Household expenses can be a bit of a nightmare can’t they?
You don’t want to be too much of a Nazi about what you’re spending, but you don’t want to spend unnecessarily when you don’t need to.
And it can be even more difficult if you’re already on a budget living payday-to-payday, trying to save more money or paying off your student load or credit card.
Whatever the reason you’re here today, you’ll find that there are some ways you can reduce household expenses just by making a few simple tweaks to things, here’s how.
This post contains affiliate links.
1. CONSUME LESS POWER
We live in a big house with 5 people, so power usage can get pretty high sometimes. But if you stay aware and use a little common sense, you can drastically cut down your power bill.
Exhibit A: Our power bill for last month came in at a whopping $350 dollars. For the same month a year ago it was $279!!!! WTF?!!! How did we consume $71 dollars more power than last year?? Sure rates might have risen but not by that much, so it had to be our consumption.
I realized we had been using the dryer a lot more, the dishwasher was getting used daily and some people were putting through hot machine washes rather than cold. So we had to go on damage control.
Here’s some ways we consumed less power:
- Using one fridge instead of two
- Taking shorter showers
- Washing dishes in the sink or using the dishwasher every 2-3 days
- Turning off appliances when not being used or on standby i.e TV, computer, dishwasher, oven
- Eliminating hot machine washes – they’re totally unnecessary
- Drying clothes outside on the line or wire racks inside when it’s raining
- Turning off lights that don’t need to be on
- Using more blankets instead of heaters or an electric blanket
2. share your living space
As I said before, we live in a big house with 5 people, three of which are renting. Which is why if you have a spare room it could be a great idea to get roomates! We chose to have roommates in our house because:
- Auckland is ridiculously expensive to live in.
- Having roomates cuts down the expenses drastically.
- It’s nice living with your friends!
Because it’s such a big place, we all hardly ever see each other and our schedules are all so different that it makes living together a total breeze.
Another thing you could do – if you’re not too keen on the roomates idea – is pop your spare room up on Airbnb and rent it out. You could make thousands of extra dollars a month and save a boatload on expenses!!!
The benefits of this is that you have total control over the experience, you get to choose the dates the room is available and if you don’t want anyone to stay during a certain period, you can blackout those dates. You could make your spare room the next go-to spot for tourists passing through!
If this could be something you’re interested in, head over to Airbnb and register your room!
3. spend less on food without starving
We need food to survive. Duh. But did you know that the average person wastes around 40% of the food they buy, not household, person. That’s insaneballs.
If you know you’re a culprit for wasting food like this, here are some things you can do:
- Create meal plans so that when you next go grocery shopping you’re only buying what you need. Check out $5 meal plan, it has awesomely affordable & fresh ideas on what to cook for you or your family every month.
- Buy your food online. Look for local businesses that deliver fresh foods like veggies or meat to your door, completely cutting out the middleman and therefore the price.
- Use any coupons you might have Too many people buy things on sale or use coupons for items that they will never use. You aren’t saving money if you never use it!
- Cook big meals and then freeze the leftovers or eat them for lunch the next day.
- Buy things in bulk, especially when they’re on sale.
- Have a night where you prep or cook all your meals for the week beforehand. This way when it’s time to eat, you can just whip a prepped meal out of the fridge or freezer, heat it up and eat it.
4. change your MOBILE plan
For the past three years I’ve been on the same monthly plan for my mobile phone. When I joined, I had to commit to a 24-month term of paying $40 a month which seemed really doable to me.
But in the last couple of months I kept thinking about my current plan and whether I needed to continue with it. After much deliberating, I decided I was going to switch back to prepay. So I called up Vodafone to get it done (because apparently that’s the only way you can switch from a plan to prepay – weird right?) and I spoke to a woman who then tried to sell me a plan that was $10 cheaper.
It was a good idea but I knew I wasn’t going to use the minutes and data. So then she offered me another deal than was $20 cheaper than my current plan and my ears perked up. Basically I was getting more data and a few less minutes and paying HALF THE PRICE I was paying initially.
I decided to choose that offer and stay on a plan saving myself $240 dollars per year. Woohoo!
So that’s a way you could do it, give your cell phone plan provider a call and negotiate a better deal for yourself. You’ll feel like a badass if you do!
5. QUIT USING CABLE
We decided to quit using Sky (the NZ equivalent of cable) when we realized we weren’t even using it. Most of the channels we were recording were free channels and once I realized this I didn’t want to continue paying for something we weren’t really using. Plus the channels that were offered with out basic cable plan were crappy.
Obviously I love watching TV and talk about them all the time to my House of Brazen family. But I don’t like wasting money, so I decided when we quit cable (saving us $768 dollars a year) we could get Netflix instead. Oooooooh man that was a good idea!
Other ways you could save more money or earn a little to cover expenses are:
- Start your own blog & make money through affiliate marketing or selling digital products
- Try to have free or cheap fun like instead of going to the movie, watch a movie at home on Netflix
- Join Ebates and earn cash back just for shopping online – sign up through my link & get a $10 cash bonus
- Dine out less, cook up a delicious meal from your $5 meal plan and save yourself a chunk of money
- Answer surveys on Swagbucks or InboxDollars and make money
- Use coupon codes wherever you can when shopping either in-store or online
What are your tips for cutting back on household expenses? share them below!