It’s no secret that you’re paying more for everything these days, from gas at the pump to the electric bill to groceries. And these higher prices are impacting your budget and bank accounts. So, what can you do? Start with these 18 ideas to help save money in four common household spending categories.
Reduce Energy Expenses
- Adjust home habits to reduce energy use and costs. For instance, reduce your thermostat a few degrees this winter, only run full loads of laundry and shorten your showers.
- Explore home improvements that could lower your homeownership costs – especially smart devices like an automatic thermostat that turns down the temperature when no one’s home, as well as LED light bulbs, low-flow showerheads and energy-efficient appliances. You’ll spend some money upfront but could reduce your monthly energy bill for years to come and potentially increase your home’s value.
- Check your mobile phone, cable and internet plans to make sure you aren’t paying for services or features you don’t need. If you have options for companies providing electricity, natural gas, cable, internet or cell service, shop around to find the best deals.
- Cut streaming services that you don’t use and watch for special deals – like free 30-day trials.
Lower Insurance Costs
- Ask your insurers about discounts you might qualify for, such as auto insurance breaks for student drivers with good grades or homeowners insurance premium reductions if you have a security system. Also ask if you can get a discount for bundling multiple policies – for instance, using the same insurer for your auto and homeowners policies.
- Review your coverage to make sure it’s appropriate for your needs today.
- Decide whether you can raise any deductibles to lower premiums without risking financial jeopardy if you ever have a claim.
Bring Down Debt
- Review your spending to see if you can reduce or eliminate any non-essential expenses, particularly if you find that you're adding new debt.
- Implement cost-cutting measures (like the ones here) and put those savings toward paying down debt.
- Whenever possible, pay your credit card balances in full during the grace period to avoid interest charges.
- Look for credit card balance transfer offers with low introductory rates.
- Look for rewards cards that offer cash back, statement credits or other financial benefits.
- Consider leveraging your home’s equity to pay down high-interest rate credit card balances with a single lower-interest rate loan.
Trim the Grocery Bill
Clip coupons and examine weekly grocery flyers, use store mobile apps to access more savings options and see if you can sign up for emails that deliver coupons or alert you of sales. It’s an easy way to avoid spending more than you need to.
To minimize impulse buys, make a meal plan for the week and shop with a list based on that plan.
To reduce food waste, look for recipes that help you convert leftovers to new dishes. For instance, have grilled chicken one night, then use leftovers to make sandwiches, fill enchiladas or top a pizza.
Join grocery store rewards programs that offer extra savings, cash back and gas discounts.
Consider joining a local or online shopping club, such as BJ’s or Costco. The money you save could easily exceed the membership fee.
As you consider these ways to save, track your expenses for a month to see what you’re actually spending money on. Then adjust where you can to focus your finances on what matters most to you.
If you think leveraging your home equity could help you meet your financial goals, or you’d just like to learn more about it, visit us online or call 1-800-724-2224. We’re here to help!
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