Lowering Your Monthly Bills

Making monthly bills more affordable does not necessarily have to mean making strenuous sacrifices around your home. There are plenty of ways to make your home more efficient that will not be difficult to implement or keep up as time goes on. It is simply a matter of evaluating your priorities, such as credit card bills or a monthly mortgage, and deciding what is appropriate to spend each month to keep up your home.

Saving On Necessities

Turning off lights, dialing down the heat and using appliances less frequently are all great ways to save on monthly energy bills, but not if you are inhibiting your ability to function normally in your own home. Instead, look into replacing standard light bulbs and appliances with energy efficient options and repairing leaky roofs and windows that are cutting down on your ability to keep your home comfortable. These changes may mean extra money up front, but you will quickly see an improvement in the monthly bills. Taking the time to keep your home up and make repairs yourself can also save a great deal since you will not need to pay labor costs for a professional to care for your home.

Most families eat out at least a few times each week. Eliminating just one outing a week and replacing it with a home-cooked meal can add up very quickly. There are plenty of cookbooks and recipe guides that offer suggestions for meals that are easy to prepare with inexpensive ingredients. Skipping packaged entrees in favor of a version made from scratch can also put a serious dent in your grocery bill. Try shopping at farmers markets or locally owned stores to add even greater saving to your monthly budget.

Many communities offer the option to organize carpools with those traveling to similar areas for work. If you have a lengthy commute, joining or organizing a carpool will cut down on the amount of time you have to spend behind the wheel cutting down on the amount you need to spend on gas and the amount of time you have to deal with hectic morning traffic each week. Some communities or employers even offer the option to rent a van or other method of transportation if you get enough people involved in your carpooling effort. See what options are available in your community or if your job has a ride board to help get you started.

No Impulse Shopping

For many, shopping is a means of entertainment as well as a way to stock up on necessities for your home. There are ways to do both without blowing extra money each month. Whether you are heading to the store out of necessity or pleasure, have an idea of what you intend to buy and how much you intend to spend before you get there. This will help cut down on the impulse to buy things you do not need or cannot afford. Make a shopping list and promise to stick to it so you are not stuck making extra trips for items that are forgotten.

It is easy to shop impulsively if you all you need to do is swipe a card to make your purchase. If you have trouble with impulse spending or are working with a strict budget, head to the ATM before you hit the store. Shopping with cash gives you a tangible way to see how much you are spending which can help keep you on track to lower monthly bills. Leave your credit cards at home so you are unable to spend more than you had planned if you want to set strict limits on your spending.

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