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Most of us pay our bills around the beginning of the month, and about this time the stack can get pretty high — as does the hit to your bank account. If you’re like me, you often think, “What can I do this month to cut my expenses, in a smart way, and waste less money while I’m at it?”
I’ve got some ways to do exactly that. Here are my four tips that you can implement today:
If you aren’t locked into a contract with one of the national carriers, consider using the services of providers that might be offering a cheaper plan. Also look at your data usage. Maybe you can simply switch to another, less expensive plan. And once it’s time to upgrade, think hard — do you really need to have that latest model of the iPhone? (You may want it, but that’s another story.) Taking these steps, you could save $30 to $75 per month.
» MORE: Best cell phone plans
Come on now, we live in the 21st century, and almost everyone has a cell phone. Think about how you take and make almost all of your calls these days. Then ask yourself: Do I really need to keep my landline? When I cut my landline six years ago, it saved me about $35 per month.
The cost of cable television these days runs about $80 to $100 per month if you have a premium subscription. Assess your situation: Are you really watching that much TV every day? Can you get away with a streaming service from sites such as Amazon.com, Hulu.com or Netflix?
It’s now been eight years since I’ve had cable TV, and to tell you the truth, I haven’t missed a thing. Meanwhile, I’ve seen a total savings in those eight years of $7,680.
Do you have a programmable thermostat? If you don’t, you’ll have to make an extra effort to adjust your temperature settings when you aren’t at home.
You can lower your energy bill even further by attacking “energy vampires” — these are the electronic devices that are plugged in all the time, such as TV satellite boxes, DVD players and coffee makers. According to Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electric power holding company, you can save up to 20% on energy costs by unplugging your energy vampires.
It’s smart to look at all those places you’re wasting your hard-earned dollars and consider cutting them out. Implementing these changes may not seem to hold big savings potential, but they add up. It’s your money, so why not save it?