How to Save Money on your Monthly Expenses
Nearly everyone would like to save some money. This is especially true for those of us who are trying to trim costs to fit our spending into a budget. It can be difficult to come up with ways to reduce what you spend when you’re first putting together your budget. However, once you start investigating and really looking at where your money is going, it becomes possible to see where you can make cuts.
If you’re looking for some assistance on cutting costs on household expenses, here are some tips that could help.
Tips for Reducing your Energy Bills
Energy costs eat up a lot of our monthly incomes. However, there are several things that you can do to keep these costs down, including:
- Using more energy efficient lighting. Use CFL or LED bulbs in your home instead of older incandescent bulbs. These use a lot less energy and tend to have a longer lifespan. It also helps to only use lights as you need them and to turn off lights when you leave a room.
- Install a programmable thermostat. This will automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on a schedule that you can set and forget. Doing this will save you energy since you won’t be spending as much to heat or cool your home when you’re away.
- Adjust the temperature. Setting the temperature inside your home a degree or two warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter will save you money on heating and cooling, but you’ll still be very comfortable.
- Do energy-intensive tasks when electricity costs are cheaper. Many areas have different prices for “peak times” and “off-peak times.” You can save a lot of money by doing your laundry or running the dishwasher during off-peak times.
Tips for Reducing Entertainment Expenses
Even if you’re trying to save money and manage your spending, you’ll still need to find a way to entertain yourself. Here are some tips for reducing your monthly entertainment budget:
- Visit the library. You might think that libraries only have books (and they do) but most also have magazines, movies, and music available to borrow for free. These days, many libraries also offer a variety of digital assets including ebooks, movie and audio streaming services, and the ability to read magazines and newspapers online.
- Cancel subscriptions. If you subscribe to magazines, newspapers, or streaming services, take a look at what you are paying for each month and consider cancelling the ones that you don’t use very often.
- Consider cutting or reducing your cable package. Depending on how much you watch cable TV, you can save a lot of money by cutting out some channels or by dropping cable entirely.
- Look for cheaper options. Some movie theatres off discounted tickets on certain days or times. The same is true for plays and concert halls. You may even be able to find a discount theatre nearby that will show slightly older movies at lower prices. It’s also a good idea to check for local community events and free concerts instead of spending money on more expensive entertainment options.
Tips for Saving Money on Food
Everyone needs to eat, but you can likely cut down your grocery budget by following a few helpful tips.
- Cook at home. You save a lot of money by cooking at home and taking homemade lunches with you, instead of eating out, and by having dinner at home. You’ll also likely eat a lot healthier. To save time, make larger meals early in the week or on the weekend and place leftovers in the fridge or freezer to heat up and eat throughout the week when you’re more stressed for time.
- Use coupons and flyers. Shopping with coupons can save you quite a lot. Checking out flyers for local stores before you head out is also a good idea. This will make it easier for you to compare prices and save money.
Shop with a list. Look at what coupons you have and what is on sale in flyers and use this information to put together a grocery list. Be sure to look in your pantry and fridge as well, so you don’t end up buying something you already have. Then, take this list with you when you go to the store and only buy what is listed on it. This will help you avoid impulse purchases on items that you don’t really need.