First Person: I Can't Lower My Monthly Bills Any Further

Yahoo Contributor Network

Life can be very expensive. When you read financial news, it isn't unusual for there to be an article like this one where strategies are put forth on how to lower monthly expenses. These articles are certainly helpful at times, particularly for people who struggle with organization or do not examine their budgets on a regular basis. However, this type of advice can also be frustrating at times for someone like me, only because there are situations when it is hard to find a takeaway. The articles in question impact me because they illustrate how hard it is to manage money in this country. My challenge is that sometimes it is just too hard to lower monthly bills. There are times when there is nothing left to cut.

The challenge of utilities

One example is utilities, which have an annoying habit of appearing every single month. There are the usual recommendations to turn off lights, replace appliances with more energy-efficient versions and look to live with certain temperatures. However, what do you do when there is no opportunity to shop around for utility companies because there is only one choice? In addition, replacing major appliances can be a tough undertaking when excess cash in scarce.

Gas prices

The same challenge applies to the price of gas. Unfortunately, I have to get to work, and certain errands must be run. Therefore, lowering the cost of gas each month is not exactly an easy task. Again, there are the usual recommendations about keeping tires inflated and engines maintained. This is certainly good advice. However, there is only so much room for adjustment in the budget. Much like appliances, it would be nice to purchase a new, gas-sipping car. Unfortunately, those are even more expensive than an energy-efficient washing machine.

A life of responsibility

There are many reasons for me to be thankful in life. I have a home, family, friends and a meaningful job. In the grand scheme of life, the universe, and everything, there are far more reasons for thanksgiving than for complaint. Still, life can be expensive and cutting additional money out of the budget can be nearly impossible. These types of articles impact me because sometimes I want to shout, "I can't slice any more money out of my budget!" As the economy continues to struggle and higher healthcare costs loom on the horizon, there is reason to be concerned. The household budget continues to get harder to balance.

Sometimes the practical money management advice just does not work.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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