If you have a tight budget, allowing your household costs to get out of control can become a major problem. It can be easy to spend more than your planned budget on certain monthly expenses and extras. However, there are some ways you can reduce household costs in a short amount of time and get your budget back on track.
Some strategies might take a bit of effort, but it can be worth it in the long run. Here are six ways to cut unnecessary spending each month and save money for what matters to you.
Reduce Your Electricity Usage
Electricity is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWhs). In 2021, the average U.S. household paid 13.72 cents per kWh for electricity usage. The average usage was 11,000 kWhs per year. That is approximately equal to $1,500 annually.
- You can try and reduce the amount you pay by cutting your electricity usage in ways like the following:
- Turn lights off when you leave rooms
- Unplug appliances while they’re not in use
- Install energy-saving appliances
- Check local kWh rates to see if a change of provider could help you save more
Lower Your Rent or Mortgage Expenses
If you rent your home, you may save money by splitting expenses with a roommate. Alternatively, you can ask your landlord if you can get rent breaks by assisting with property maintenance or trading other services, such as collecting rent from other tenants on his or her behalf.
If you are a homeowner, you may be able to reduce mortgage costs by refinancing to reduce your interest rate. You may also be able to rent out a portion of your home or land for extra income.
Change Your Cooking and Eating Habits
It’s convenient to go out to eat when you do not plan ahead. However, these costs can quickly add up. To reduce food costs, plan your weekly means and cook at home. Also, it helps to always shop with a list. You might save even more by using coupons, rebate apps, and bulk shopping to cut grocery costs.
Lower Your Entertainment Expenses
Cable TV packages can run in the range of $40 to well over $100 per month. If you use cable TV, consider switching to streaming services. Many are free, and some even offer a free trial for a set period of time. Those that do cost money are paid for on a month-to-month basis. Therefore, you can cancel or re-subscribe at any time.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Smart home devices today can save you hundreds of dollars per year. Although, you do need to make an initial investment to purchase them. For example, you can purchase a thermostat you can adjust using any cell phone. Smart lights are also available. Additionally, you can purchase power strips that cut off electricity to appliances that are not in use automatically.
Develop Your DIY Skills
Purchasing used items is an excellent way to try and cut household expenses. Those items may range from clothing to furniture. As long as you have the DIY skills needed, like the ability to sew or paint, you can easily give such items the attention needed to make them look new again. The materials necessary for such projects are usually inexpensive and easy to find. Visit your local thrift, antique, hardware, and fabric stores to find what you need.