Owning a home can be expensive. Between mortgage payments and utility bills, you might find that your budget is a little restricted. One of the toughest parts of budgeting is figuring out where you can cut back in order to save money. You may think that your monthly spending seems small and insignificant, but year after year, these costs can quickly accumulate. Find out exactly where your money is going, then use these tips to help you cut back, spend smart, and ultimately save money each month.
- Shop smart. If you’re planning on making a big purchase, like a major appliance or a new bedroom set, make sure you buy it at the right time of year. As a general rule of thumb, think about the item you want and try to purchase it in the off season. For instance, buy a grill in the middle of the winter to get the best deal. For more specific items, check online for shopping calendars to use as a reference.
- Collect spare change. Put any spare change you find in a jar in a central location in your home, like the kitchen or dining room. Empty your pockets each day, and take the jar to the bank once a month and deposit your spare change into a savings account for a rainy day.
- Re-use what items you can. Use reusable items around your home as opposed to one-time use items. For example, swap out paper napkins for cloth ones. Use glasses, plates, and silverware that can be washed and used again. You may think that using throw-away items is saving money on running the dishwasher, but purchasing these items week in and week out can really add up.
- Grow your own food. Save money at the grocery store by growing your own fruits, vegetables, and spices. You’ll know the food you’re eating is always fresh, and you’ll cut back on your grocery bill.
- Use coupons. When you do have to go to the store to buy groceries, check weekly circulars prior to heading out. Clip coupons and purchase generic brand items instead of name brands.
- Cook your own meals. If you’re someone who orders out more than they cook for themselves, you’re monthly spending is probably through the roof. Avoid overspending on food by cooking meals for yourself with fresh food from your yard or local grocer. When you do order take out, be sure to use coupons!
- Evaluate your family’s use of the major appliances in and around your home. Save money by lowering the temperature of your hot water heater. Turn your thermostat up when no one is home to help conserve energy and money. If you don’t use your pool as often as you’d like, consider having a professional deconstruction company removing your pool.
- Use energy efficient lighting. Incandescent light bulbs can be an energy-suck, so install CFL or LED bulbs to save some money on your electric bill.
- Consider your cable package. Are you taking advantage of all the channels you’re getting, or can you afford to cut back and save on a cheaper package? Talk with a representative from your cable company about the ways you can cut back on your bill. If you’re bundling your home phone and cable, consider how much you actually use your home phone. If you’re paying for a cell phone, choose the one you use the most and cancel the other service to help save.
With these tips, you’ll be able to save money in little ways around your home. You can put this aside to have in case of emergency, or put it towards something the whole family will love, like a vacation.