Cancel Those Bills: What Expenses Can You Quit Paying?

Some quitting is good for you. Like cigarettes or a toxic relationship, spending too much money on something that no longer pays back can be a hard habit to break. But calling it quits sure feels good when the reward takes the form of extra cash in your wallet.

Canceling unneeded expenses doesn’t have to last forever – just long enough to pay off your credit cards and other debt. If you’re unsure where to cut the cord, below are a few possible places to start.

Streaming Services & Subscriptions

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but streaming services have gotten expensive. Forbes reports that in 2024 “Americans pay an average of $46 a month for streaming services.” Yet people are also realizing that, as fun as it is to access the latest shows, music and podcasts, sometimes it’s time to cut back: “45% have canceled a streaming subscription within the last year because costs were too high.”

When you’re in a better place you can consider subscribing to one or two services – or stick to free trials to get temporary access to programming.

Cable TV Services

While not as prevalent as it used to be, cable tv is still a staple in many households. In 2022, U.S. News & World Report noted that “the average monthly cable package is now $217.42 per month. That’s more than the average household’s monthly cost of $205.50 for all other major utilities combined.”

Some families might consider cable a necessary expense, particularly if it is bundled with internet, phone or other utilities. But it’s worth taking a closer look at your cable bill and looking into other options to see how much you could save without that service.

Overpriced Auto Insurance

Despite the legal necessity of this one, people throughout the U.S. have the persistent feeling that they’re overpaying for auto insurance. They may not be wrong. InsuranceBusiness reports that “drivers could save an average of $330 on auto insurance by shopping around.”

This doesn’t mean that you should. Even If you save money temporarily by switching, the rates on your new policy might eventually increase to your previous levels. Still, a little research in this area will help clarify if it’s worth it to break up with your insurer and find a better one.

Unused or Unhelpful Memberships

It goes without saying, unused gym memberships are burning holes in the wallets of too many wishful thinkers. Perhaps it’s time to make a decision: start going within the month or say goodbye. Are any other pointless memberships hiding in plain sight?

Unused Phone Plans & Other Add-Ons

Have you ever added an international calling plan for $5/month, used it once, and completely forgotten about the recurring charge? Those little expenses can be the worst offenders, since they’re easy to overlook and wrapped into a bigger monthly bill. Maybe it’s time to say sayonara to an unused charge on your monthly phone bill.

Yet Another Fundraiser

While not the same as bills, charitable donations can also add up quickly. Americans are notoriously generous when it comes to giving financially through places of worship, GoFundMes and friends’ incessant 5ks (why do people run so much?). Supporting causes is wonderful until it starts to threaten your financial health. If you can’t say no to a well-meaning fundraiser, it might be time to start.

Smart Financial Management Services at Local Currency Exchanges

Community Currency Exchange (CCEA) recommends regularly examining bills and financial statements to make sure everything is on track. It’s also an opportunity to reconsider if money going toward certain expenses could be better spent somewhere else.

From financial education for kids to tips for lowering your bills, our website has a lot of other personal finance information to help regular folks spend and save wisely. As for our CCEA locations throughout Illinois, anyone can stop by to cash a check, set up an electronic bill payment plan, and handle a whole range of financial and auto-related services.

For more on what we can do for you, give us a call or stop by today.

A couple sitting side by side. The woman is showing a man a bill, and his face is surprised.

With over 350 locations, many open nights, weekends, and holidays (and several stores with 24/7 availability), you can rest easy knowing your financial needs can be taken care of when you need them most. We’re in the heart of every community. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.