Simple Ways to Save
We all want to save money, whether it be on our day to day spending or our monthly bills, but it’s never an easy thing to do. In our world of real estate, with interest rates slowly creeping higher in 2018, buyers are faced with the challenge of having an affordable monthly mortgage payment while getting what they want in their next home. Some focus on saving for a down payment, even though many loans require little to no money down. Saving and budgeting each month is critical when thinking about how to effectively manage your finances with a potential home purchase. Here are a few ways to make sure every dollar you spend each month is money well (and efficiently) spent!
Reduce Other Monthly Expenses:
Cut down or eliminate the cable bill. A lot of people stream their shows nowadays and cable can be seen as an unnecessary expense. With online streaming capabilities, your favorite content and programs could be available to you for a fraction of the price of your cable bundle.
Cancel any memberships or recurring monthly dues that you do not find yourself often using. These could be gym memberships, meal services, magazine subscriptions, country club fees, etc.
Look for inexpensive forms of entertainment, such as going to the park, a free music festival, evening art openings, or the local farmers market.
Revisit your current communication bills (phone, internet, etc.). Often if you shop around and negotiate with your current provider, there could be a way to save with a new plan or bill structure.
Take the time to shop around on your insurance bills – auto, homeowners, life, etc. It seems like these bills gradually increase, year over year, just enough for us to ignore and keep paying an increased rate. If you take the time to shop around, you’ll surely save yourself money and keep your rates competitive.
Reduce Food Expenses:
Cooking meals at home saves a lot of money. Even inexpensive restaurant bills and fast food outings can add up over the course of a month–especially for a larger family. Eating at home and meal planning allow you to have more control over your monthly food budget.
Buying in bulk can save a lot of money, especially on items such as toilet paper, paper towels, and laundry detergent. Check ahead to see if anything on your shopping list is on sale, and find coupons!
Fresh vegetables and fruit can sometimes become expensive, so if you have the drive for it, a home grown garden might be a great way to cut down a large amount on monthly grocery bills and ensure that the fruit and vegetables are fresh.
Cutting Down on Energy Bills:
Consider LED or CFL bulbs which are up to four times more energy efficient than a standard incandescent bulb.
Unplugging unused electrical devices will keep an electrical current from being drawn, therefore slightly reducing the monthly electric bill
Sealing the cracks and crevices in your home will keep unwanted cold air from seeping in during the winter and cool air from seeping out during the summer.
Keep an eye on your thermostat! Many new thermostats will know when you’re not home and help curb energy usage while you’re not around. The savings can be substantial.