Responsible parents know how important it is to manage their household finances. When families are having financial difficulties, it can get in the way of their wanting to maintain a happy family life. They also understand that spouses should keep communications open about financially-related problems to avoid the buildup of resentments.
It is a challenge for many to figure out ways to spend less money. One of the best ways is to cut down on your monthly expense. Keep in mind that even though some of our bills are only $10 or $20 a month, there is a cumulative effect that can be a drain on our financial resources.
There are many ways you can rein in your spending and save money. You can reduce your monthly expenses without too much hassle and without feeling deprived.
Understand Your Current Monthly Expenses
Before you can think about how to reduce your monthly expenses, you need to know where your money is currently going. Look at every receipt, bill, bank statement, and your checkbook to write a list of every penny you have spent. Then and only then can you see where you can make some cuts to your budget.
Save on Hot Water
There’s nothing like a nice long hot shower after a hard day’s work. However, if you take too long in that shower too often, you are going to pay for it – literally – when you get your hot water energy bill. This doesn’t mean you have to do without. You can, however, shave 5 or 10 minutes off without feeling deprived. You will notice a big difference in the amount of your bill.
There are several other ways to lower your energy bill. Plumbers in Knox VIC suggest “reducing the temperature in your hot water tank because it can greatly reduce the running costs and will also make your system last longer“.
Energy Saver is the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) consumer resource on saving energy and using renewable energy technologies at home. They recommend the following as some additional ways to save on your water heating bill:
- Wash your clothes in cold water
- Use low-flow fixtures
- Insulate your hot-water storage tank
- Install a timer that turns off your electric water heater when you are not using it or at night
- Fix leaks
- Put heat traps on your water heater tank
- Use your dishwasher efficiently
Smart Grocery Shopping
You might be thinking how you can save money on something as essential as food. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a family of 4 can spend $240 less per month by switching from pricely meals to lower-cost options.
Some of the ways you can spend less money at the supermarket are:
- Use cash instead of plastic. If you are limited to the money in your wallet, you are likely to spend less
- Buy foods that are in season. For example, if you buy strawberries in January, you are going to pay much more than if you buy then between April and June when they are in season.
- Stick to your shopping list and avoid impulse buying
- Plan out your meals for the week and shop less often
Pay with Cash Instead of Plastic
If you can’t afford something, unless it is a necessity, don’t buy it. This is where credit cards can get you into trouble. It’s too easy to buy something – even if you don’t have the cash in your wallet – by using a credit card.
If you find that have to use that piece of plastic, whatever you do, don’t carry over your balance from one month to the next. Pay if off in full every month. If you don’t, you could find yourself in a place you don’t want to be. That place is called credit card debt and has gotten too many people into unfortunate financial situations where they owe more money than they can pay back.
The Four Letter Word
Whenever you go shopping, keep your eyes peeled for that beautiful 4-letter word – SALE! Or you can also look for the word “clearance”. There are so many ways to not pay full-price for things you buy if you put in a little effort. One word of caution: Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. Only buy it if you need it.
With a plan, a goal, patience, and the right mindset, you will be able to cut your monthly expenses and save money.