Why Didn't I Learn This in School: Dollar, Dollar Bills

Between extra fees, added costs and missed payments, managing your bills can be confusing.

But there's hope -- Understanding what you're paying for and knowing when to negotiate can help you save a lot of hard earned dollars.

Ever sign up for that cable-WiFi bundle only to get a bill 30 to 40 percent higher than the price that nice lady on the phone quoted? It's not just you. The average household pays for over 200 channels and only watches about 18. If this sounds familiar, call up your provider and negotiate for a cheaper plan, and look out for the added fees.

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Or better yet, if you already have a separate internet provider, drop your cable entirely, and hop on a streaming service which can cut your costs by up to 50 percent.

Another monthly money pit is your cell phone bill. While there are a lot of fees to get familiar with, data usage is the one that many people miscalculate. Typical usage is about two to three gigabytes, but if you're streaming movies and music frequently, you'll gobble up those gigs fast.

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Most providers offer an online data use calculator to help you estimate your monthly data usage so you can pick the right plan and binge away.

And lastly, there's your utility bill. Do you want to save up to $60 a year? Try stabilizing your water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Couple that with a programmable thermostat and you can save nearly four times that amount.

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Also, unplug unused appliances and switch out your incandescent bulbs for LEDs. A 60 watt LED can cost as low as $5 and can last five times longer.

And while it goes without saying, always pay on time -- unless you really love late fees and bad credit.

So, don't let your bills blow you away, because sometimes trimming your charges can be a lot easier than changing your plans for the weekend.