BOSTON (CBS) – Fixed expenses are those things in our financial lives that for the most part we cannot change, but with a bit of encouragement you may be able to decrease them.

Your mortgage: If you have a variable rate mortgage you should consider refinancing to a fixed rate as soon as possible.

If you are single, do you want a housemate? The hassle of a housemate may be worth the extra income of a $1,000 a month.

Consider renting your place thru airbnb when you are going to be away. My daughter has had great success renting places for week long business trips.

If you’re paying rent, is your place big enough for you to have a roommate? It could cut your expenses in half.

Review your insurance policies. Ask your agent how you can save. Are you eligible for an AARP discount? Can you bundle your policies, auto and home?

Cable bills: Do you need all that you have contracted for. How many movies a month can you watch? Saving $50 a month is $600 a year. Consider bundling your phone and cable. Also give the cable company a call and speak with their Retention Department and ask how you can lower your bill.

Phone bills: If you have a land line and a cell phone consider just getting a basic service for the landline and using your cell phone for long distance calls.

If you use your cell phone a lot be sure you look at the family plans or the Verizon plan where you can call other Verizon customers for free. Everyone in our family has a Verizon plan and we put in a lot of time talking to each other.

Electric bills: We discussed saving on AC but what about your computer monitor which draws more energy than the hard drive. Make sure it turns itself off when you’re not using it.

Unplug all of those chargers when not using them. Phones, toothbrushes, baby monitors all draw power when they are plugged in.

And when you buy any new appliances look for the Energy Star logo so you know you’ll be saving on energy costs.

Get some of the new LED or Fluorescent light bulbs. Big savings can be had!

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You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.

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