How to Save on Household Bills and Expenses
Household expenses can take up a majority of your monthly budget, which can reduce how much you add to your savings. It’s important to look at every bill and expense each month to see if there are ways to cut down on costs — even smaller bills can add up over time. Things like buying coffee or lunch every day, sticking to cable instead of cutting the cord and buying name-brand groceries instead of the generic label can all cost you big time.
We’ve got a few great tips for reducing your expenses and building new financial habits that’ll save you more money.
What’s Included in Household Expenses?
So what exactly is a household expense? Generally, anything that you regularly spend money on, like bills or groceries, can be considered a household expense. This doesn’t include things like clothes, toys, electronics or appliances, as these are generally one-time purchases that vary from month to month.
Household expenses include:
- Rent or mortgage payments
- Cable and internet
- Phone bills
6 Tips for Reducing Household Bills
There are many ways to cut household expenses, but there are a few small, easy changes you can make to start reducing bills today.
Cook at home
Cooking at home can save you the cost of expensive restaurant bills, which — with appetizer, drinks, the main meal, dessert and the tip — can seriously add up. This is one of the biggest drains on savings and can be easily remedied by spending more time in the kitchen at home.
Plan your meals
Planning your meals isn’t just about making a weekly menu — it can help you plan your grocery trips and spare you the desire for an impulse purchase when you know exactly what you need to buy for meals that week. It also helps you prepare meals that you can take with you to lunch instead of buying out or relying on the vending machine.
Long commercial breaks, inconvenient broadcasting schedules and it’s still mostly reruns? Cut the cord and end your cable contract instead of renewing. You can get free local channels with a digital antenna, and you can pick up a la carte streaming services to watch your favorite shows for a fraction of the monthly price of cable.
Reduce your electricity usage
We all know to turn off the lights when we leave a room, but did you know that unplugging your always-on appliances when you’re not using them can save you money? You may have heard of something called vampire energy — electricity consumed when an object isn’t in use but is still plugged into an outlet. Your microwave, desktop PC and more are all sucking money out of your wallet, even when they’re switched off or not being used.
Control your home’s temperature
Putting your thermostat on a schedule can save you a lot of money. If your air conditioner runs even when you’re not home, you could be losing out on extra cash for your savings account. In the colder months, an unoccupied house can safely sit at 65 degrees, so set the thermostat to warm up the house 30 minutes before you get home instead of having it run all day. You can also pick up a smart thermostat to adjust the temperature even when you’re not home.
Not everything needs to be bought brand new. Instead of buying the latest and greatest new appliances or electronics, check listings on sites like Craigslist or eBay for used versions in good condition. When buying used, you should always make sure what you’re getting is of good quality, so request an inspection or assessment by either yourself or a professional you trust.
You can also save a lot on household expenses by shopping at thrift stores. Buying clean, used clothes, books, dishware and more helps keep these items out of landfills and helps you keep more money in your pocket.
Want to Learn More Ways to Save?
Bundling your insurance policies, signing up for safe driver programs and adding smart home security features to your house are just a few ways you could save money on your insurance premiums. Connect with your American Family Insurance agent to discuss what discounts are available to you and whether you qualify.