The cost of living continues to climb, and households everywhere are feeling the squeeze, so how can we maintain a suitable standard of living but still reduce household expenses overall? The good news is that with a few smart changes to your lifestyle, you can still save your money.
Track Spending Habits
The trouble with spending – particularly personal spending – is that it happens automatically and is often linked to your current moods. Whether it is online or offline, spending habits are easy to formulate and hard to break, so it’s important to track your spending over a period to control it.
Check your bank statements for the previous thirty days and highlight the places where you spend; if you notice a lot of spending in unnecessary places – like on Starbucks coffees, for instance – calculate how much you could save by cutting them out and changing your habits.
Create a Budget
When it comes to budgeting, many people moan and groan; it puts restrictions on your life and makes you think about everything you spend; but a budget can be a loose thing as well, giving you more freedom to live according to your whims. It’s all about how you balance your lifestyle.
Try not to overcomplicate your family budget and make it too tight; instead, think about your “needs,” “wants,” and “goals” in relation to yourself and your family. For instance, if you have the goal of a family holiday next summer, prioritize it and reallocate some of the saved cash.
Technology is changing the ways we live and interact; for instance, fewer families are interested in car ownership nowadays in favor of more flexible approaches such as car financing, car sharing, car clubs, and car leasing. These offer private car services without the investment.
If you’re interested in car financing, one of the first questions you might ask is Can I Get Car Finance, to find you contact a dealership and enquire about a vehicle, they will take you through a financial health check and assess your credit history to find out what finance option is suitable.
Nowadays, we live in a world of subscription services; this pricing model has been around for some time and is very successful for both companies and consumers. Subscription services allow you to access television, internet, cell phones, and more, but there is a major downside.
While subscription services are very convenient, their monthly costs can start to add up. It’s easy to forget about subscription services linked to your account after you have signed up for them, but you might not use them enough to justify the cost. Perform regular subscription audits.
Household energy costs account for 12% of the budget on average, but this is likely to rise based on global circumstances and a reduction in fossil fuel stocks. Think of your household energy as a micro-economy and look for ways to reduce your energy by changing your habits.
Energy optimization strategies are set to become more popular as people start to feel the squeeze. Start by installing a smart meter that tells you how much energy you are using along with the sources; you can then change your regular household patterns to reduce consumption.
Some people sign up for a mortgage and then forget about it; the payments for the property come off your salary every month automatically, and you know that at the end of the term, you will own a property that you can then sell or live in for free. But more options are available.
The world of finance is always changing, moving like a big ocean up and down with tidal forces affecting the costs and benefits of investments. If interest rates change or you want to switch to a variable rate for a while and benefit from economic changes, you can remortgage your home.
Is debt holding you back and preventing you from meeting your household finance goals? If so, why not consider debt consolidation to pay down your debt and make your life more affordable? If you have multiple credit cards and you are struggling to pay the interest, this is a great option.
Debt consolidation programs contact your creditors and put a freeze on the interest rates; then, they organize a repayment plan that allows you to pay back the full amount over a given period. Unlike a trust deed, a consolidation option doesn’t affect your credit rating and pays it all back.
Sometimes reducing your household expenses comes down to making adjustments to the services you have already. Everyone needs certain types of insurance, life insurance, home insurance, car insurance, and so on; the question is are you getting the best deal on yours?
Make your goal to reduce your household expenses and focus on insurance premiums. Compare the market to see if you can get a better deal on your home or car insurance. Even if you only save a small amount every year, you are still covered and have fewer home expenses.
Okay, so you don’t want to abandon family treats altogether; there are times when you want to have a special takeaway dinner or eat with your family at a restaurant. The secret is to keep these events under control and make them part of the household budget, and also reduce them.
The good news is there are plenty of ways to treat your family without spending lots of money on takeaways and evening meals. Why not create your own pizza for less for our pizza night, or look for tasty alternatives? Vegetables are the cheapest and healthiest option you can find.
Shopping for the family is one way to burn through a lot of household expenses, especially when you don’t have it under control, but there are some strategies you can use. Always shop in the supermarket with a list, and think about shopping online if you can – it’s easier to track things. Additionally, you can source budget supermarkets in your local area to keep the costs down.