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Ways to save money on your monthly bills

All it takes is one day to start making an impact on your finances. Learn ways to save money on your monthly household bills. 

The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or investment advice. Khan Academy assumes no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment options.

Khan Academy doesn’t provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user RJ5446
    Would anyone actually use 7 gigabytes, as mentioned at ? I know that one gigabyte alone is about 1000 emails and 20 hours of searching for things on the web, over the course of a month.
    (4 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user RJ5446
    For renting, nowadays isn't it actually cheaper in the long run to buy? I know that rent is becoming very expensive these days.
    (3 votes)
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    • female robot ada style avatar for user Tina Abernathy
      Depending on the location, you are absolutely right. For example.
      If you wanted to buy a house in San Diego, the average house cost is about 442,300 dollars. That might seem like a lot but if you pay $2000 a month on mortgage every month on a house that is 287,600 dollars, (while it will take a very long time) in 12 years, you now OWN that house. Its all yours. No more rent.

      However, lets say you just love love love that apartment you just saw and lived there for 10 years (adults don't move around as much as you think they would) and the rent was 2,600, you just spent $312,000. And you dont even own it.
      In less time, you just spent more money, and you never got to even own that house.
      At the end of the day, Its what matters most to you.
      (6 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Em Mabry
    Isn't it cheaper in the long run to buy?
    (3 votes)
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  • spunky sam blue style avatar for user ANDERSON295
    specific money are put out in the bank
    (2 votes)
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  • female robot ada style avatar for user ToysoEmma
    is that how you save money?
    (2 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Shawn Jones
    Is there a class for couponing?
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Deimy Caceres Bonilla
    used to be costly before making a big purchase for a software that you need whether a student project, personal or bussiness either google it or check your app store as sometimes free apps can provide enough power to do what you need unless its for longterm use in this case download a trial software before a big purchase.
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Deimy Caceres Bonilla
    is about 1000 emails and 20 hours of searching for things on the web, over the course of a month.
    (1 vote)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
  • starky seedling style avatar for user jvasquezcs
    How does one use 7 gigabytes as mentioned at ? It takes a long time to use just 1 gigabyte.
    (1 vote)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
  • blobby green style avatar for user tydiapowell
    how can i get help
    (1 vote)
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Video transcript

Finding ways to save money may be easier than you think. By setting aside just a few hours – or an afternoon every now and then– to do a little research on some of your biggest monthly expenses, you may be able to save hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars a year. Here are some ideas to get you started saving on some of your bigger expenses- things like television, cell phones, utilities and insurance. Almost everybody loves television and it’s no secret that services such as satellite or cable TV can be pricey. Thinking about how you use your TV could be a good way to start trimming expenses. For example, you may consider switching to antenna TV. The technology has come a long way since the days of bunny ears, and so has the quality of the picture. The FCC has an interactive map that shows which channels you might get in your zip code. Check out fcc.gov to find out more. Combining antenna TV with the occasional movie rental, or an online streaming service– like those web-based services that have shows and movies that you can binge-watch all weekend might cost you a little bit up front, but it could save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. Now, if you decide to go with satellite or cable– shop around and negotiate. You may find a cheaper option, or your current provider may be willing to lower your monthly payment to keep you as a satisfied customer. A couple of phone calls could save you money each month. Speaking of phone calls, you may want to look at your cell phone plan to see if you can cut down on costs there too. Data and texting plans can be expensive, so make sure your plan reflects how much – or how little you use your phone. You might also make some changes to your habits that could help you trim costs. If you use a smartphone, there are apps that allow you to track your data usage and even set alarms when you get close to a monthly limit. By avoiding large downloads on the go, you might be able to scale back your plan. Pre-paid plans might also be a money saving option. Or you might consider a Family plan if you have more than one person in your household. Just remember, as with anything, pay attention to all the details of the plan when shopping around for deals. Finally, if you need to use a phone for your work, you might consider checking with your employer to see if they might cover your cell phone expenses. Or, if you’re self employed, you might be able to get a tax deduction for your phone expenses. Next, let’s look at housing– it’s probably your biggest expense. If you rent, you might be able to ask your landlord about giving you a better deal when it’s time to renew. Take a look at the going rate for similar apartments in your area to see if it makes sense to renegotiate. Most landlords don’t want the vacancy that comes with a turnover, so if you’ve been a good tenant, they may be willing to work with you. And when it comes to household expenses, energy can be a big one, particularly if you’re a homeowner: A programmable thermostat is one way you can save. They’re relatively easy to install and they can help you save significantly on your heating and cooling bill by raising and lowering the temperature automatically when you’re not at home or when you’re asleep. You can go one step further by getting an energy audit of your home. Your utility company may offer free energy audits that can give you valuable ideas on how to save on your energy bill that are specific to your home. You can start to find out more and get additional tips on saving energy from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website at EnergyStar.gov. Another place you may be able to save big is on your insurance. Many people bundle their policies, such as homeowner’s and auto insurance with one carrier. That can often bring substantial discounts. You might also cut some insurance costs by making upgrades to your home – like installing a security system. And if it’s been a few years since you have shopped for insurance, you may want to shop around instead of just renewing. This can be particularly helpful on health insurance if you’re responsible for buying your own insurance since the prices of these plans change frequently. There are several websites where you can compare plans and prices. But pay attention to what the plan offers and the details, such as premiums, deductible amounts and co-payments... The least expensive option may end up costing you more if it doesn’t cover what you need. It may be hard to get started, but just a little bit of research and a couple of phone calls could make a big difference in your budget almost right away. And sure, spending an afternoon researching your monthly expenses may not be as thrilling as, say, a day at the beach, but rolling up your sleeves and doing some work on this may help you save hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars each year. That’s money you might spend on a vacation