Americans Are Struggling To Pay These 5 Everyday Bills and Expenses, Survey Finds

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It’s no secret that the cost of living has increased, and most Americans are feeling the impact of inflation at some level. With everyday expenses increasing, some bills have become challenging to keep up with.

Here we will look at the everyday bills and expenses Americans are struggling with and provide insights on what can be done about this.

According to a survey conducted by GOBankingRates, Americans are struggling with the following five everyday bills: electric, gas, internet/cable, phone and water. The 1,091 respondents were asked which bills were the hardest to keep up with. About 35% of respondents struggled with their electric bill in the last year, while only 3.85% stated that the water bill was the toughest to keep up with. 

Here are the key highlights from the survey about struggles with everyday expenses:

  • 43.72% of respondents admitted having trouble paying for their utilities (gas, electric, heat, internet, etc.) in the last 6-12 months. 
  • Over the past year, 16.5% had problems keeping up with the gas bill. 
  • 7.42% needed help to keep up with the phone bill.
  • Just under 10% have struggled with paying for internet or cable. 
  • Only 26.86% of those surveyed claimed they had no trouble keeping up with the five categories of everyday expenses over the past year. 
  • Men and women struggled the most with the electric bill, with 34.52% and 37.58% expressing that this was the toughest everyday bill to keep up with. 
  • 44.37% of the 65 and over demographic shared that they didn’t have any struggles with these everyday expenses. 
  • 41.95% of those in the 25 to 34 demographic confessed to struggling the most with the electric bill. 
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How You Can Reduce Expenses and Save Money

As frustrating as it can be to feel the sting of these everyday expenses constantly increasing, the good news is that you can find ways to save money on these. Here’s what you can do right now to save money on these everyday bills and expenses.

Take the Time To Renegotiate Your Expenses

“One of the most worthwhile ways to save money on these recurring bills is to call once per year and renegotiate them,” remarked Steven Keys, a financial expert from Trip Of A Lifestyle. “Some people go to extreme measures to save pennies on everyday bills, like unplugging phone chargers when they’re not in use. We prefer to focus on low-effort stuff that has a big impact instead.”

How can you renegotiate your expenses? Here’s what Keys recommends to save money. “Often, internet service providers are willing to extend intro rates to existing customers as a form of customer retention — but only if they ask,” he said.

The trick is to contact your providers annually to see if any discounts are available. One phone call could save you hundreds of dollars annually. Many cell phone or internet providers will offer loyalty deals or offer you a better package if you threaten to switch providers. 

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Cut Out Services You Don’t Need

“Get rid of any services you’re not actually getting value out of,” Keys remarked about everyday expenses like your cell phone or internet bill. It’s important to review your services often to ensure that you’re only paying for what you’re using. You may have accidentally accepted upgrades or selected a plan you don’t need for your situation.

For example, you may discover that you’re internet bill is higher because you’re paying for more data than you need based on your current consumption. You could also find that you have too many additional subscriptions attached to your internet bill that you forgot about. You can save some serious money if you take the time to review your service plans to ensure that you’re only paying for what you’re using. 

Find Ways To Save Money on Your Utility Bills

Your electric, gas and water bills can add up if you don’t pay attention. As the cost of living increases, looking for ways to cut costs is essential. The good news is that minor changes can lead to actual savings. 

Here are a few ways to save money on the utility bill:

  • Ask for discounts and incentives by contacting your utility providers to see what they offer.
  • Only run your appliances, like the dishwasher or dryer, when full.
  • Program your thermostat to ensure that you’re not needlessly using energy. 
  • Change your air filter.
  • Turn off the lights when you’re not using them.
  • Switch to LED light bulbs.
  • Check your windows and doors for any cracks.
  • Don’t wash your clothing and dishes during peak hours.
  • Shorten your shower time.
  • Use dimmer switches.
  • Reduce phantom use of electronics that are plugged in when not in use. 
  • Fill up your refrigerator and freezer.
  • Try hanging your clothes on a drying line. 
  • Get an electricity audit to see why your home’s bill is so high. 
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You could reduce your spending on these expenses by switching up your utility use daily. Small changes in this area could significantly impact the final bill you receive for your various utilities. 

Consider Other Housing Options 

If your housing expenses are rapidly increasing, you could consider switching up your options. You could be living in a unit that naturally has higher utility prices, or you could be living in a part of the country with a high cost of living. While a move may cost more upfront, you would likely save money in the long run. 

You could also find roommates for the time being to help with the living expenses. Many financial experts have touted the benefits of house hacking or living with others to help reduce your monthly spending on bills. Either way, it may be worth exploring changing your living situation to see if you can reduce your expenses. 

Closing Thoughts

You’re not alone if you’re struggling with everyday bills and expenses. As challenging as it is to watch your bills go up, it’s important to remember that you have options for reducing these expenses.

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