This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.
It’s a new year, which means you might be looking to tweak your budget and find some extra ways to save money. There may be big ways you can adjust your budget, but if you can find several small ways, sometimes that can be just as meaningful. There are at least 8 bills you can cut today that I’m going to talk about today. I find it really helpful at the beginning of the year to look through every single line item on your budget and ask yourself if you really need it or use it. Another helpful idea can be to start over with a brand new budget. You can use last year’s budget for reference, but having to enter in each category manually will help you take an honest look at what you’re spending each month. Chances are you’ll find at least one thing on the following list that you can cross off this year!
8 Bills You Can Cut Today
If your iPhone is automatically backing up to iCloud storage, you might be paying more than you need to for storage. You probably don’t need your entire phone backed up, and so you may be paying for a service you don’t require. Apple explains how to downgrade your iCloud storage, and here are some ways to keep from needing more iCloud storage.
Music streaming services are everywhere, and you may have decided to start paying for those in the previous year. While there’s nothing wrong with using these services, ask yourself if you want it to be part of your budget. At least consider if you’re paying for more than you need! Amazon Music comes free if you’re an Amazon Prime member, and services like Pandora or iHeartRadio provide fairly decent free products. It may not be the same as ad-free Spotify, but it might be enough if it saves you $15-$30/month.
Like music services, there are so many paid options for streaming entertainment—but do you really need all of them? Maybe you subscribed to the more expensive version of Hulu to watch college sports this past fall, but now you can downgrade to the cheapest plan. Or maybe you’ve just subscribed to Disney+ and are realizing you aren’t watching much Netflix anymore. If you really want to cut your budget, you could even cancel all of your paid plans and find ways to watch free streaming entertainment .
A new year is always a good time to examine your phone plan and see if you’re paying for more than what you need. Another thing to consider is whether it’s to your benefit to switch phone plans. Last year a friend of mine took advantage of a deal from T-Mobile that cut their family’s phone bill by almost $70 per month.
Monthly Software or Other Subscriptions
Do you have any monthly subscriptions that you aren’t even sure why you have? I recently realized I was paying $1/month for a premium version of an app I’m not even using anymore. Vigilantly look through your banking history and make sure you can name every item and what it’s for. Last year we realized that when we moved into our home, we had signed up for some kind of $5 warranty on our pipes that turned out to be a complete waste of time. $5/month may not seem like much, but it adds up!
You may also be paying monthly fees for products like Photoshop that you could avoid by using other services. Check out these top free photo editing websites.
These may not be bills that you can completely cut, but if you’re self-employed, you can at least start tracking them and either ask your job to reimburse them or deduct them on your taxes next year. For example, if you use Dropbox to store documents and materials for your job, you could potentially deduct the monthly Dropbox fee on your taxes. The IRS lists the following as business expenses that you can deduct:
Banking, credit card and financial service fees
Cloud storage services
Writer conferences and workshops
Other miscellaneous expenses
Photo & Document Storage
With the advent of smartphones and using them primarily to take photos, all of us want to make sure those memories are preserved. But you don’t necessarily need to pay money to store them (sorry Dropbox). Amazon just launched Amazon Photos, and Google Photos is also an option for free storage up to a certain amount.
If you are using services to store documents for work or share them with others, please switch to Google Drive. It’s completely free and you can securely share and co-work on documents together.
Monthly Subscription Boxes
There are often great deals on monthly subscription boxes that include everything from books to beauty products. I got a great deal on KiwiCo crates before Christmas, but then I forgot to cancel them and ended up paying for another month. That might not be your problem, but instead you’re getting subscription boxes that you’ve gotten for so long you’ve forgotten how those things affect your monthly budget. Subscriptions like beauty boxes, FabFitFun, and Book of the Month can be really fun, but you could cut those bills today if you put your subscription on hold temporarily or permanently.
Looking for more budget tips? Check out my post on 7 Easy Ways to Save Money in 2020!