How can you trim money from your regular monthly costs? Here are some ideas for cutting regular monthly expenses that will work regardless of your current income.

Save money on utility bills

This is one expense that you have to pay every month if you own a home or rent a home or flat that requires you to pay for water, gas and electricity separately. You need heat and lights, so you can’t simply cut out these bills, but you can lower them by lowering your energy consumption. One option is to invest in a programmable thermostat that can help you cut heating and cooling costs by automatically adjusting the temperature at certain times of day. Another option is to purchase LED lights or compact florescent lights. These are more expensive than incandescent lights, but they do not require as much electricity when lit.

Yet another way to lower utility costs is to limit hot water usage by washing your clothes and dishes with cold water. This will lower water heating costs. You can also hang dry your clean clothes instead of using an electric or gas-powered dryer.

Cut out pre-prepared foods

Instead of getting pre-prepared meals from the store, you can make your own. This will cost you time, but it will save money because buying individual ingredients is often cheaper than buying prepared meals. Also, cooking yourself may make you healthier because prepared meals often have additives and they lack fresh, nutritious ingredients.

Lower your internet and phone speed

Maybe you can’t go without an internet connection or cell phone, but you can lower the costs of these necessary tools by opting for slower speeds. Unless you play video games and stream live TV, you should be able to survive with a slower internet connection. That could save you $10-$20 or more per month. Likewise, a cell phone without a “4G” data connection will keep your from streaming videos, but just sticking with “3G” may save you $20-$30 per month on your phone bill.

Make manageable minimum payments on your loans

If you owe money, you should make seek to make manageable minimum payments on your loans. If too much of your monthly income goes towards your debt, you can consolidate or refinance. In doing so, you should try to lower the minimum monthly payments that you are required to pay. This may lengthen the loan, but it will save you from missed or late payments, which could add to the overall cost of the loan in the long run.

If you only owe a little bit of money, consider getting an online personal loan and then use that money to pay off your high interest loan. You can then focus on paying off the online personal loan in installments.