Nowadays, everyone is looking for ways to cut costs where they can and stretch their income as far as possible. Fortunately, there are some straightforward steps homeowners can take to reduce their expenses without making drastic changes to their day-to-day lives. These small changes can come together for significant savings each month. If you are looking for ways to secure better deals, lower your bills, and work toward your financial goals, keep reading for 15 ideas on how you can start doing this today.
Refinance Your Mortgage
For homeowners with ideal credit scores, mortgage rates are currently at or near historic lows. Depending on the terms you choose and your current mortgage rate, you could save a sizable amount on your monthly payments by refinancing. Before deciding if refinancing is the correct choice for you, it is recommended that you speak to your lender about all of the details, including the fees and closing costs involved.
Bundle Your Cable, Phone, and Internet
Another great way to save money is by bundling your cable, internet, and phone services together. It is always a good idea to shop around and see which provider offers the best deal. If you would prefer to avoid switching from your current service provider, you may want to ask them if they can beat or simply match the price you were offered by their competitor.
Revisit Your Cell Phone Plan
Oftentimes, you can save a good bit just by switching your cell service provider itself. Changing from a big name brand to an independent carrier is often the most low-cost option. If switching is not possible due to service area issues, it may be wise to speak to your provider about any deals that may be available to you or consider downgrading your plan where possible.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Small adjustments to your home’s AC, such as turning it up or down just a few degrees, can have a sizable impact on your monthly bill. It is also important to maximize efficiency by keeping your filters changed as recommended and ensure that your doors and windows are insulated well.
Use Less Hot Water
Did you know that your hot water is the second-largest energy expense in your home following your AC system? It is recommended that you check for and repair any leaks or dripping faucets, only run your dishwasher when it’s full, and use cold water to wash your laundry where possible. These small changes can help cut back on unnecessary water and power usage in a major way.
You can save a considerable amount on your power bill by completely turning off or unplugging any wired electronics while they are not being used, such as your computer or gaming console. Installing energy-efficient LED light bulbs and minimizing the use of “standby” modes on your electronics may also be some simple solutions.
Purchase a Home Warranty
While the initial cost upfront may seem counterintuitive, a home warranty can provide homeowners with protection and peace of mind when it comes to those inevitable and unexpected home repair costs. Almost all plans provide a level of coverage for all of your major systems, such as your plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems, as well as your appliances.
From grocery shopping and minor home repairs to weekly lawn care, many of us have begun to pay individuals to do things that we no longer have the time or ability to do ourselves. To help you save money, you may want to try to cut back on the frequency of which you utilize these services or work on ways to begin taking on those tasks yourself.
Prepare Your Own Meals
It will come as no surprise that it costs an average of around 5 times more to have your meal delivered through a delivery app than it does to purchase and cook your food at home. Not only is home cooking cheaper in the long run, it is also healthier, and can be a fun activity for families to do together.
You may have heard the term “meal prep” in your day-to-day life at an increasing pace over the last few years. By purchasing the ingredients for your meals in bulk and portioning out the meals themselves for the week, you can cut down on your spending, minimize waste, and help to prevent impulse food purchases. Meal prep can also help you save time when it comes to deciding on what you will eat and preparing it.
Plant a Garden
The potential meal savings can continue one step further by creating a garden patch and growing certain produce yourself. Start-up costs are typically minimal, and it can be a rewarding and delicious hobby for anyone. If you don’t currently have space for a substantial outdoor garden, there are many small herb gardens and small vegetable kits readily available for you to purchase and place on your windowsill or kitchen counter.
Minimize Your Debt Payments
The best way to reduce your debt payments is an obvious one: pay down the balance on time and by paying more than the minimum amount to reduce the interest rate and late fees. However, for many, that is not an option at the moment. If this sounds familiar, you may want to try to negotiate a better interest rate. Individuals that have a good credit score may qualify for a balance transfer to a low-interest—or even 0% interest—credit card. As always be sure to read the fine print attached to any new card or account, as that rate may expire after a period.
Get a Cash-back Credit Card
If you are someone who is able to pay off your credit card balance in full every month, you may want to look into getting a cash-back credit card. These cards can carry excellent monetary benefits to those who regularly use their card for purchases within the designated spending categories. However, with most of these cards, there are hefty interest rates that will leave you with shocking fees if you carry a balance.
Ask for Deals and Discounts
Though it may make you uncomfortable at first, becoming a master at haggling can save you a lot of money. When presented with the right circumstances, many companies, big and small, are willing to negotiate. There is no shame in asking about special promotions and incentive programs. Damaged and slightly defective items will often be sold at a discount if the customer asks. Retailers may also be willing to price match their competitors in the interest of making the sale.
Track Your Household Budget
Finally, one of the most effective solutions to overspending and keeping an eye on your money is to create a realistic budget that you can—and will—stick to. With a budget, you can see where your money is going and when, as well as find areas where you can potentially cut back. It is important to set limitations that are reasonable so that you can reach your goals faster.
Get Advice on Buying and Selling Property with Anita Wheeler & Co.
At Anita Wheeler & Co., we would love to help you meet your financial goals. Whether you want to refinance your mortgage, save up for a down payment, or find lower-cost alternatives for home repairs or utilities, we can provide valuable insights and referrals.
Planning to buy or sell a home this year? We can discuss the steps you should be taking to financially prepare, and we are always here to help with any luxury real estate questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by phone at 404.219.1938 or by email at AtlantaTopRealtor@gmail.com.