When you are the chief cook, bottle washer and financial officer all rolled into one, the onus is on you to find areas where you can save money at home. Luckily, we can all find ways to cut back on our unnecessary spending if we take a closer look at where our money is going.
Examine your utilities
Take a look at what you are spending each month on heat, hydro, cable TV and water. Turn the thermostat down at night and when you aren’t home. You can probably program it to do this in case you forget. Unplug your computer, TV, and microwave when you leave home. Do you really need that full cable package or can you make do with basic? Fix any leaky taps and shut the water off when you brush your teeth. Make sure you are buying high efficiency, low-water appliances. See what options are available for data sharing within the family on your cell phone plans. Ask the person who is working outside the home to take public transit or look for someone they can car pool with. This will save on gas and maintenance on your vehicle.
Buy it on sale and in season
Everything eventually goes on sale. So why are you buying it at full price? Wait until you see a discount. Stick to a monthly budget, write grocery lists and clip coupons. Take advantage of second-hand and consignment stores. You can find designer clothing for a fraction of the regular price, and they will buy your gently used clothing for store credit as well. (It’s also a lot of fun hunting for great thrift shop finds). Buy your children’s sports equipment second-hand as well, and see what you can rent instead of buying. Don’t buy fruit and vegetables out of season, either. Not only are you paying an unnecessary additional cost for transportation but there is a reason to believe you are contributing to air pollution by feeding into this economy. Wait until summer to buy your strawberries. You will save money, they taste better and you are supporting a local farmer, to boot.
Reduce your debt load
Take a look at your credit situation. Do you have a running debt load of more than 30% of your allowable limit? See where you can pay off or eliminate debt. Switch to a low-interest credit card or line of credit and get rid of that car payment. Check your credit score and if it needs a boost, consider contacting creditrepairservices.co. Give yourself a budget and strive to live within it. Incidentals will pop up and take us by surprise from time to time but if you are in the habit of spending wisely, you won’t be caught off guard.
With a little careful planning and discipline, you can whip your family’s financial situation into shape in no time. Making small sacrifices here and there can add up to a family vacation, pay for a new car or even allow one parent to stay home with the kids.