7 Ways to Cut Your Costs During the Coronavirus Crisis

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The more it looks like the COVID-19 will have long-term impacts on the economy and our jobs, the more important it becomes to find ways to control monthly expenses.

Fortunately, many people can find savings without reducing their quality of life — it’s just a matter of shopping smartly and routinely. And in many cases, you can get somebody else to do the work for you.

Here are seven services ready to help trim your bills on everything — car insurance, cellphone plan, online shopping and more:

Rakuten

Help tame your credit card bill by saving on just about everything you buy online.

One of the best ways to do that is with Rakuten, a cash-back shopping portal formerly known as Ebates. Signing up for free and using their website or app to access thousands of popular retail stores will earn you money back on your purchases.

There are regular deals and double cash back offers, and that’s on top of other savings you can get by paying with a cash-back credit card.

This is possible because Rakuten gets a commission from retailers for referring shoppers, which it then shares with you. You get your cash back in the form of a quarterly PayPal payment or check in the mail.

The Zebra and Metromile

Comparison shopping for vehicles should be quick, easy and valuable. The best way to ensure all of the above? Get a pro to do it.

You can have The Zebra fetch real-time online comparisons from as many as 200 insurance providers based on your ZIP code. All you have to fill out to get started is basic information about number and type of vehicles, how much you drive and a couple of questions about your driving history. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, in just a few minutes.

In addition to car insurance, the site can compare home, boat, motorcycle, RV and renters insurance for you.

The Zebra also promises “not to sell your information to spammers, and that means no annoying calls, texts or emails.”

If you are someone who doesn’t drive far or often, you also might consider going with Metromile, a company that bases your rate on mileage. Metromile provides a device you connect to your car that tracks miles driven. You pay a low monthly rate plus a few cents per mile, based on traditional car insurance factors such as your age, driving history and vehicle type.

Bestow and Policygenius

If you’re considering term life insurance, Bestow can get you an actual price and approval in minutes — no physical or lab testing required — that could be as low as $5 per month. You offer basic personal and contact information, a little about your medical history, lifestyle and hobbies, and name your beneficiaries.

Bestow offers coverage ranging from $50,000 to $1 million for 2-, 10- or 20-year terms, and operates everywhere in the U.S. except New York. However, if you’re over 55, Bestow will not have any available plans for you.

Another option is Policygenius, which will compare dozens of insurers and find a match based on your age and health. They offer term, life and universal life, with term being the most affordable option and typically ranging between $25 to $35 per month.

BillCutterz

Here’s a biggie: BillCutterz will negotiate all kinds of bills on your behalf — cellphone, cable, internet, landline, security, satellite, gym, landscaping, pest control. The only bills they say they can’t help with are regulated utilities, credit cards, medical bills and bills in collections.

They help secure you discounts and promotions, and split the savings with you 50/50 for a year. If you pay them their share of the savings in full right away, you save an extra 10%. And any savings you get after the year is up are fully yours.

If they can’t save you anything, you don’t pay anything. So there’s nothing to lose, unless you’re willing to do all the legwork of negotiating yourself.

Tello

Staying connected with family and friends is more vital during the pandemic, but you don’t have to pay through the nose for it.

Tello is a discount wireless carrier using Sprint’s network with monthly rates ranging from $5 to $39.

You can customize your plan and price to suit your needs, with $39 getting you unlimited data, texting and calling. Tello allows you to use your phone as a mobile hotspot at no extra charge, and even make international calls to Canada, Mexico and China.

There are no gotcha contracts or hidden fees. You can transfer your existing phone number over, and continue using your own phone if it’s Sprint-compatible. If not, Tello sells phones for prices ranging from $25 to $429.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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