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5 big bills you can reduce this month

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  • Follow this plan to free up your budget
  • Discover ways to save money
  • Tackle your monthly bills one by one

Do you live with the constant feeling that the month is ending before the money in your life?

Here’s financial expert Clark Howard’s plan of attack for your monthly bills.

This plan will give you and your wallet a little more margin.

Read on to discover different ways you can save.

Tackle These Bills One by One

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With so many things that didn’t even exist a generation or two ago, it’s easy to feel suffocated by bills you didn’t have before.

The mobile phone, Internet service, pay television, streaming services.

And then there are the ones that have been in your life for a long time: utilities, alarm monitoring and more.

All of this can be like death by a thousand cuts for your budget, but there are several ways you can save money each month.

1. Mobile Phone Service

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If you’re a regular person and you’re with one of the traditional wireless providers like AT&T or Verizon, you’re probably paying too much for cell phone service.

There is nothing wrong with any of those companies. Simply put, many more attractive offers have emerged from other competitors on the market in recent years.

Changing is the key to saving a good amount of money.

The market for cell phone services is becoming so segmented that there is surely an offer that is right for you.

Ways to save

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If you’re paying $70 a month for a line of unlimited service with Verizon, did you know you can reduce that bill to $25 a month by switching to Verizon-owned Visible?

And Xfinity Internet customers can save even more by using Xfinity Mobile, which runs on the Verizon network, for just $15 a month.

The idea is that there are so many alternatives that can be very affordable. But even when you have the information, Clark’s team knows that making a change isn’t easy.

“You have to be willing to stop the inertia of what you’ve always done and embark on a new path to something better and cheaper,” Clark says.

2. Internet Service

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Most of us have only a few options for Internet service.

Typically, there is a monopoly telephone company and a monopoly cable company that offer Internet service.

Some of us have no choice at all.

Clark’s secret to reducing what you pay for Internet is simple: put your current provider in competition with the other provider.

Ways to save

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And every time a special offer with the provider you switched to expires, start the process all over again.

Yes, it’s a bit of a hassle, but you can save a significant amount of money.

Just keep this in mind when you’re searching: always make sure you get the quote in writing via email or text message.

You can also check to see if your cell phone company offers home Internet service.

3. Pay Television

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Weaning yourself off pay TV can reduce your monthly bill from about $100 to about $70 a month.

That’s a savings of more than $360 a year.

Are you afraid of missing your favorite shows, channels and local news?

Streaming services have come a long way over time.

Ways to save

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Have you cut the cord yet? Consider switching to an ad-supported plan. Clark recently made this change and it’s saving a few extra dollars in his wallet.

If you want to keep traditional pay TV in your life, Clark’s advice about putting Internet providers in competition for your business applies here, too.

You want to pit the best offer from the satellite companies against the best offer from the cable company and the phone company.

See who is willing to make the best offer at that moment. When that offer expires, put them in competition again.

4. Public Services

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Depending on where you live, you may be able to compare your utility rates. The more you pay attention to local offers in the market, the more you can save.

Residents of several states are free to shop for the best natural gas or electricity rates because their energy markets have been deregulated.

If you live in one of these states, check to see if your state’s public service commission website posts monthly energy price updates from all providers.

Use these quotes to compare energy prices.

Ways to save

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Rates are usually updated once a month. Typically, you can lock in a flat rate for 6-24 months, depending on your state’s rules.

Buying these types of things may not be fun, but it can save you a lot of money on a bill that arrives on time every month.

Remember, there is no difference between a term or a kilowatt from one company to another.

The only difference is the price, so the key is to compare the market.

5. Burglar Alarm Monitoring

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You never want to sign a long-term contract for a home security system.

This is because costs vary so widely from supplier to supplier, and quality can vary just as widely.

So it’s not something you want to be caught up in.

Self-installed systems with low monthly monitoring costs can also be a great solution.

Ways to save

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SimpliSafe is one of the leaders in the field, offering professional 24/7 monitoring without the excessive rates added by third-party providers.

Monitoring starts at 93 cents a day, which adds up to about $28 a month.

In addition to SimpliSafe, there are several other self-installation alarm systems on the market.

Get an overview of them here.

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