5 Things You Are Likely Paying Too Much For

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I think sometimes I take cutting our monthly bills too far. Just the other day, I ended up back at my old hair stylists chair after I had left her (after 4 years of great service, mind you) for another stylist who was charging $7 less. Sounds like an episode of the Young and the Restless, but how ridiculous is that? (And, yes, I did feebly try to explain to her my leaving for most of the summer was an attempt to save a buck or two – which she was more than gracious about).

Like everything in life – balance is often a worthy goal. I still believe in ruthlessly examining where our money is going and seeking to pay less wherever we can. Yet, I’m also keenly aware of paying for good service and products that will last (which can also save you in the long-term).

5 things you are paying too much for

With that in mind – I do want to write about some things I’ve been noticing of late that people around me (friends and family in particular) seem to be paying too much for.

  1. Cell phone plan

    Let’s start off right away with the heavy hitter – and one that you are probably most beholden to given that most of us already own one and always have it by our side. After Charlie did a review of this company earlier in the year, I finally signed up for their unbeatable cell phone plan. Starting at $5/month (for their basic wifi service) and going up to $40/month (for their 4G+ service), Republic Wireless is great option for saving on your cell phone plan. Even with taxes, my first bill came to $29.32 (I chose the $25/month, 3G, unlimited talk, text, data*). While you do have to purchase one of their phones (cheapest is a $99 model), their service is great and I have had no problems. If you’d prefer not to have to buy a new phone, Ting is another affordable option that Matthew reviewed for us in January. There’s no reason you should be paying more than $30 for your cell phone per month.

  2. Trash

    I think this is one of the most overlooked services when homeowners are going through their monthly bills, looking for areas to trim costs. We are a part of a homeowners association – and one of the first things our new management company did when we brought them on-board was to negotiate our sanitation bills. It was amazing how much they were able to save us. Even if you aren’t in an association, you can still lower your monthly trash bills by leveraging your neighbors and approaching different contractors to bid on  you and your neighbors service.

  3. Gas

    My brother and I were having an interesting discussion about bills and he told me about a co-worker of his who leases an electric car (with a $200/month payment) and basically eliminates any gas and most vehicle maintenance costs. What an interesting concept! My wife and I routinely spend over $300/month in gas-related and vehicle-related expenses. But, even if you don’t want to lease, Uber and other ride-sharing services are quickly becoming great gas-saving options.

  4. Landline

    We’ve mentioned Ooma before and what a great product they have in their Telo device ($140 at Amazon). For a one-time fee, it eliminates a monthly landline bill while giving you the option of still keeping your landline! Charlie loves the product and has been a happy customer for over 2 years. If you are paying for a landline every month, you are paying too much. (Full disclosure: Ooma is a site sponsor of TTG)

  5. Entertainment

    This is one area of our budget that I’m particularly proud of. We hardly spend anything on entertainment (okay, so I do a little more in the summer when golf season is in full swing). There’s just no reason to and if you are – you may not be using your creative juices. There’s free libraries, parks, bike trails and even Redbox movies (Hint: if you sign up for their emails or texts, you can get a free rental code almost every week! Text SIGNUP to 727272 to get going with text alerts).

So, what have I missed? Are there other things we tend to pay too much for every month?

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  1. I agree with you on not paying too much for cell phone service. I switched to Ting about 4 months ago and I am extremely happy with their service and their price. We pay $42.70 a month for two phones! That’s $21.35 per person per month. I’m never going back to one of the major providers.

    Leasing an electric car wouldn’t work for me because I live very close to work and my gas expense is about $60/month and my car is paid off already. If I could lease it for less than $60/month I might consider it, but I don’t think that’s possible. It is a great idea for those who spend a lot on gas.

  2. Angela says:

    One of my big savers is farmers market vegetables. I can pay $20 for all I need for a week when the market is at its peak. It saves a TON. I supplement whatever isn’t in the garden. Also, buy eggs from a local farmer. You get a better quality product for less cost. Don’t pay $6 for a dozen cage-free eggs when you can find a farmer who has them for $2. (Prices depend on your area.)

    I live in a rural area, where we can’t get Internet service. Unfortunately, AT&T has a monopoly on phone service, so we are unable to save on cell phone plans. Data is the only way we can use the Internet at home. It’s extremely expensive and they make it even more so each year. I did try a pay as you go plan from another company – which had to use AT&T towers. The phones kept breaking. the service was so-so. I went back to AT&T and lost my benefits. I can no longer add another line and share minutes and data for $10. My rates skyrocketed. Trying that out was actually a bad thing for me. If you try one of these pay as you go plans, know the consequences if you have to switch back.

    Electric cars might work in the city, but no way will they work in rural areas. They don’t have enough power. Negotiating on trash can work – but after a month or two, they will increase your rates again. You have to really watch it.

  3. Even Steven says:

    I always ask myself when I get done golfing, why is it again that I don’t golf every day? It’s the money of course, that and the responsibility of paying the bills and keeping a job to pay those. Golf can certainly creep up, especially if you like to try new courses and have to have the new Titleist Driver each year.

  4. I tried to lower my cell phone bill, but it ended up costing me more because I lost the corporate discount since the plan cost per month was too little. I ended up switching back to a more costly plan to save money – how is that for crazy?

    Once my contract is up though, I am pretty sure I am switching over to a pre-paid plan since I don’t use that many minutes/data.

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  6. Erick Brunet says:

    That’s exactly the 5 things I’m paying for right now. What an interesting article. Hope to here more from you guys.

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