Having a household budget and wisely spending money can stretch your dollars and free up cash for savings. But unfortunately, many families develop a routine of frivolously spending money and saving isn’t a thought. Maybe you’re not a big saver, and would rather spend your money.
There is nothing wrong with a little indulgence and fun. But as the family head, it is your responsibility to teach your kids good money lessons. To accomplish this, you have to lead by example.
Don’t get stuck in a routine of spending and not saving. Here are five tips for smart spendingaround the house.
1. Buy used items. Gently used clothes, furniture and other household goods are just as useful as new merchandise. Learn to love secondhand stores and visit yard sales on the weekend. You can also checkout online classifieds and auction sites before shopping at retail stores. The Internet typically features better prices.
2. Clip coupons. Whether you’re planning a family dinner at a restaurant or buying groceries, always look for coupons. Some people don’t like coupons because it takes time and patience to search circulars. However, retailers and restaurants offer amazing deals. For example, take your family to dinner with a two-for-one coupon and enjoy one free entree. And if you shop with a retailer’s coupon, you can take 10%, 20% or more off your purchase. This is a huge savings if you’re buying a lot of merchandise.
3. Lower electricity bills. Energy costs can take a large percentage of your money each month. But if the family cooperates and conserves energy, you can enjoy significant savings. Turn off lights and electrical devices when finished and limit how many times you open the refrigerator door. Do you live in a hot climate such as Texas? If so, you probably have high energy bills certain times of the year. Go shop electricity rates in Texas and look for a new provider, or check out rates in your state via a Google search. Clearly, a cheaper rate can save you money each month.
4. Do your own chores. It is easier to hire someone to cut your grass, clean your house and wash your car. Assess how much you spend on nonessential services each month, and then reduce these expenses to save month. Rather than hire a company for these chores, work together as a family to complete assignments around the house.
5. Reduce monthly costs. Gym membership fees, advance cable services and monthly subscriptions also take money out of the household. If there isn’t money available for savings, then you’re probably living above your means. Be smart and cut expenses. Save $50 a week and you can deposit $200 into your savings account each month.
Saving should always be a priority, and smart spending is the way to achieve your financial goals. This takes self-control and effort. But with a right plan and the family’s cooperation, it is possible to reduce household expenditures and save money. Put the money toward an emergency fund, or begin saving for a downpayment on your own home or a family vacation.