Many Americans are looking for ways to strengthen their household finances these days. Tracking your spending and following a budget are good first steps, and to stick to that budget, some cuts may be necessary. Here are five ideas to save on your household expenses so you’ll have more left over for what’s important.
1. Scrutinize your subscriptions
It’s easy to overspend when your payments are on autopilot. Examine your credit, debit and bank statements for all recurring monthly charges. Chances are you have one or two paid subscriptions you’re not really using. Whether it’s a streaming video service you don’t watch, a newspaper you’re not reading or a gym membership you don’t use – cutting back on these subscriptions may be an easy way to save every month. For the services you do wish to keep, check to see if there are any deals, discounts or alternative plans that make more sense for you.
2. Limit groceries with a list
How many times have you popped into a grocery store for “just a few things” but walked out with a shopping cart full of items? This happens because grocery stores are designed to encourage you to spend more. To combat this, create a detailed grocery list on paper or in an app before heading to the store. If you stick to your list, you’ll avoid impulse purchases and save money by buying only what you need.
3. Plan ahead with meal prep
Speaking of groceries, meal prepping is an excellent way to save money while eating healthier! Devote one afternoon a week to prepping meals for the days ahead. You’ll not only save money on dining out, but you’ll also cut down on your overall cooking time. Check out this meal prep guide to get started.
4. Find digital entertainment for free
Never has there been more electronic entertainment available for free. Looking to dive into a good book? Browse the free e-book and audiobook resources. Paying too much for cable or streaming video? Check out the free streaming options, sign up for a free trial or install an HD antenna. Want to listen to tunes at no cost? Take your pick of the various free streaming music services. Still bored? From free video games to free online classes, a quick search on Google is sure to point you in the right direction.
5. Mull over a new mortgage strategy
Housing is the biggest expense for most people, so it’s a logical place to look for potential cuts. If you own your home and have a mortgage, it’s worth finding out if you can refinance your mortgage to lower your interest rate, remove mortgage insurance, get out of an adjustable rate or obtain other benefits. A refinance could lower your monthly payment, your total expected expenses or both. And if you currently rent a home, you may want to consider buying since owning a home is often cheaper than renting after a couple years of ownership.
While reviewing your household budget is up to you, reviewing your mortgage strategy doesn’t have to be. If you’re interested in learning about your options for saving on your current mortgage, taking cash out or buying a new home, don’t hesitate to get in touch.