The average person spends about 30% or more of their income on housing costs. From paying the rent or mortgage to the groceries and utilities, the head of household has a lot of financial responsibilities. Though you need a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and three square meals a day, you don’t have to go bankrupt to afford it. With a few simple changes to your shopping habits and daily routines, you can keep a bit more cash in your pocket.
1. Buy Generic Brands
Whether its food, clothing, medication, or electronics, you don’t always have to go with the name brand products to receive good quality. Sometimes you’re simply paying extra for the name. While you’ll need to do comparative research and check consumer reviews before making a purchase, a lot of times the generic versions of a product can be just as good as a name brand – only it’s a lot cheaper.
2. Cut the Cable Cord
While you might enjoy watching television with your family and friends, that doesn’t mean you have to pay an arm and a leg for it. If you have cable services that are costing you several hundred dollars per month, it may be time to cut the cord. There are several alternatives to cable television that allow you to watch your favorite shows and movies. For instance, if you were to search for Direct TV local availability, you would see that there were packages starting at $58 a month. You’ll receive the same channels and technologies like On-Demand, DVR, and mobile capabilities for a fraction of the cost.
3. Unplug Items
There is this wide misconception that turning an appliance or device off means that it is no longer absorbing energy. Believe it or not however, devices that are turned off or not in use but still plugged into an energy source can still consume energy. According to Energy.gov, small things like a cell phone charger could even be sucking energy causing your bill to increase. Simply unplugging things could save you as much as 10 percent on your energy bill each month.
4. Have Your Heating and Cooling System Serviced
When is the last time you had your heating and cooling system serviced? Did you know that systems that are not serviced on the regular basis lose efficiency and thus hike the energy bill up? Replacing filters, cleaning air ducts and vents, and even servicing other working parts on the system can improve its efficiency. Not only will this save you money, but it can help to keep your home’s temperature comfortable all year long.
5. Shop at Stores that Advertise Price Match
When you talk about saving money while shopping you tend to think of coupons as a means for saving the most cash. While coupons can certainly come in handy, they are not the only solutions for saving some cash fast. By shopping with stores like Wal-Mart, Target, or Amazon you can save money with their price match guarantees. If you find a better price for the same product at another store, these major vendors will either match or beat the price saving you money.
6. Wash Clothes in Cold Water
The bulk of the cost for laundry comes from the heating of the water. If you really want to save yourself some cash its best to wash your clothes in cold water. Your clothes will come out just as clean but it will take less energy to wash them. If you want to capitalize on this savings, allow your clothes to air dry during the warmer seasons and skip the dryer all the way.
7. Fix Small Things Yourself
The internet is filled with how to guides and tutorial videos on how to complete small home improvement tasks. When something is broken and it doesn’t necessarily require extensive knowledge or specialized tools that only experts have, try giving it a go yourself. You could save hundreds if not thousands of dollars by fixing minor problems on your own.
8. Pay Insurance Premiums in Full Annually
When it’s time to renew your insurance policies, (i.e. car, house, renter’s) instead of paying on the monthly basis, get a considerable discount by paying for the year upfront. Insurance companies almost always offer sizable discounts for customers willing to pay in advance.
9. Visit the Doctor & Dentist Annually
Visiting the doctor and dentist on an annual basis can save you a ton of money. When you visit for routine physicals and checkups, medical experts are able to help you prevent certain illnesses and health complications. Rather than having to pay for diabetes care or wisdom teeth removal, you’re paying for a physical and a cleaning which is a lot more affordable.
Hopefully these ideas will help you and your household to save a lot more money over the next few months. As you try each of these ideas, pay attention to how much you’re saving. To make this even more beneficial be sure to put your savings to good use. Add it to a savings account, treat yourself to a trip in a nice destination, or buy something new for the house.