Most of us can’t wait to get off of work so that we can relax at home. That is, until we get our monthly bills in the mail (especially during extreme hot and cold months of the year), we have to go grocery shopping or there is an unexpected purchase for the house that needs to be made. Then all of a sudden, “home sweet home” has a bit of a bittersweet feeling.
There is a remedy for that, though. If lately your household expenses have been more than you would like to pay, we have five tips to help you to keep them down. Check these out:
Be responsible with your electricity. One bill that tends to fluctuate quite a bit is the electricity bill. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to keep it from costing you about half of your mortgage or rent. Install a programmable thermostat. Unplug whatever you’re not using. Run appliances (such as your washing machine or dishwasher) during the times when the electricity rates are lower (usually late at night) and keep the use of central air to a minimum (opt for using ceiling fans in the summer and space heaters in the winter instead).
Reassess your cable and internet. There are a lot of us who pay more money for cable than we need to. In order to keep this bill in a reasonable range, get a basic package and bundle it with your internet service. Also, remember that you can watch a lot of programs with On Demand so there’s no need to pay for a full subscription. And, if you want to do without cable altogether, keep in mind that there are many shows that are available to watch on the program’s website within the first couple of days that it originally airs on television.
Don’t forget your phone. A lot of us remember the days when we absolutely needed a landline in the house. Now, thanks to cell phones, it really is an unnecessary expense and so you can pretty much go without one. If you have a home office, see about also adding that phone to your cable and internet bundle service. When it comes to your cell phone provider, you can also keep that expense down by getting a package that meets your basic needs. More times than not, all of the “bells and whistles” on a cell phone are just not that necessary.
Get cheaper groceries. Groceries are not that much of an expense if you live alone or there are just two people in your house. When there is more than that though, it has the tendency to get pretty pricey. You can help it from becoming too much of a financial burden by clipping coupons, shopping on “two for one” days and also going to the local farmer’s market for your produce because it’s not only an eco-friendly approaching to eating, but it tends to be cheaper than buying your fruits and veggies in a grocery store.
Buy used. Whether it’s a new coat, a set of chairs or even a couple of kettles for your newly renovated kitchen, don’t rule out going to websites like eBay and Craigslist or stopping by a yard sale or a local thrift store to see if they have what you need. When it comes to purchasing used items, the saying is often true: One man’s junk is another man’s treasure; one that will oftentimes save you more dollars than if you would have paid retail for something new.