Running a household is an expensive affair, but there are lots of things that you can do to minimize the costs. Lowering your expenses helps you stay within your budget and save for goals like buying a house or adding to your retirement income. Here are eight ways to reduce household expenses.
Bundle Your Services
Have internet, phone, and cable service? Move all of your accounts to one provider, and you could save $20 or more per month. Ask your current providers about bundling offers or visit allconnect.com to determine which company is offering the best service bundle in your area, then make the switch and save.
Cut Back on Extras
Do you really need unlimited data on your phone? How about the premium cable or satellite package that you subscribe to? Are you subscribed to multiple streaming services? You could alternate between them instead so you're only subscribed to one or two at a time. Examine your list of monthly expenses, and determine what you can live without.
Clip Coupons and Shop Sales
Groceries can take a big bite out of a budget, but they don't have to take a big bite out of yours. To reign in your grocery spending, start clipping coupons and shopping sales. If you're a first-time couponer, you could save 15% or more. With time, that could increase to as much as 50%. Keep in mind that couponing only makes sense for items you would buy anyway. If you're buying items you don't usually shop for, it defeats the purpose.
Most retailers have sales periodically, but some sales are predictable. For example, summer clothes tend to go on sale by August to make room for fall items. Black Friday through Cyber Monday tends to be a good time to buy electronics.
Slash Your Insurance Premiums
Insurance is essential but costly. Shop around for a better auto insurance rate and you may shave hundreds of dollars off of your current premium. Can't find a better rate? Talk to your current provider to see if there are discounts that you are missing out on. For example, they may offer a discount for having multiple policies, a good student discount, and/or a good driver discount. For even more savings, consider increasing your deductible or canceling comprehensive and collision coverage on older vehicles. If you have homeowner's or renter's insurance, be sure to review those policies as well.
Get Energy Smart
Do you dread opening your utility bills each month? If so, there's a lot that you can do to reduce your bill.
- Install a smart thermostat and set it to run less when no one is home
- Turn off lights when they aren't in use
- Wash your laundry in cold water
- Turn down the temperature on your hot water heater
- Only buy Energy Star appliances
Start looking around, and you'll find many ways to reduce your energy consumption and energy bills.
Seek Cheap Thrills
You don't have to spend a lot of money to have fun, so examine your entertainment spending and see if there are places where you can make cuts. Could you stream movies instead of seeing them in the theater? Enjoy free concerts instead of paid concerts? Check out books at the library instead of buying them? Go on a picnic instead of eating out? Challenge yourself to have more fun for less money—every little bit adds up.
Pay Your Bills on Time
In the habit of paying your bills late? If so, you're probably paying more than you need to. Start paying your bills on time and say goodbye to late fees and rate hikes.
One option for ensuring your bills are paid on time is using autopay. If your budget is too tight for autopay, consider using calendar reminders to prompt you to pay your bills. If you have access to bill pay through your bank, consider setting it up to make paying bills faster and easier.
Learn How to Do More Yourself
Develop your DIY skills so you can keep your home well maintained without all those pricey service calls. Consider learning tasks like handling clogs, lawn care, painting interior and exterior walls and more.
If home cooking isn't your thing, consider learning. Try one or two simple recipes per week to build up your skills and confidence.