quality just doesn’t seem to be great yet.

  10. I like the bottles idea. People were fed with a BS that the tap water is bad and that they have to buy a bottled water instead and use tap water for washing dishes only. This is obviously nonsense, but people believe it.

    My greatest savings I had was on land line. I was paying some outrages 30 – 40 dollars a month for a land line which I haven’t used much. Basically at all. Since I wanted to keep the land line I switched to a Magic Jack and I pay $20 a year. Incredible deal!

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