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Simple Ways to Cut Down on Casual Household Expenses

 

Photo: Daniel Horacio Agostini

There are plenty of great ways to mark down your budget.  In fact, you may be wasting money on unnecessary items, which can easily up your expenses.  Here are some common areas that can alleviate your finances a bit.

Television

Don’t worry – cutting down on television isn’t exactly the point here, though that would be good for your health as well as your free time.

What you pay each month can be difficult to think about.  Some consumers will pay over $100 a month for a cable/satellite service, and even more when you consider sports packages, movie rentals/purchases, and other content.  If your budget is a little too close for comfort, why not ditch the big monthly bill.

Today there are plenty of alternatives.  Streaming services that offer your favourite television shows and rentals for a low price, along with a handful of free networks, are available from zero to little charge.  With a couple of cool gadgets and a fragment of a monthly bill, you can save some money and not be too uncomfortable with your entertainment setup.

Food

You’ve probably already heard plenty of advice surrounding eating out, but this is one of the areas where the most damage could be done.  In fact, look at your online statements to see how much money you’re spending on food each month.  There are many ways that you can lower costs:

  • Bring your lunch to work a few days a week or more
  • Learn how to cook the food you love (well, if possible)
  • When you go grocery shopping, buy only what is on the list (and don’t go when you’re hungry!)
  • Keep an eye out for coupons
  • When you eat out, consider “efficient” food (i.e. pizza: leftovers and good for sharing)
  • Hunt for good deals, including coupons, off-hours savings, and more

The crusade to save money doesn’t end with eating out.  Some staggering numbers have been suggested for those that purchase coffee on a daily basis.  Consider brewing your own coffee, or similarly limiting alcohol at a club, can do a lot for your budget.

Other Unnecessary Expenses

There are plenty of other unnecessary expenses that you can reveal.  One of the best ways to do this, is to once again look at what you are spending.

Look in particular at monthly expenses, which can be particularly detrimental.  Do you use that monthly gym membership (there are more cost-efficient ways to exercise)?  Perhaps there are alternatives to costly lessons of all kinds.  In other areas, perhaps a monthly expense is a wise idea, such as an online movie rental service instead of cable/purchasing movies.

You may already have the key to saving money, in some cases.  For instance, if you have a cell phone and still pay for a landline, you could likely remove the latter.

From these areas and many more – such as utilities (water and electricity) and entertainment purchases (library vs. purchasing books) – you might just uncover many more gems to save money around the house.

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