How to Spend Less on Household Expenses This Year
At this time of year, many people around the world are currently wondering how they’re going to pay off their credit card bill after an expensive Christmas and holiday season. Perhaps you’re in the same boat, and are looking for the right balance transfer to save some money on interest charges as a result.
While this is a great tactic for right now, when it comes to spending less throughout the year, a good way to cut back is by looking at those regular, reoccurring costs that come up within your household all the time, like groceries, utilities, and transport.
If you’re keen to spend less on your monthly household budget throughout the year, it pays to know exactly where you can save, or cut costs completely. Read on for some easy tips you can follow today to help achieve your financial goals for 2016.
Spend Less on Groceries
One of the household expenses that really adds up very quickly each month is groceries. Happily though, there are ways you can go about buying your goods for a cheaper price. For starters, a simple way to spend less of your budget at the supermarket is to write a shopping list before you go there, to ensure you don’t buy any extras that aren’t listed. If you feel that you might be too tempted by all the tasty-looking items in the aisles, then consider online shopping instead.
In addition, it can definitely pay to buy home-brand goods as much as possible. If you haven’t tried this technique in the past, give it a go and you’ll surely be surprised by just how tasty/effective the products can be, whether food items, cleaning goods, toiletries or other essentials. Home-brand products cost much less than the goods produced by well-known brands, and can help you save significant amounts of cash over a year.
Another way to cut costs is to take advantage of sales and discount coupons. Whenever products you use often but that don’t have a short shelf life (like shampoo, coffee, cleaning supplies, toothpaste and diapers) are on sale, stock up. As well, it can be worthwhile signing up to the newsletters and/or social media sites of your local grocery stores so that you are notified when new specials are on or when discount vouchers become available.
Lastly, it can also work in your favor to purchase food items in bulk and then cook and freeze meals. Oftentimes you’ll be able to snap up large quantities of a food stuff at a bargain rate, and can whip up multiple meals over a weekend that can be stored and kept ready for nights when you don’t feel like cooking. This strategy also helps you to avoid spending money on expensive takeaways.
Cut Back Transportation Costs
Another costly household expense is transportation, especially vehicles, which you have to pay to keep registered, maintained, serviced, insured, and fueled. To save some money in this area, consider looking at your average week to see if you can find times to walk, cycle, or take public transport rather than drive. This will help you reduce your spending on fuel, as well as result in less wear and tear on your vehicle.
If you have children who need to be dropped off to school, or picked up each day, it’s worthwhile speaking to other parents to see if you can arrange a carpooling schedule. This has the benefit of not only saving you gas and running costs, but also giving you some more free time during school terms.
It might even be possible to get rid of your car entirely. If you analyze your usage and realize that your vehicle sits in the garage most days, it might pay to sell it and use the funds for more needed costs. There are many car-share companies available these days who you can hire a vehicle from on the odd day or even few hours throughout the year that you require a set of wheels. These services are much more affordable than paying for the continual upkeep on and fuel for your own car.
Services such as telecommunications, power, insurance, and banking are other areas where many families have to spend quite a bit of money during the year. A great way to reduce your bills from these suppliers is to combine services.
Rather than having a separate provider for each bill (such as home, contents, car, health, and life insurance; or your home phone, broadband, and cellphone), see if you can choose to have a variety of services bundled up with the one company.
You’ll find that many firms are keen to get as much of your business as possible, or to win you over to their organization in the first place, and as a result will offer significant savings if you choose them. These discounts can add up to quite impressive savings over 12 months, and also give you less bills and suppliers to have to deal with.