Last week, my brother and I ran through an exercise I do on a semi-regular basis. Any time I do this exercise, I usually come up with at least an extra $50 a month... and sometimes $100 or more.
Here's how it works...
Write down all your monthly recurring expenses. Newsletters, hosting accounts, domains, business services, etc. Include everything, even if it seems like a "fixed" expense. (Note: I usually separate expenses into personal and business expenses. I suggest you only tackle one side at a time.)
As you make your list, write down a description of the expense, as well as how much it's costing you. After you are sure you've recorded everything, total up your monthly expenses. You'll be surprised by how much you're actually spending.
For instance, I discovered I was spending $482.91 a month... just for my business, and not counting my phone and DSL connection. (Want proof? Take a look at this whiteboard my brother and I filled.)
Now for the fun part...
Decide on what expenses are no longer necessary... and... eliminate them. You see, your situation is always changing. Products or services that seemed vital six months ago may no longer be needed. Example: I heard a rumor that 80% of fitness club memberships do not get used... even though the members continue to pay month after month!
Examine what services could be combined to save money. For instance, I've been migrating all my hosting accounts to a central location. I've now got one primary hosting account with a bunch of add-on domains. This cuts my monthly hosting bill by nearly $50 a month.
With phone bills and other telecommunications services, consider calling to see if you can get a better rate. Maybe there's a promotion you can take advantage of. Maybe they have new packages you can sign up for. And maybe you will want to switch from a hard line to VOIP... or from a cable Internet connection to a Verizon wireless card. Whatever.
This exercise is simple. It takes anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours. Either way, it's time well spent. You're not just saving $50 or $100. You're saving that much every month. Which means you could literally save yourself $1,000 or more annually. Not bad for a few minutes of your time!