Trimming Fat From Your Bills

Like I mentioned, I’m going to be scrutinizing my bills to see how they can be reduced. I’ve has a lot of success reducing my bills in the past. Often it just takes a few moments of research on Google or sites like LowerMyBills.Com, and then a phone call to make the switch. I’ve saved money on my bills by:
* Switching from my phone carrier’s long distance plan and finding one that charges less, saving easily $10 a month or $120 a year.
* Changing car insurance by shopping around for better rates and increasing my deductible, saving $500 a year.
* Dropping my TV package to basic cable, from 180 channels to 30 channels. I find I don’t miss the extra 150 channels at all. I saved $42 a month, or $504 a year.
* Switching to a no-interest credit card. I try not to carry much of a credit card balance, but this has to save about $300 a year.
* Buying all energy-saving appliances, including a tankless water heater, which made a huge difference on my energy bill. I realize this takes a large upfront investment, but between the rebates and the lower rates, the appliances really do pay for themselves. I saved about $50 a month this way, or $600 a year.
* Dropping non-essentials like Netflix, saving $108 a year.
* Getting rid of unnecessary services on my bills. Recently I dropped to a smaller garbage can because we weren’t using the larger size, saving $7 a month or $84 a year.
* Getting a package deal on two or more related services. I saved at least $100 a month or $1,200 a year on car and house insurance by combining them into a package deal from one company.
* Simplifying bills. I am currently paying for a cell phone, home phone, and long distance, but in the future, we will be switching to one cell phone. This should save me between $30-$60 a month, depending on what cell phone deal I get. Let’s say $360 a year.
Taken all together, I’d say I have saved quite a bit by reducing my bills. Just the examples above equal savings of almost $3,800 a year. That’s not bad considering that I hardly noticed the changes once I made them.
What are some ways you’ve reduced your bills?

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