Frugal Tip

Frugal Tip: Read Your Bills to Save Money

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve just read the total of my bills and paid them without reading anything else on the paper. Well, one week I read my bills and saved $35!

Backstory: the month prior, I accidentally paid my water company with the amount I owed the electric company and the electric company with the amount I owed the water company. I pay my bills online so it was easy to enter the wrong amounts in the fields. Well, as you can imagine, our electric bill was much more than our water bill, so I was short on the payment.

I was quite surprised to receive a bill and disconnect notice in the mail later that month since I knew I’d paid the bill! After some investigating, I figured out what happened and called them to explain. I paid the remaining $35 I owed over the phone and all was forgiven.

However, when I received my bill this month, I noticed it was a bit higher than usual. I looked over the charges and noticed an extra $35 charge that was being rolled over from my last bill!

I called the electric company again and asked them to verify the amount I owed. They confirmed the total showing on my bill so I explained that I paid the $35 charge already. They admitted that there was a note on my account showing I’d paid but that it hadn’t gone through to billing! They updated my account and I paid the correct total.

Had I not looked over my bill and noticed the extra charge, I would have just paid my bill as usual and it’s likely that I never would have received a credit for my overpayment. Mistakes happen, after all.

Taking 30 seconds to look over the charges on my bill saved me $35 this month! That is an excellent return on my time! I will definitely be reading over all of my bills from now on.

Tell me, do you read your bills or do you just pay the total?


  1. If you have a good standing with a utility or credit card company and a simple mistake happens (like, mixing up your bills), call and politely ask to have the late charge forgiven. Often, they’ll allow you a one-time courtesy. (Some even one-time per calendar year.)


Post a Comment

ABOUT COUPONING101 is a free resource for all who are interested in learning more about couponing and saving money.  Couponing 101 offers a variety of money-saving strategies that encourage and motivate readers to get creative and explore different savings techniques.