Staying on top of your household expenses can be difficult. Even if you have a household budget, you may get busy and lose track of your spending. If you invest some time to analyze your household spending, you can find many ways to save money. Families can use the money they save to set up an emergency fund. Consider these tips for saving money around the house:
Setting up a budget
It’s critical that you plan a detailed household budget each month. In order to find areas to save money, you need to know each area of your spending. This doesn’t have to be complicated. You can write down each area of your spending in a notebook. List each spending category of the left, and your planned spending on the right.
Use your bank and credit card statements for the past few months to put together your budget. Some of your expenses are fixed, such as home mortgage and car payments. If you want to cut your household expenses, focus on those expenses you can change.
Entertainment on a budget
One area where you can cut your spending is your family’s entertainment budget. Many families use the features of cable TV but you may find that satellite TV offers you more choices for TV programming at a lower total price.
The NFL remains one of the most popular sports entertainment packages for families, especially dad. The site http://satellitetv-deals.com/nfl-sunday-ticket.html explains that NFL Sunday Ticket offers your family access to every NFL game. You can also watch the NFL Red Zone channel, which shows every play inside the 20-yard line. Access to NFL games can be a great source of family entertainment.
Here are some other entertainment options for a family on a budget:
- Many movie theaters offer discounts during weekdays to pull in customers. This is particularly true on summer weekdays. Watch for discounts and take the family to a movie.
- You can participate in free summer reading programs and listen to speakers at your library year-round.
- Many cities have festivals on weekends throughout the year. These events are also free to the public. Check your local newspaper for upcoming festivals.
- Your local parks and museums can offer fun entertainment at no cost. Since part of the mission of these organizations is to serve the public, parks and museums offer free access at various times each week.
- Local college and universities offer inexpensive sporting events, plays and movies throughout the year.
Keep an eye out for all of these forms of entertainment. Your family can enjoy all of these events on a budget.
Home maintenance to keep costs down
Your family’s biggest asset is your home. A major home repair can disrupt your budget and force you to borrow money for a repair. To help reduce the need for repairs, take these steps to maintain your home:
- Clean your furnace and air conditioning filters. If the filters are dirty, your heating or cooling system will have to work harder. The longer your system has to run to heat or cool, the higher the chances of a breakdown. Clean your filters to reduce the risk of a repair.
- Clean your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause leaks into the walls of your home. If the water in the gutters freezes, you may damage the gutters as well. Keep your gutters clear of leaves and debris.
- Reduce your use of hot water. The more hot water you use, the more energy you use. If you can reduce the need to heat water constantly, you’ll save money and put less of a strain on your water heater.
Use all of these tips to cut your household expenses. You can free up some of your monthly income to build a savings account for an emergency. Building your savings will give you peace of mind.