As the old adage goes, “a penny saved is a penny earned”. Every dime that you save counts in this economy. One of the easiest ways to save some dough is by lowering your monthly bills. These savings can be used to pay down other debts, fund your retirement, or build your savings. All of these purposes will help to put you on the road to financial freedom.

Let’s take a look at a  few ways to reduce your expenses.

1. Cut back on a luxury.

I know that services like premium cable television and unlimited calling may seem like necessities but they are not. You can save $20 to $30 a month by eliminating movie channels like HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax. If you really want to be bold, then you can eliminate cable completely. This is an easy way to save $100 or more each month.

Another way to save money is by eliminating the unlimited plan on your phone. Unlimited plans can easily cost $99 or more. That doesn’t even include texting or Internet services. With the rise of unlimited texting, most people spend more time writing messages to their friends than calling them. Check your plan and see if you are really doing that much talking during day time hours. Free nights and weekend plans may take care of most of your needs.

2. Switch your utility services.

While it may seem like your gas and electric company has a monopoly on services in your area; this is not the case. The federal government deregulated the utility industry meaning that the market is open to other companies. Compare your current prices with those of smaller utility companies. You may find that you can save money by switching to a competitor. Most people do not know that electricity prices are negotiable. You may even get a lower rate from your current company once they find out that you are looking elsewhere.

3. Pay your bills annually or semiannually.

Do you currently pay installment changes and fees on insurance bills and subscription services? Companies are famous for nickel and diming customers by throwing in fees of $5 to $10 dollars for the “privilege” of paying your bill over time. These fees are even charged to customers that sign up for auto billing services. These small fees can really add up over time.  You can skip these fees by paying your premiums in full.

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