Effective Ways to Cut Down on Your Household Expenses
Running a household is not exactly rocket science—so many moms (and some dads) have succeeded and proven themselves extremely capable in this area—but it’s not a walk in the park either. Asides from the multitude of tasks and chores you need to do and the obligations you have to fulfill, you also have to enforce discipline and order among the members of your family. Another important thing you focus on is monitoring your various household bills. If your income is limited and/or you just want to start being thrifty, you might be looking for ways on how to reduce your monthly household expenses. To achieve this, you’d have to have a sense of creativity and practice a little resourcefulness. If you’re smart and determined, you can save a lot on other various expenses, and not just on your energy and water bills. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Use public transportation more often. If you and your family use a car to get around and to go to work, school, or the supermarket, then you know how much a vehicle can eat up your hard-earned money like nothing else. Aside from your regular expenses on gas, you’d also have to shell out money for parking and maintenance fees. You can save up on these expenses if you and your family start using public transportation for short trips to town. Your kids can also start using their school’s bus service for when they go to school. Use your car for long, out-of-town trips or for your weekly trip to the supermarket when you’d have to lug heavy bags of groceries afterward.
- If you hate the idea of taking public transport, an alternative would be to carpool with your coworkers who live around the same area as you. There are several perks to doing this: you can save on gas, you can reduce your car’s wear and tear, and you can reduce your own carbon emissions.
Energy and Water Bills
- Update the light bulbs in your house. If your bulbs are the traditional incandescent type, try switching to CFL or LED types, as they are more energy-efficient than the former. According to experts, making this simple switch can save you approximately forty dollars and upward on your energy bill.
- Learn to unplug. It is not enough to simply turn off your appliances when they are not in use, as they continue to draw electricity even then. Make it a point to always unplug your electrical devices when you and your family are not using them.
- Make use of power strips and timers, which have the function of turning electrical devices on and off. A power strip is capable of blocking the phantom electrical charge that devices incur when turned off, while a timer can be set to turn off charges going to a particular device at a particular time of the day. You can make use of timers and power strips for those times of the day when you’re away from your home or when you’re asleep.
- Seal your home to prevent drafts, as these are the biggest causes of hikes in your energy bills especially during winter and summer. If your house is snug and tightly sealed, your home’s heater and/or air conditioner won’t have to work twice as hard to keep your home cool during summer or snugly warm during winter.
- Don’t let the water run while you are brushing your teeth or washing produce. A regular-flow faucet releases about two gallons of water per minute; if you let the water run, you’ll be wasting a great quantity of precious water. As an alternative, try using a glass of water for brushing and wash your produce in a basin of water.
- Fix any leaks you see around your home, as they are another source of waste. You might think, “Oh, what’s a little drip every now and then?” But in time, those drips will accumulate into a lot of good, clean water that’s not being used for any purpose.
- Practice rainwater harvesting—that is, the practice of storing rainwater in containers like those provided by Rain Water Tanks. You can take advantage of one of nature’s free resources—rain—and use it for different purposes in your household. For instance, you can use the rainwater you’ve stored to water the plants in your garden and to wash your car and driveway. You can even use it indoors like when you’re doing the laundry or flushing the toilet.
- Find cheaper modes of entertainment. Do you and your family enjoy weekly trips to the cinema? To save on this expense, it might be a better and more budget-friendly idea to download movies online and watch them in the comfort of your home, make sure to take a look at the best torrenting sites. You can cook your own popcorn and make your own drinks, and it would be as if you had your own personal movie room—which you and your family can access anytime, any day.
- Cut the club or gym memberships that you don’t really use on a regular basis. For instance, if you only get to go to the gym or the local community club once a month, you’re better off cancelling that memberships and finding cheaper ways of getting exercise or amusing yourselves.
- Cut down on the times you eat out and cook your own meals instead. You can save a considerable amount of money this way as you won’t have to spend for gas on trips to your favorite restaurant. You’ll also spend much less when you buy groceries and cook home-cooked meals instead of constantly eating out.
- Learn how to grow your own food. If done right, the practice of vegetable gardening can provide you and your family with abundant and organic fruits and vegetables that are good for you. Not to mention you’ll also be doing your part for the environment.
It’s takes some creativity and resourcefulness and a lot of discipline when it comes to finding ways to cut down on your household expenses. The rewards of a more simplified and less complicated life is well worth it though.