Don’t you hate it when your cell or cable TV provider will offer complete strangers a better price than you, even though you have been loyal to the company for years? And, when you call them up to complain, what’s the response: “I’m sorry, there is nothing I can do.”
No matter how much logic you infuse into the conversation, they still don’t want to hear it. You get completely fed up, you’ve had enough of the disrespect and then you tell them you want to cancel the service. What happens next? All of a sudden you are best friends and they have an offer to keep you.
You shouldn’t have had to waste 87 minutes with customer service getting transferred from one person to another to lower a bill. There’s a better way to lower your bills, and it won’t take an hour-and-a-half to show you how to save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars a year. Are you in?
- How to lower my bills
- What bills can I cut to save money?
- Best way to cut expenses
- Charlie review
- BILLSHARK review
- Trim review
- Truebill review
- Next steps
How to Lower My Bills
I don’t care how sharp you are when it comes to watching what you spend each month, I am pretty certain you are spending more than you need to on your bills.
Don’t take my word for it, but you should listen to the people at Trim, a bill negotiating service. They estimate we overpay on things like cable/satellite TV, cell phones, and internet by $50 billion a year (and it only gets higher when they add insurance and medical payments).
Let’s look at ways to eliminate the overpaying all of us do monthly.
Quick Tip: If you don’t feel like combing through your expenses yourself, you can sign up for a free service that will do ALL the hard work for you. Our favorite is the Trim App. This app does the heavy lifting for you:
- Monitoring your expenses
- Negotiating lower bills for: Wifi, Cable, and phone bills
- Cancelling unused subscriptions
Download the free Trim App here and get them to lower your bills for you!
Want more info on Trim? Check out our full Trim review down below.
How can I cut my expenses drastically?
You can drastically cut your expenses by doing this one thing: Eliminating every unnecessary expense.
- Do you really need cable TV when you can subscribe to Netflix and Hulu?
- Why pay for internet speeds up to 1,000 Mbps when you only need 100 Mbps?
- Quit going out to eat; stay home and prepare your own meals for much less
- Get rid of your high, unlimited cell plans and find a more affordable one
- Get rid of unused subscription services. Do you really need subscriptions to both Pandora and Spotify? And when’s the last time you listened to an audiobook on your Audible service?
But, really, why would you want to cut expenses drastically? Because you should enjoy every dollar you spend. The steps above will help you realistically save $300 a month or more, which will reduce your bills by $3,600 a year. If you are in dire circumstances, such drastic measures might be needed.
Would you be interested in learning how to get similar results without such draconian actions? Read on.
How Can I Lower My Bills Fast?
If you want to lower your bills fast, the simple solution is to let someone else deal with it for you. We’ll show you how to tap into technology to reduce your bills, but here are some old school methods to lower your bills
- If you have a mortgage, look to refinance it.
- If you rent, can you take on a roommate to split the rent and utilities?
- If you rent and can fix things, see if your landlord will let you trade some labor fixing or sprucing up the place for a reduction in rent
- If your family has two cars, consider whether you need both; if not, sell one
- If you have a car, can you drive it less and walk, ride a bike, or carpool more
- If you owe a lot on your vehicle, consider selling it and buying something economical
- Quit eating out at restaurants and grabbing fast food for breakfast and lunch
- Leave the late afternoon lattes alone
- Lower your grocery bills
- Lower your electricity bills
Some of these suggestions, while effective, might be too much for you. That’s OK, because you still have options.
What Bills Can I Cut to Save Money?
Other than water, sewer, trash collection and other municipal services, you stand a good chance of being able to cut most of your bills. Life is always about balance and decisions. What are you willing to give up and cut out to keep more cash in your wallet, your online checking account or savings account?
How can I cut household bills?
Do you know how many bills you pay each month? Do you know how much each one is and when it is due? When you begin looking at ways to cut your household bills, you need to make a list of who is billing you, the due dates, and the amounts. Do you have a budget?
If so, how much do you allocate for groceries, entertainment, and restaurants? Let’s start trimming.
How can I cut my grocery bill?
One couple after getting married, didn’t have much to spend on groceries, but they were able to cut their grocery spending in half by doing these things:
- Plan their meals: They knew what they were going to prepare and created a shopping list
- Look for deals: Not just coupons, but look for meat that has been marked down or other items that are close to the sell by date
- Make a grocery list: Grocery stores are designed a certain way to get you to spend money and make impulse buys; stick with a list and get what you need
- Eat leftovers: OK, I am adding this one. Some people refuse to eat leftovers. They are good for breakfast, and they are good for lunch the next day
- Use the Ibotta and Checkout51 Apps to get cash back every time you buy groceries
The Ibotta app (iOS and Android) is the leader in “cash-back on groceries.” The average Ibotta shopper earns $150 in cash back rewards a year for buying items they would normally purchase.
Free money will help lower those grocery bills. This is the digital way of “clipping” coupons. Pick out what you want, go to the store, scan the app at checkout, and watch the cash back rewards grow.
Learn everything you need to know about Ibotta right here in our Ibotta explainer video.
So if you like free money… here’s a free $20 to try out the Ibotta App! (our link works as a $20 referral code)
Maximize your grocery savings by using Checkout 51. Where Ibotta works with stores, Checkout 51 works with brands, so it doesn’t matter where you shop.
Buy eligible items, snap a pic of the receipt with the app (iOS or Android), and start earning cash back. When you reach $20 in rewards, you can have the money transferred to PayPal. Except where prohibited, you can use Ibotta and Checkout 51 to maximize your cash back rewards.
How can I cut my electric bill? (Use Arcadia Power to change suppliers, if you can.)
Have you ever considered shopping around to find the best electricity provider? Almost sounds silly, doesn’t it? If available in your state, Arcadia Power will monitor the costs of power to find you the best rates.
When they find a lower rate, they will shoot you an email to let you know it saved you money. How much does this Smart Rate price monitoring service cost? It’s free when you sign up.
Arcadia Power offers a number of services and most are free. No matter what services you choose, you will be helping the environment. Arcadia Power looks to put more renewable energy on the grid.
When you sign up for Arcadia, you will do your part to promote sustainable wind energy. While it can be expensive for homeowners to install clean energy solutions like solar panels, Arcadia provides the opportunity to support renewable energy while lowering your energy bill.
How Can I Lower My TV Bill?
Stop paying for commercials and cut the cable! You may even want to limit the number of streaming services you’re subscribed to at one time. Pay for no more TV than necessary to save money.
But what about my favorite Channels?
Sling TV is a live streaming service that only costs $30/month. You’ll get 50+ channels (including CNN, MSNBC, FOX News) and 10 hours of live TV recording. It’s as easy as downloading the app on your streaming device (Apple TV, Fire TV, ROKU, Chromecast) and watching LIVE TV at a very affordable price.
Best Way to Cut Expenses
If you’ve been with us for any length of time on Budgeting Couple, you know the deal: We want you to enjoy life, but you have to spend less than you earn. Whenever you can cut just $1 from your expenses to put in an online savings account (or invest), you improve your financial position. Overall, the best way to cut expenses is to quit paying for products you don’t need, and stop spending on subscriptions and services you don’t use.
If you look over your list of what you are paying for monthly services or subscriptions each month and decide there really is nothing you want to cancel, then there is still a way to cut those expenses by reducing them. Let me show you how.
Cash back apps
When trying to reduce your expenses, keep in mind it does not always have to involve cutting. Seems counterintuitive, but with cash back apps, it is absolutely true. Every single business on earth has what’s called customer acquisition costs. One way or another they pay, whether it is in advertising, marketing, a building, a billboard, a website, or incentives. With cash back apps, companies pay these services to deliver them customers, and part of the fee these services charge is returned to people like you and me.
So, when you use apps like Ibotta that helps you find deals at the grocery store and rewards you with cash back, you are earning free money. Depending upon the app, you can get anywhere from 1% to 40% cash back. So, if you were to spend $100, then you would get anywhere from $1 to $40 back.
To make this work, keep buying what you normally would. Don’t use the extra cash being paid back to you as a reason to spend it elsewhere.
To help you see how this whole strategy works, consider this:
- Cash back apps like Ibotta will save you money on food you buy on every shopping trip
- Ebates/Rakuten will return money to you for purchasing what you normally buy (you will love how the browser extension works effortlessly to notify you of cash back opportunities)
- A cash back rewards credit card increases the free money back to you without spending additional cash
- If you used a credit card you linked to Drop, you will maximize your cash back rewards
- Then you deposit all of this extra money in an online savings account that pays 17 times more than the average interest-bearing account from a traditional bank.
Take control of your finances so you can save and bank extra cash. Start today so you can start getting ahead right now.
Bill negotiation services
Have you ever done laundry, settled down on the couch, or sat in the car and discovered a $5, $10 or $20 bill? Didn’t it make you smile because you found free money? If so, then you are going to love utilizing bill negotiation services.
A vast majority of people who seek their help end up with more money in their pockets, and you won’t pay them a cent unless they save you money on your bills.
Check out these bill negotiation services to make saving money easier:
If you want to trim the amount you pay in bills each month, then you will want to check out the Trim app. Think of Trim as your personal financial assistant powered by artificial intelligence.
Simply link your primary spending account, and it will analyze and monitor your transactions looking for opportunities to save you money. It will also look for subscriptions you might pay. Sometimes you might forget you signed up for something, and Trim will bring it to your attention in case you want to cancel it. Think of Trim as a bill savings opportunity on autopilot.
How does Trim work?
Trim makes signing up for its money-saving services extremely easy. Trim communicates with you via text or Facebook messenger. It is not a mobile app, rather an online, cloud-based service. Ready to get started?
- Visit the site to sign up (direct link)
- Enter a cell number where Trim can text you a security code
- After entering your security code, select the bank where you have your primary spending account
- Enter your username and password for your bank and wait for another security code
- After you enter your security code, Trim will see what bills you pay and what subscriptions you have
You will be surprised at how quickly your newfound financial assistant will find opportunities to save money. It can save you up to 30% on your cable, internet, and cellular bills. It started out as a service to find and cancel subscriptions. Then, it grew. Other services include:
- Automated savings
- Monitor spending habits
- Track your financial goals
- Get personal recommendations
- Pay off debt
Is Trim safe?
Some might prefer to enter a security code once, but it shows the importance Trim places on protecting your data. Your bank data never resides on Trim’s servers. Trim only receives access to read your bank transactions; it has absolutely no power or authority to make any changes. Trim uses two-factor authorization, which adds an additional layer of security.
Is Trim legit?
Trim has saved its users more than $20 million, and it has been featured in the New York Times, ABC News, NBC News, Fortune Magazine, and many more news outlets. It has garnered all this attention because Trim does what it says. It saves the average user $276 a year.
How does Trim make money?
Trim has an incentive to reduce your bills because it will only get paid if it saves you money. This service is free to use … until they reduce your bills. When Trim successfully negotiates a reduction in your bills, then it will charge 33% of the negotiated savings. If they save you $10 a month on your cable bill for 12 months, then they will charge you $39.60 (33% of $120).
The automated savings, if you decided to use it, has a $2 a month maintenance fee. The debt payoff service will cost you $10, if you use it.It does not charge a fee to cancel a service.
Did you ever sign up for something and totally forgot about it … until you received a hit on your credit card because you signed up for annual automatic billing? Been there. Done that. Truebill will work with you to identify areas to cut expenses and negotiate savings for internet, cable and cellular services.
How does Truebill work?
Truebill can negotiate savings through its “Lower My Bills” program. It works like the other programs to cut your expenses and keep more money in your pocket. Upload a copy of your bill or connect with one of the service providers, and then tell them a little about the kind of service you are paying for.
The service can help you see where you are spending your money and automate your savings.
Truebill can also monitor subscriptions for you. These subscriptions, whether they are for ebook services, streaming music, streaming movies, streaming TV networks, or meal plans, they can really add up. When one couple signed up for Truebill, they discovered they had between 15 and 20 unused subscriptions. They were paying for a subscription-based in-vehicle security and emergency system on a truck they no longer owned.
Is Truebill legit?
The couple who had no clue to the true scope of their subscriptions saved $3,600 that first year with Truebill. The average person saves about $512 a year. Truebill is delivering for people just like you.
Is Truebill safe?
Companies like Truebill take privacy and security very seriously. Without very secure connections and controls, companies like Truebill would never survive. They use bank-level security to protect your privacy and your data.
How does Truebill make money?
Truebill’s core function of consolidating and tracking your financial information is free. If you want to use Truebill to negotiate bill savings on your behalf, the service will charge you 40% of the negotiated savings.
Truebill offers a premium service that can potentially save you time and money. It will cancel services for you, and it will monitor for overdraft of lates fees, and if it finds any, Truebill will automatically request refunds. This will cost $35.99 a year or $4.99 a month.
Other parts of the service are supported by sponsored links from advertisers. So, you might see Truebill Offers that may be aligned with information you have provided.
Let’s say you went to the store to purchase a video gaming system, and there were only two left. One had a price tag of $200 and the other cost $589. Upon closer inspection, you realize that two consoles are identical! What are the chances you would pay an extra $389 for the exact same system? Zero chance, right?
Well, BILLSHARK, a bill negotiation service, estimates consumers like us overpay for TV, wireless, and internet services to the tune of $50 billion a year. When you divide that amount by the 128.58 million households in this country, it is about $389 a year. Why let this continue.
How does BILLSHARK work?
Sign up for the service online; email your bills; let BILLSHARK’s negotiators (who are real people) go to work to negotiate savings on your behalf. All you have to do at that point is go about your business, while BILLSHARK lowers your monthly expenses. So, while BILLSHARK is working to save you money, you can be signing up for cash back apps to save even more.
While the focus of BILLSHARK is to negotiate savings for you, they will also cancel services on your behalf when you authorize them to do so.
Is BILLSHARK legit?
For those who are wondering if BILLSHARK is legit, Shark Tank investor and billionaire Mark Cuban thinks so. What Cuban appreciated was BILLSHARK negotiators’ tireless effort to save consumers time and money. “BILLSHARK eliminates the stress of negotiating or cancelling a bill, so its customers can focus on more productive and long-term goals,” he said.
Most of the people who reviewed BILLSHARK on ConsumerAffairs.com gave the service either five or four stars. The overall theme of these reviews included:
- The process was easy
- BILLSHARK did what it said it would do
- They saved the consumers money
Based on all of the excellent and good reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com, not to mention the reports in USA Today and on NBC News with Lester Holt, people have been quite satisfied with the service from BILLSHARK.
Is BILLSHARK safe?
BILLSHARK uses the same security measures as banks to protect your privacy and your information. They also have extensive security measures and operational processes when hiring staff. They do not share your information with any third parties.
A company like BILLSHARK would not be successful if it could not deliver on its promises to protect your information and safeguard your privacy. And, remember, you only pay if they save you money.
How does BILLSHARK make money?
When it comes to negotiated savings, BILLSHARK will receive a percentage of what they save you. For its cancellation services, they charge a flat rate. Let’s look deeper into these services:
You know how frustrating it is to have to listen to a phone tree (Press 1 for … Press 2 for … To repeat, Press 9 …), then you choose and option and have to sit there and listen to even more choices. Then you have to argue to cancel the service. Or, if you have to go online to cancel, good luck finding the link. They don’t make it easy. BILLSHARK makes it very easy.
If you want them to cancel a service on your behalf, they have a $25 flat rate. The company’s main focus is negotiating savings for you, but if you want to avoid the hassle of dealing with a customer service rep or trying to find the right link on a website, BILLSHARK is there for you.
When you sign up and email BILLSHARK a list of your bills, a real, live person goes to work on your behalf (their expert negotiators have an 85% success rate).
The one goal is to lower your bill based on what you are paying now. They will work to get the bill reduced, whether it is getting the company to give you a discount or a credit. Sometimes, there might be savings if you choose a higher level of service because of a promotional offer.
When they negotiate savings, you will be charged 40 percent of the savings for the period in which the lower rate will apply, which can be up to a maximum of 24 months. NBC News found one family that saved over $2,000 a year with BILLSHARK. One of the five-star reviewers saved more than $900 a year.
Let’s say BILLSHARK saves me $400 a year. I can look at the 40 percent fee two ways: I am paying them $160 for doing something I could have done myself, or I just made $260 for emailing my bill to BILLSHARK — money I didn’t know would be mine without the service. Those who develop a money-making mindset will see the value of receiving 60 percent of something, rather than 100 of nothing.
How would you like to have a pet penguin? Before you say “no,” I am talking about Charlie, “your money-saving prodigy penguin.”
Charlie users save an average of $80 a week. Where I live, that comes out to $4,160 a year. That is enough to pay off half of the economical used car I recently purchased.
How does Charlie work?
Charlie, portrayed as an adorable robot penguin, is a free AI-based financial assistant. “He” interacts with you either through text messaging or Facebook Messenger. When you link your bank accounts and credit/debit cards, Charlie will look at your transactions to see where you can save money.
Charlie is looking to see what kinds of transactions you are making. He wants to know if are you paying any sort of hidden fees or late charges. Charlie will also be on the lookout to see if you overpaid for something. Because Charlie is powered by artificial intelligence and super computers, he is always keeping an eye on your accounts. As Charlie monitors your spending, he will point out where your money is going.
Charlie can give you insights into how much you spend on gas, restaurants, and stores. He can help you save for specific goals or build an emergency fund. And, he can help you cut expenses.
You can ask Charlie questions like: What expenses can I cut? What are my subscriptions? How much did I spend on groceries? Because it is free, use Charlie before you use the other bill negotiation services so you have a better understanding of what you might find.
Is Charlie legit?
Charlie emerged to help people make better decisions about personal finance through artificial intelligence and mobile engagement. One of the founders said, “(P)ersonal finance is harder than it needs to be for the average consumer, and this is only increasing inequality.” Charlie was built to level the playing field so normal people like us could get an advantage when it comes to personal finance.
Is Charlie safe?
Charlie utilizes the same 256-bit SSL encryption banks use, and all connections to the website must be encrypted. Charlie can only read your bank information, he cannot access your money.
The analysis Charlie does about your personal finances can only be seen by you. Did I mention Charlie has no access to your money and cannot make any changes to your account?
How does Charlie make money?
At this point, Charlie is self-funded by investors, and its analysis is free. As Charlie gets built out further, the company might offer fee-based services. But, right now, enjoy the insights at no cost.
Companies make it so easy for us to sign up for services and to make purchases on our phones. You know the drill: “Sign up using Facebook.” This is convenient, and it saves us a lot of time. But, we might forget we had a subscription.
The companies we listed above will help you regain control over your personal finances. Take advantage of a free service like Charlie to give you some insights about where you are spending, then use a service like BILLSHARK to work on your behalf to slash your expenses.
I remember seeing a sign in shop a long time ago that read: Money is not everything, but it sure beats the heck out of whatever is in second place. It was funny, but there is a kernel of truth in it. We need money to live. We need money for food, for health care, for clothes, for transportation, for housing, for electricity, for bills, for entertainment, for debt, and for charitable causes.
We cannot escape spending money, but we can control how we spend it. We can maximize our savings by using cash back apps and bill cutting apps like these:
Cash Back Apps:
- Ibotta ($20 welcome bonus)
- Ebates ($10 welcome bonus)
- Drop ($5 welcome bonus with promo code: BudgetingCouple)
No Money in the Bank?
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