Are you running out of money before you run out of month? Running a household can be expensive. With so many different expenses, it’s easy for the costs to get out of control unless you’re careful. You can certainly find more exciting ways to spend your money than paying too much to your auto insurance company! You can even add to your savings account each month.
Avoid spending more than necessary on your household expenses:
- Always ask if a generic version is available for your prescriptions. Generics can cost as much as 85% less. There are also online services that will inform you of the best prices for your medications. GoodRx.com is a well-known example.
- Find ways to spend less money entertaining your family. Matinee movies are typically half the price of later showings. The park is free. During much of the year, the weekends offer various festivals and fairs that can be both fun and inexpensive.
- Cable TV. How many of your 172 stations do you actually watch? With much less expensive options like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, you might find satisfactory options for less money.
- One of the reasons most monthly plans are so expensive is that the cost of the phone is included. You didn’t really think that fancy phone was free, did you? After your 2-year contract is up, you can continue using your phone and switch to a month-to-month plan that only costs about half as much.
- If you can do without a smart phone, there are options for as little as $15/month for basic phone and text message service.
- Food is a significant and ongoing expense for all families. Eating out is especially expensive. Whether it’s morning gourmet coffee, going out for lunch every day, or taking the family out for dinner.
- The grocery store can also be an expensive place if you fail to keep the cost in mind. A family of four can easily spend $800 a month on food. This is an excellent category to minimize your expenses.
- Plant a garden. Not only can you grow a lot of your own food for practically free, but also there always seems to be more than you can eat. Take the excess to a local farmers’ market and make a profit. Put that income towards the food purchases your garden can’t satisfy.
- Refinance your home or automobile. Compare the interest rate of your loans to the current interest rate. You might be able cut your monthly payment considerably. Be sure to factor in the cost of refinancing.
- Shop around for new insurance quotes. It’s a good idea to check your insurance rates each year. Do some research and ensure that you’re paying the lowest rate for the coverage you require.
- Ask for a reduction in your credit card interest rate. Many credit card companies will lower your interest rate if you just ask. They’d rather receive less interest than risk having you transfer your balance and cancel your current credit card account.
- Buy second-hand clothing. It’s easy to find perfectly good, brand-name clothing for as little as $2 per item. Consider how many pieces of clothing you own that you barely wear. There’s a lot of used clothing out there that’s practically brand new.
It’s easy to believe that you’re already spending as little as possible on your household expenses. However, there are many ways to trim your expenses without dramatically altering your lifestyle. Spend your money on something more enjoyable or grow your savings for the future.