How to slash common household bills

How to slash common household bills

Save Money on Household Expenses

If you’re looking for some easy ways to cut back on your monthly household expenses —whether you want to save more money, start an emergency fund, or use the savings to pay off outstanding credit card debt—we’ve got some super simple ideas for you.

1. Refinance Your Mortgage

Interest rates are still really low, so this option could potentially help you save quite a bit of money — if you refinance your mortgage correctly, that is.

2. Consider Cutting the Cord

High prices are one reason cable TV, along with others in the pay TV industry, are starting to see a small but steady stream of defectors — people are opting to stream their TV shows over the Internet rather than pay a monthly fee to a cable or satellite provider. You’d have to research plans in your area and crunch the numbers to see if you would come out ahead, but streaming your viewing options is something to consider as you look to save on that average $99-per-month cable bill.

3. DIY

Does someone mow your lawn for you? Clean your home? Deliver your groceries? These are all things you can opt to do yourself and pocket the savings. Another area where you can save by doing it yourself is using free credit monitoring tools instead of paying to do so. Credit.com has a handy guide on how to use free credit monitoring tools.

4. Wash Laundry in Cold Water

A recent estimate from Consumer Reports suggests that using a cold-water detergent and washing on the cold setting can save at least $60 annually in utilities.

5. Use a Programmable Thermostat

You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting, according to Energy.gov. And once you get home, you can potentially add to the savings if you adjust your clothes and not the thermostat if you’re uncomfortable.

6. Unplug Small Appliances and Devices

Your “sleeping devices” could account for as much as 10% of household energy use, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. You can stop the energy suck by unplugging the television when you’re not watching it, disconnecting the computer when it’s off and doing the same with your toaster, coffee maker, other small appliances and even lamps.

7. Use Energy-Saving Lightbulbs

Speaking of lamps and the lighting in your house in general, if you aren’t using energy efficient lightbulbs, you could be missing out on some serious savings, even with their higher purchase price. You can see just how much you can save using an online lightbulb energy savings calculator.

8. Check Your Home’s Insulation

When’s the last time you checked your home’s insulation? You could potentially improve the energy efficiency of your home by adding insulation and end up saving less on heating and cooling costs as a result. Energy.gov has a helpful insulation guide.

9. Compare Your Cellular Service

There are numerous ways to save money on your monthly cell phone bill. You can reduce your available minutes and data if you aren’t using them, go with a carrier who doesn’t require a contract, reduce your data usage, etc. You also may be able to get a lower price on your plan by negotiating with your current carrier — or switching to a new one.

10. Watch the Water

You probably already have reduced-flow shower heads in your home, and you might even have low-flow toilets, but there are dozens of ways to save even more on your water consumption: Don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth; wash vegetables and other items in a dishpan or other large container filled with water then use that water on your plants; don’t flush items down the toilet unless you’re also flushing waste; check all faucets for drips or leaks and repair.

11. Pay Your Bills On Time

Late payment fees can really add up over time, and some late payments can impact your credit scores (payment history makes up roughly 35% of your total credit score), which can end up costing you more in interest rates on everything from credit cards to mortgage loans. It’s a good idea to set up automatic payments on monthly bills, especially if you’re forgetful. You can also use calendar reminders if you don’t have the cashflow to comfortably automate your payments.
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