Does it feel like your household expenses have been spiraling out of control as of late? Do you constantly feel like you are just getting by month to month and are looking for a little wiggle room in your budget? This is a complaint that many homeowners have who feel like they are living paycheck to paycheck, which causes a lot of stress. However, rather than take any drastic measures like having to move or look for a new job, here are some hacks you can use that will help keep your household expenses under control.
Start Using Energy Efficient Measures
Energy efficiency is a great way to limit your carbon footprint and do your part for the environment, but it also helps to save you money on household expenses. Some energy-efficient measures will be very easy to embrace, whereas others may take more of an effort. Either way, no matter how little or how much you do – there will be money saved.
Some of the most effective energy efficiency measures to use in your household include:
- Using only LED lightbulbs
- Using low flow toilets and showerheads
- Washing clothes in cold water
- Hanging items to dry whenever possible
- Buying only energy efficient appliances
- Using window coverings to help keep the house cool in the summer
- Using natural sunlight to help heat the house in the winter
- Only running the dishwasher when it’s full
- Turning off lights and electronics when not in use or you are not in the room
Each of these measures will work to bring down your monthly utility costs, thereby having a big impact on your household expenses.
Look into Home Warranty Plans
Unexpected expenses related to home repairs can do a real number on your budget. The fact that they are unexpected means you may not have the available cash to pay for them, and they may be serious, so you can’t put them off. This is exactly why so many homeowners are starting to realize the benefits of a home warranty plan, which is meant to provide you with peace of mind against these unexpected expenses. You can click here for an overview of what’s included in these types of plans and some of the typical features.
Homeowners are often able to choose from different plans that will be based on their budget, what they want to cover, the type of home they live in, and more. Some of the more common items that are covered tend to be:
- Air conditioner
- Well pump
- Sump pump
- Garage door
- Septic tank
Stop Dining Out and Getting Takeout
For many people, one of the biggest miscellaneous expenses in the month is dining out or takeout. Sure, it’s great not to have to cook every day, but the fact is that you can make meals much cheaper than if you were to go out to eat. While you don’t have to cut this out of your budget entirely, try to cut back substantially and look at dining out as a rare treat rather than a regular occurrence.
And speaking of cooking at home, there are plenty of meal recipes that are based on affordable ingredients, giving you more bang for your buck.
Take Stock of Your Streaming Services
One of the hottest trends in terms of home entertainment is streaming services. Today there is an abundance of these services available, providing you with access to thousands of titles from the comfort of your own home. While this is great from an entertainment standpoint, it may not be great for your budget.
How many of these services are you currently subscribed to? Now add them up. What do you spend in a month or a year on them? The answer may shock you. This would be a great opportunity to cut back on how many you have and keep it to your top 2-3 services maximum.
Switch Mobile Phone and Cable Providers
This brings us to the next point, also in the realm of entertainment. If you have a mobile phone and/or cable, take a look at what you’re currently paying. You can then contact the provider and speak to them about any available deals or discounts that may apply. If there aren’t any, then it may be time to switch providers and get something more affordable.
These companies know how easy and tempting it is for customers to switch, so they are often willing to work with you and offer some kind of discount.
If you’re trying to get your household expenses under control and aren’t sure where to start, these hacks are an excellent way to start realizing savings. Keep in mind that it’s not usually just one or two hacks that will have an impact. Ideally, you want to embrace as many changes as possible.