Housing costs are often the most expensive cost for families in the U.S. When housing expenses account for most of families’ income each month, it becomes a problem for them to afford other necessities.
Therefore, reducing and eliminating some household costs can be an effective way to increase a family’s funds.
Because most households have multiple sources of income and expenses, it can be difficult to determine how to maximize their income. However, the money-saving ideas explained in the following sections will likely save you and your family some money that you would normally spend on certain products or services. Regardless of your housing situation or place of residence, these nine strategies are proven to best save families money on various household costs.
Tip 1: Get Rid of Cable
Most families do not need cable television in order to perform their daily household duties, so eliminating the monthly cable service charge for all the channels you may not even watch may be beneficial. Today, families can choose a few channels that they watch regularly and subscribe to them individually, if they want to do so. Also, smaller cable packages may be better for families that rely on online streaming services rather than basic TV. Some TV channels even have free online streaming options that families can use. Depending on how much families pay for cable each month, they may save hundreds of dollars every month by canceling their cable service.
Tip 2: Buy Surge Protectors
While surge protectors are primarily known to protect users, electronics and appliances from electrical surges, they can also be useful tools to save you money on electricity. Surge protectors can save energy by regulating the amount of energy used by an electronic device, turning off its power automatically after a period of disuse and disconnecting all plugged-in devices. Even if surge protectors cannot automatically shut down, they can enable users to better monitor their energy consumption.
Tip 3: Lower Your Thermostat
According to various studies, lowering your thermostat by just one degree can save households up to $150 per year. Households can save even more money on heating costs by using heaters or central heating in their homes only when (and where) the space is occupied. Electronic thermostat regulators allow individuals and families to set the heating to turn on or off automatically at a certain time of the day. This can also be done to water heaters and other heating devices.
Tip 4: Seal Your Windows and Doors
Making a house airtight, or as airtight as possible, can be an easy way to reduce your energy consumption as well. To check how airtight your windows and doors are, light a match, candle or incense stick and watch the smoke. If the smoke seems to be pulled in a specific direction, then you have identified an area of your home that may not be very airtight.
Surprisingly, there are simple DIY methods for plugging the gaps in your doors and windows such as using silicon foam or caulk on the perimeter. Google searches can reveal instructions for completing various DIY methods. A well-insulated room will be warmer, safe from stray drafts of wind and cut your utility costs during the winter and summer.
Tip 5: Utilize Natural Sources of Shade
Trying to keep your home cool during the hot, summer months can be challenging and expensive, but, if you take advantage of natural shade, then your home may feel cooler without the use fans or air conditioning. Consider planting large trees to cover portions of your home or adding a veranda. Covering your windows with sun and UV protection film is a great way to reduce the heating effects of the sun as well. Some windows already have this film built in and are advertised as energy-efficient. Not only can you save money on the costs of cooling your home, but you may also save money on water-cooling costs and other utilities. If you are interested in performing some home improvement to reap long-term savings on your household costs, then you may want to consider taking out a personal loan or saving up money.
Tip 6: Save Water
Water is a large household expense for many households. Activities such as showering, washing dishes, doing laundry and watering plants require more water than you may realize. While water may not be the most expensive utilities bill you receive, it is still advisable to cut back on your water usage to save money and help the environment. Even a small reduction in your water usage will be noticeable over a long period, which serves as great motivation for changing your water consumption habits. To save water, try to stop the water from running while you are brushing your teeth, washing your hair, scrubbing the dishes, etc. You may also avoid flushing the toilet unless it is needed and test your faucets and pipes for leaks.
Tip 7: Buy Used Goods
Most household items can be safely bought used at discounted prices. Unlike underwear and bedsheets that should not be recycled, furniture and appliances may be purchased used on sale to save households money. Used markets and auctions can be great places to find used products. However, Amazon and Apple sell used or refurbished products online if no markets or auctions are available.
Tip 8: Sell Your Stuff
You can clean out your home and make some pocket money if you sell items that you have not used in a while. Downgrading your stuff may even prompt you to downgrade your home or your other purchase. For instance, a cheaper, limited gym pass might be preferable to a full-access pass.
Tip 9: Use Coupons
Coupons are great, and they do not require as much time or effort to use as they used to. Now, you can use coupon codes from your phone, find coupons in your email if you sign up for mailing lists and download coupon apps to locate the best coupons for the items you want to buy. If you are more traditional, you may still purchase discounted coupon books that your whole family can use, depending on the coupons’ terms and conditions.