Reducing bills was the most intimidating topic for me when I started Savings to Disney. How could I make bills smaller? What am I, some kind of magician? Truthfully, before starting this program my knowledge of how bills were calculated was hazy at best. I understood the basic principle: I am paying per unit of water, electricity, heat, etc. The more units I use, the more I pay. But what about things like internet? Or tv? Were those numbers plucked from the sky by the Internet Fairy?
So I just kept my head down, paid my bills, and tried to make sure my toddler didn’t leave the water running. But Saving to Disney is about equipping yourself with tools to succeed, and that means understanding bills. Lucky for me, the process can be broken down into steps that make it much more manageable.
-The first thing to do when you decide to Coupon to Disney is find the extra money in your budget. The book provides worksheets for this and who doesn’t love worksheets? Write down all your monthly bills, using an average for each of the utilities based on previous bills.
-Maybe take a step away, as that might have taken longer (or been more taxing) than you anticipated. Go watch a funny cat video online.
-Okay, now come back to the list. Did you write down every single monthly bill? Even the little ones you forget about. Subscriptions, school fees, etc. If you’re not sure, go through last month’s bank statements to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
-Here comes the fun. See anything you can eliminate today that you don’t need? We discovered that my husband was still getting a magazine subscription I had bought him years ago as a present, but he was no longer reading it, since he preferred their online content. Which I should add was free. Magazine out, Fund money in!
-Okay, now for this next part. I had to brace myself. Ya’ll know talking to strangers is my least favorite thing. Maybe watch another cat video if you feel the same. Then you are going to call each utility and see if you can reduce the amount you are paying. Now there are a couple of ways you can do this. You can try communicating with the cancellation department first for non-essential utilities such as cable or phone service. Ask if you are eligible for any discounts. Many companies, including essential utilities, have discounts based on profession, income, or brand loyalty. Have you gotten an insurance quote lately? Go over your coverage first, then contact a few companies and see if they can offer a reduced bill. Make sure to call every single one of your providers and ask if they can reduce the cost. Then take a break with a snack and all the cat videos your heart desires. You’ve earned it.
If you were able to reduce or eliminate any of those bills, guess where that money gets to go? If you said “the Disney Fund!” then you are our winner! While this money technically comes from your monthly income, you would have continued to spend more money had you not taken the initiative to reduce. So we’ll call that found money. Make sure to transfer that money into the fund and make a note of its location on your Fund Worksheet. Keep your eyes on that money so you can tell it where to go.
Remember, the beauty of Saving to Disney is that it will look different for each family. The important thing is to try each method and adapt it to your needs. If you find money in reducing your bills, awesome! If not, no worries. There are dozens of other ways to add to your fund. We’re just getting started!
Have some experiences to share about eliminating monthly bills? Any good luck on reducing expensive bills? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!