If monthly bills have taken over and have more say about what goes on (or does not go on) in your life than you do, it may be time to make some changes to your budget. It might hurt just to think about the need to cut expenses. The whole idea might send your head spinning, your eyes rolling back in your head, your heart racing and your stomach churning; the bad news is that is just the beginning. Fret not! There are a lot of minor changes that can make major differences in your budget. Better yet, they can be made without making you feel like you are walking on a tight rope without a safety net below you.

First things first, get rid of any expenses related to things you do not need or utilize. When was the last time you actually used that high dollar gym membership? If you pay any other sort of monthly dues for clubs, services and so on that you never even have time to enjoy, now is the time to cut them loose.

Before those pesky converter boxes came along, it was automatic to call and have the cable cut off during times of financial stress. Now this is not so easy to do. Instead, reevaluate the number of premium channels you are paying for and consider downgrading to basic service only.

Call your cellular provider and discuss making a change to your rate plan. Chances are there may be a more economical package that has become available since the last time you checked (or since you began using the provider). You can do this with some utility companies as well. Often the electric company will revise their plans and it is up to you to investigate any possible savings and benefits.

While you are making all of these phone calls, dial up your creditors. You may be able to lower interest on some of your credit cards, personal loans and even your home equity line of credit. If you are out of work or have returned to school to further your education, you may qualify to defer any existing student loans or make interest only payments. Look into refinancing your mortgage.

This is just the tip of the iceberg where painless savings are concerned. There are an almost infinite number of strategies that will allow you to put a bandage on your budget. No painful surgery will be required and recovery time will be minimal.