Compiling a household budget is rarely the most exciting of tasks. However, it’s one that few families can go without. Budgeting is the key to truly having a grip on your finances, but it can also cause the occasional spike of misery. If you find you’re budgeting every penny and there’s very little leftover just to have fun, then you need to make a few reductions.
At this point, you have two options:
- Completely cull an area of your budget, for example your “entertainment” or “clothing” budgets, until finances are back on an even keel.
- Make small, almost unnoticeable reductions in multiple areas, which add up to a large total.
If you like the sound of option two — and frankly, who wouldn’t? — then you’ll want to read on. Let’s reveal the small tweaks you can make to each budget area which, when put together, could add up to a very big saving.
It’s worth doing a few comparisons to see if you could get a better rate on your mortgage. This might sound like a lot of hassle, but it’s relatively simple to switch to a different provider, and potentially save yourself a fortune in the process.
Implement a policy of at least two meat-free days per week, even if you’re not vegetarian. Meat is one of the most expensive grocery items, so even a change this small can make a substantial difference, and there’s plenty of delicious meat-free recipes for you to try.
Consider bringing together your TV, broadband, and phone line into a single package with combined services from Optimum.com and other suppliers. You’ll be surprised how much you can save compared to paying for each area individually.
If someone in your house is desperate for something new to wear, then you don’t have to go to a store and indulge in the latest fashions. Learn to customize clothing for a unique look that can bring an existing outfit bang up-to-date.
- Insurance Costs
Spend an afternoon reading through the fine print of all your insurance policies. There is a chance that you’re over-insured, especially if you tend to take out “extended warranties” on white goods and electrical items. Make sure you’re only paying for coverage that is actually beneficial, nixing anything with a deductible higher than the cost of just replacing an item when it breaks.
One of the best ways to save money on fuel is to learn to drive more economically. Put simply, teach yourself to think of the brake as a direct siphon on your bank account– every time you use it, you kill the kinetic energy that you built up by using the gas. Whenever it’s safe to do so, learn to take your foot off the gas and let the car naturally slow itself rather than using the brake.
By making small reductions in a number of different areas, you can trim your budget without your quality of life taking too big of a hit. Are there any other areas of your budget that you think you could effectively trim?