1. Money

Reduce Your Monthly Bills

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When people think about cutting back on their expenses often they only focus on the luxury categories such as entertainment costs like eating out or going to the movies. However, you can often reduce your monthly bills that are necessities through careful planning and use of the services. Every year or two you should evaluate your current services and hunt for a better price or ways to save money.

1. Reduce Your Cable and Internet Bills

You can often reduce your monthly bill by reducing the number of channels you subscribe to or the speed you are currently getting. Additionally, you may qualify for a lower price if you switch providers. If you call to cancel your current service the provider may offer you incentives or a lower price for a short period of time in order to keep you as a customer. It is worth comparing offers and checking to see if you still have the best deal available. Many people get their Internet and television from the same provider, but you may save money by going with separate providers.

2. Reduce Your Telephone and Cell Phone Bill

Most people in their twenties no longer have a landline in their houses or apartments, and rely solely on cell phones. However if you are starting a business or have small children at home you may feel as though you need a landline at home in case of emergencies. Scale back your landline to the bare minimum or consider using an Internet phone company that offers a phone package with free long distance for a lot less than a traditional phone company would. Examine your cell phone plan and your actual usage to see if you could get buy with less minutes or a lower data plan. When your contract is up look at different providers to see if another plan would work better.

3. Reduce Your Utility Bills

There is not much you can to reduce the rate you are paying for utilities such as gas, water and electricity, because generally only has one provider to choose from. However, you can work to reduce the amount you use and reduce these bills each month. Install a timer on your thermostat which lowers the temperature at night and while you are away during the day to save money on your heating bills. Switch to CFLs to reduces your electricity use, and turn off all your electronics when you are not using them. Consider installing solar panels to reduce the amount of electricity you need to purchase. You can conserve water by taking shorter showers, running full loads when you do laundry or wash the dishes and switching to toilets that use less water. It can be difficult to budget for these fluctuating bills, but keeping usage down should help.

4. Reduce Your Insurance Premium

Shopping for car and other insurance should be done every few years. Insurance companies offer their best rates to new customers, and may raise your rates each year even without a ticket or accident. If you have had a ticket or accident and it has been three years with clean driving record have your insurance company evaluate your rate to see if you qualify for a better one. Make sure they adjust your rate once you turn twenty-five and qualify for a better rate. Similarly, you can check for better health insurance rates or home insurance rates. The cheapest life insurance is term insurance, and you should stick with that through the life of the policy.

5. Reduce Your Car Payment

Many people do not even consider cutting back on their car payments, but the reason for your budget crisis may be that you can't afford your car payment. If your car payment is too large, you may need to sell your car and buy a car that you can afford. It may mean switching to an older car while you get the rest of your finances under control. This is one easy way to reduce your current debt load.

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