If you’re anything like my family, then you’re always looking for ways to save a few pennies each month. You don’t have to sacrifice any quality in your necessities to do so. With the economy still recovering and costs seemingly climbing, it only makes sense to spend some time evaluating where your family could lower its budget.
I’ve recently done this evaluation myself and have 4 great ways that you could slash your budget this next month. Just think of all the money you can add to your savings or even splurge a little here and there. Check out how I saved money below:
1. Car Insurance
You see commercials all the time about saving money on car insurance. Well, they exist for good reason. If you haven’t done any car insurance shopping in the last year, now may be the time to look. It really can just take 20 minutes of your time to save 20% on your car insurance. I know that sounds way too much like those commercials, but it’s true! My husband and I were with one of the bigger car insurance companies but recently decided to look more local in Northern Virginia. Fortunately, we came across Insurance Doctor in Arlington, VA. Not only did we save money on our premium, but we also got to reduce our deductible. Our coverage didn’t even change in quality! As a bill you pay each month, it’s super simple to find lower rates. You just have to be willing to do the research on different insurance companies.
As the winter is approaching, I’m sure you’ll be turning on your heat soon. According to the Department of Energy, heating your home costs more than almost any other utility. Heating bills typically make up 42% of utility costs for a home! So what can you do to cut down this cost? Well, start with the obvious by installing a programmable thermostat if you don’t have one already. Next, set the temperature as cold as you can stand while you are home. While you are away during the day, program your thermostat to be 5-10 degrees lower than you would normally keep it. Another way to save money is to make sure your heating system is as efficient as possible. You can do this by replacing the filter on your furnace or cleaning your baseboard/radiator each season.
3. TV Watching Habits
It’s 2016. How much time do you actually spend watching cable television and not Netflix or Hulu? Your cable bill could be eating away at your budget, especially if your provider has increased your rate after your initial contract. My family has officially cut the cord, AKA we no longer have a traditional cable provider. You may be wondering: how do we watch live TV? Well, we recently signed up for Sling TV, so we can still watch channels like ESPN, A&E, and the Disney Channel. It helped us cut our cable bill drastically, and we still get the channels we actually watch.
Like heating, electricity is another big utility bill. Between my husband and my kids, it seems like we’re always running 10 different devices and leaving the lights on. Although it requires an initial investment, we found a great way to cut our electricity bill. We’ve started using more power strips and timers. The power strips not only add more outlets, but they also are able to use electricity more efficiently to charge and run all of our electronics. The timers help us to make sure lights turn off when we’re not home or the electronics aren’t being used. These especially come in handy once the Christmas lights go up.
So the next time you’re sitting down to budget, make sure you consider if your family can implement these 4 ways of cutting the budget. Spending a little time and doing the research on car insurance or your cable bill can really cut down on your spending. Plus, finding ways to be more efficient and reduce your utility bills like electricity and heating will always help to pinch some more pennies. Let me know in the comments ways that you and your families like to save a few dollars here and there!Read More
Living in a consumer society makes it very difficult to decide what we actually need, and which items we can definitely live without. Many households are crowded with things that have been used once or twice and are now forgotten, no matter if they are kitchen appliances, clothes, toys or numerous gadgets. On the other hand, there are items on which spending more money is actually recommended, because the later savings surpasses the initial investment.
The key to saving money in the household id to know when to invest money into something, and when not to do it.
For starters, the items we should invest in are some kitchen appliances – a dishwasher, a cooker, an oven and a fridge. Then, we should not save on a washing machine, as well as the water heater. There are several reasons to invest money in these appliances. First, their longevity will be much higher, so once you buy them, you can rely on them for the next 10-20 years. Then, if you buy “A” class appliances, they are going to save a lot of energy and water, which means that your bills will be reduced. Lastly, the quality of these appliances is higher, so you can expect better results.
Another item we must not save money on is bed. A Japanese proverb says:
“Buy good shoes and a great bed. Because in this life, when you are not in one you are in the other.”
As we spend approximately 6-8 hours sleeping on daily basis, it is important that we have a good bed that provides us with necessary rest. Not only that a high quality bed means firm and healthy sleep, but it also lasts longer than cheaper beds, so you can expect to have it for a long time. This means that you will not invest money in a new bed every couple of years, which is why a more expensive bed actually comes down to being more affordable.
Money Saving Tips for Living on One Income
As for the items we need to save money on, the list is quite long. To start with the kitchen – there are numerous appliances that some of us may want, but which are actually unnecessary. For example, if you have a multipractic food processor, you do not need a blender or a juicer. Similarly, there are many kitchen gadgets that may seem appealing, but which you will use only several times or never. Before buying some of these items, ask yourself how many times you would use them and for which purposes you would need them.
Then, it is not necessary to spend too much money on home appliances such as TV. You do not need to buy the latest model, especially if you already have a TV. Since they are constantly changing and improving, it will be possible to buy that same model for significantly less money in a year or two. And the golden rule is – do not fix what is not broken.