Frugal Living

Reduce Your Living Costs With These Tips

Trying to live frugally is not easy right now. It is widely reported that the cost of living has risen in recent years, and this currently shows no signs of slowing down. For families, keeping the cost of running a home low is always a top priority, but managing household finances has become far more difficult as inflation continues to rise. 

If you have noticed your bills rising recently and are finding it harder to stick within your usual budget, this is not a figment of your imagination. Research shows Americans are feeling the impact of rising costs, especially those in the lower-income brackets. However, the study showed that even higher earners have recently struggled to pay the bills. So, while keeping living costs low is something frugal families are well used to doing, it is now something a wider group of people need to try to help them control the increased costs of living. 

If you want to keep your family finances under control and reduce the cost of running your household, the following tips should help you make this happen:

Get Your Taxes In Order

The IRS Fresh Start Initiative Program can help you reduce your living costs by getting your taxes in order. This program offers individuals and businesses a fresh start by providing more flexible payment options. In addition, the Fresh Start Program can help you avoid costly penalties and interest charges. If you are struggling to keep up with your tax payments, look at the fresh start program guide by Clean Slate Tax.

Cut the Cost of Using Appliances

Running your home’s appliances can make up a significant proportion of your home’s energy costs. Everyday activities such as doing the cleaning, laundry, cooking meals, and even keeping your home cool can all cause your energy bills to rise, especially with energy costs at their current levels. But, it is possible to cut the cost of powering your appliances, and there are several ways to achieve this. Starting by reducing the amount of time you use your appliances each day is a big help and should help you keep the cost of operating them low.

Drying your laundry can be one of the most expensive household tasks, especially if you use an electric clothes dryer. Dryers are one of the appliances that often use the highest amounts of electricity, so minimizing your dryer use should help make a noticeable reduction in your energy bills. Drying your laundry outside in the warm air is a much more cost-effective way to do your laundry. But, if you do need to dry your clothes indoors, looking for a clothes dryer with a more energy-efficient rating could be a better choice when the time comes to replace your existing appliance. 

Another energy-hungry appliance in your home is your heating and cooling system. Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature is essential to ensure your home is a pleasant environment to spend your time, but it can be an expensive task. Keeping up with regular maintenance of your HVAC system is beneficial to ensure you don’t pay more than you need to when using your heating and cooling system. Regular maintenance will ensure your HVAC system is efficient and will mean that the system does not need to work harder to maintain a constant temperature. An inefficient HVAC system that requires a service will need to work harder to keep a constant temperature, which means that it will consume more energy to make this happen. So, making a note of when your HVAC is due for annual maintenance could be a great opportunity to save yourself money on your energy costs.

Make Big Savings on Lighting Your Home

Did you know that lighting your home can account for around 15 percent of your household energy bill? So, if you spend way too much of your time telling the kids to turn off the lights when they leave a room, then it is well worth it and could be saving you more money than you realized! But, if you want to make a truly noticeable difference in the cost of illuminating your home, you need to take further action. Switching your regular incandescent lightbulbs for LED lightbulbs should help you to save a significant amount of money each year, so making the swap is a great way to start saving on your electricity bills pretty quickly. To get the best savings from swapping to LED lighting, it is helpful to look for lightbulbs that carry the Energy Star logo, as these should provide the best level of energy efficiency.

Consider Long Term Energy Savings

If you want to introduce a way to reduce your energy bills in the longer term, then investing now could help you to continue saving money in the future. Having solar panels installed at your home is an option to consider and could help you to achieve significant savings on your electricity bill both now and in the future. Generating your own electricity via your solar panel installation and then using this to supply your household could help reduce your electricity bills. You may have surplus electricity available that you can send back to the utility grid for future use. So, there is no doubt that solar electricity is something to consider if you like the idea of helping to reduce your carbon footprint and your electricity bills. But, to achieve the most significant savings on the cost of powering your home, you need the best solar panels. Researching the different options available and assessing the cost of buying the panels and paying for installation is a crucial step to take to ensure you don’t overspend and that you can achieve the savings that you are hoping to realize.

Harvest Rainwater and Save Household Water

According to statistics, the average American family spent 72.93 U.S. dollars per month on their water bill in 2019. This figure is based on a family of four using 100 gallons of water per person each day. Since these figures have been released, you may have noticed that your costs have risen even further. This is because the price of water and sewage costs has risen in recent years, so you have likely noticed that your bills have increased to reflect this. While you may not be able to control the cost of the sewage charge on your bill, you should be able to control the amount you pay for your water consumption. 

Cutting down on the amount of mains water you use for non-household tasks is a great way to begin reducing your water bill. Harvesting rainwater in a tank in your backyard is an excellent way to save water, as you can use it to water your plants and keep your garden growing when in the warm weather without it increasing your water costs.  

While saving water outside in the backyard is an excellent way to reduce the cost of your water bills, there are also lots of opportunities to save inside the home. Even simple changes such as switching off the faucet while you brush your teeth can make a massive difference to your water bill if every family member remembers to turn off the water when they brush. But, as well saving you money on your bills, reducing your water use is also really beneficial for the planet, so it is a win-win situation.

Final Thoughts

With living costs rising and your paycheck needing to stretch further every month, it makes sense to do all that you can to make savings on the cost of running your home. The tips above should help you to make a great start on reducing your living costs. Don’t forget to monitor the cost of your bills so that you can keep track of your progress and to see how much you have saved; you may even spot some opportunities to make further savings along the way.

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