How to cut household costs in a recession
There are many ways to cut your household costs in a recession. You need to understand where you are spending too much and take steps to cut those expenses. Places where household expenses can be cut are energy, heating, food and utilities. You need to make a budget and understand how much your are spending on each of these items and where you can make cuts.
The cuts you make will help you to survive the recession and come out of it in a strong financial position.
Create a budget
Before you can cut your expenses you have to know your expenses. The best way to have a real handle on exactly what is coming into and going out of your home is to create a real budget. Write down all your income from all sources and then all your expenses. Take a good look at each expense and what it entails.
Take a walk around your home. Do your own energy audit. Look for appliances that use electricity even when they are off, unplug these. Change over your light bulbs to florescent. (CFL) Don’t leave your chargers plugged in. When you are considering doing a load of laundry or dishes, wait until you have a full load. If you are able, dry your clothes on a line outside, at least some of the time. Check the prices of all the electric providers in your area, you may be paying too much.
For most people having a home phone is an unnecessary expense. If you have one, get rid of it. You can still have a DSL line without having the phone. If you must keep a home phone talk to your provider and only have the services you really need. Check with on-line providers, you may be able to get a better rate.
Heating and cooling costs
If you don’t have good storm windows and you can see or feel drafts, you need to seal your windows. There are inexpensive kits you can buy that place a plastic seal over your windows. Lower your thermostat by five degrees. Every degree will mean extra savings, The same goes for your air conditioning, raise the thermostat five degrees. Lower the temperature by five or ten degrees.
Entertainment is what makes life worth living however there are ways that you can use to cut these expenses and not feel like you are missing anything. Want to read the latest best seller? Borrow the book from the local library instead of buying it. Want to see a movie, go at the least popular time and don’t get lured into buying any of their overpriced food.
Food is a big household expense. There are many ways that you can economize on food. You can start using the store brands which are usually about 1/3 less than the national brand. Use coupons, you can find loads of coupons online for almost anything. Buy in bulk only if you will use in bulk. It isn’t cheaper if it gets wasted.
For many people this is a very big expense. When you check your budget you will probably be shocked at how much you spend on coffee, lunches and dinners out. Try making your coffee at home, packing a lunch and eating out when restaurants are offering specials like the early bird or half price happy hour appetizers. If you love good food, have an appetizer instead of an entree and split a dessert. You won’t feel as if you are missing anything.
The recession has everyone looking at their household expenses. The less you spend, the more you can save and the more secure you will feel both today and in the future.
by: Dr. Jason L. Cabler
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