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Saving Tips For 3 Major Categories In Your Household Budget

home with a dollar signIf you are looking for ways to save money, you know that the best way to start is in your household budget. There are many areas by which you can save and that is what we will be focusing on. After all, the bulk of your monthly expenses can be found within your home. Regardless if you are saving for a future purchase or you are trying to solve a debt problem, your home holds a lot of opportunities to free up these extra funds.

Of course, there is always that option to earn more. While that can work just as well (or even better), there is nothing like cutting back on expenses to teach you the right habits that will keep you from incurring more debts. That includes budgeting, a bit of frugal living and smart spending. Given that, it is always a good idea to incorporate a bit of cutting back on expenses to seal your debt free life.

Tips to save on your home expenses

Before you can even think about cutting back on your monthly bills, start with your home first. When we say home, we mean the actual place that you are living in.

Downgrade to a smaller home

In most severe debt problems, consumers usually had no choice but to give up their homes. There is this trend called the Tiny House Movement and it is all about people opting for really small home just to cut back on spending. The benefit of a smaller home is you get to spend less on just about anything – especially utility expenses.

For someone who has a family, that may be bordering on the extreme but the point here is you should reassess if your home is too big for your needs. If you can downgrade into a smaller house, that will really slash your bills significantly. Just think about what your family needs. If there are only 4 of you (couple and 2 kids), a 3 bedroom home could give you enough space. You don’t have to live in a 5 bedroom house.

Prepare for repair and maintenance costs

Another way for you to save at home is by preparing for any repair and maintenance costs. Do not forego the regular maintenance check ups of your appliances and fixtures. Maintaining expenses are cheaper compared to what you will spend when they end up breaking down on you. You should know the schedule of each appliance and the estimate lifespan of the equipment that you use at home. That will help you anticipate the costs of buying a new appliance or equipment.

How to maximize your food budget

The next major category in your household budget is your food budget. There are so many ways that you can cut back on your food costs. Allow us to enumerate some of the most helpful and effective tips we have encountered in the past.

  • Make use of your kitchen. Take out all those recipe books and cook your meals at home instead of eating out. You will save loads on your food budget this way.

  • Learn how to create food from scratch. Try to learn how to bake bread, cakes, cookies and even simple desserts. Making them at home will help you cut back on your food money too.

  • Bring a brown bag to work. When you cook for dinner, why not make a few extras that you can pack for lunch tomorrow.

  • Plan weekly or monthly meals. Knowing your menu for the next few weeks should help you save money because you can buy your food in bulk.

  • Always make a list before going to the grocery. This will help you stick to your budget and will keep you correct any impulsive buying habits.

  • Try to grow your own produce. It does not have to be like a farm but if you have a small patch of land, try to grow a bit of vegetables and fruits that you can serve at home. At the very least, you can grow herbs and spices. These can be cultivated in small pots and placed in your kitchen window.

Techniques to keep your gas and utility costs low

The last category that we have is a combination of your gas and utility costs. Let us discuss them separately.

Saving on car and gas expenses

Gas prices are rising and you may want to ensure that you will only spend what you need. Here are some useful tips.

  • Choose a fuel efficient vehicle.

  • Make sure your car is well maintained and scheduled for tune ups.

  • Check the pressure of your tire regularly because it affects your gas mileage.

  • Don’t leave your car idle if you don’t have to.

  • Group shopping errands so you can cut back on trips to the store.

  • Learn how to drive the right way will help you lower your gas expenses. For instance, accelerate slowly, coast (lift your foot from the gas) during traffic jams, avoid driving too fast/slow, and maintain a steady speed while driving on highways.

Opt for energy saving tactics to save on utilities

Energy saving will not only give you savings, it will also help the environment by decreasing your carbon emissions. Try to compute your energy consumption by using various energy saving calculators online. You can start by visiting the website of the US Department of Energy, specifically the page for the Federal Energy Management Program to have access to various template computations.

Here are other ways you can save on your utility bills.

  • Turn off lights when not in use.

  • Conserve water.

  • Refrain from leaving appliances on standby. Unplug when not in use.

  • Buy a programmable thermostat to help regulate the temperature at home.

  • Wash clothes in cool waters to save on energy.

  • Keep the registers and doors shut for unused rooms to save on your heating and cooling expenses.

  • Switch to more energy efficient appliances and equipments. If you budget can allow it, switch your old appliances or equipments for the energy saving ones so you cut back on your expenses.

By Diana Roberts
Diana hates debt just as much as you do. She is a finance writer for National Debt Relief. She aims to provide the best information to win the battle against debt.

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