Even for the most financially-savvy families, cutting your monthly expenses can seem like an almost impossible task.
Once you’ve gone to the effort of looking through what you’re spending, it’s incredibly difficult to decide what to stop spending money on.
Spending habits can be hard to kick. Fortunately, though, there are some sure-fire ways of saving money for your household – no matter whether you’re living alone, with kids, or just with your partner.
Here at five ways to cut household expenses.
- Reduce food wastage
What you spend on food is a great place to start, since it’s one of the biggest household expenses that you’re not locked into – you can change who you shop with at any time.
Most budgeting advice will simply say to stop eating out so often. While this is good advice, if going to restaurants or having take-out on occasion is something you enjoy, you can look at reducing wastage instead.
In the USA, it’s estimated that 30-40% of all food is wasted. This means that in theory, most families could cut their food bill almost in half if they ate everything they bought.
In the UK, the figure is also very high, at around 18%.
To reduce food wastage, you can:
- Plan meals ahead of time, to ensure that you’re only buying the ingredients you need.
- Take leftovers for lunch more often.
- Use smaller serving sizes, and encourage your family to go back for seconds.
- Smarter clothes shopping
In 2018, it’s estimated that the UK threw out £12.5bn worth of clothes.
This figure does not even account for garments worn once or twice and then donated to charity shops.
Some clothes wastage is inevitable – you may need brand new suits for work, or have kids almost immediately growing out of everything they wear.
However, it’s still worth looking at what you’re spending on clothes.
Often we will wear something once and immediately replace it. And despite how cheap clothes can be these days, the cost of fast fashion really adds up.
- Find a better internet plan
The truth is, unless you’ve recently taken the time to review what your options are, it’s likely that you could get a better internet plan.
For some, this could simply mean switching providers, to find a cheaper plan with similar speeds.
However, you may also be overpaying for your internet, by paying for speed that you don’t really need.
When shopping for a new plan, it’s a good idea to use a speed needs calculator to figure out exactly how much bandwidth you need for your household.
- Consider your car
Cars, by their nature, are very expensive to own.
Once you consider the cost of tires, oil changes, tax, insurance, and regular maintenance, these expenses really start to add up.
For many of us, cars are a necessity.
However, there is one hidden cost of owning a car that you can cut out – depreciation.
Depreciation costs the average car owner $3000 per year. This number is a lot higher on newer luxury models.
To reduce what you’re paying in depreciation, consider buying a used model that’s already passed the steepest point on the “depreciation curve”.
It’s crucial to check though that the car has been well-maintained. There’s no point buying an older car to dodge depreciation, only to have to pay the same amount back at the mechanic.
- Cut the cable (or consolidate your streaming)
It’s been widely publicized for a long time now that most cable deals don’t deliver good value, especially when compared to online streaming services.
If you’re still paying for cable TV, cutting it is a really easy way to save an absolute heap of money.
However, if you’ve already done this, you can also save money by taking a closer look at what streaming platforms you use.
With so much variety to choose from, it’s entirely possible that you’re paying for services you only use once every few months.
Think about what shows you actually watch, and where you get them from.
For example, if you have Netflix but also pay around $30 a month to rent TV shows or movies on Google Play, it could be worth thinking about making a smarter entertainment budget for your family.
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Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.