Australian households vary in their monthly expenses but one thing’s for sure. There are instances when expenses are increasing month after month that it becomes hard to manage. This is especially true if the income of the family stays the same. How can you cut down your monthly expenses? Here are 13 simple ways that you may want to consider:
Don't be afraid to negotiate
Whether it’s for interest rates or loan payments, it doesn’t hurt to ask if there’s a better plan for you.
Create a household budget
Know your income and total expenses for the month and create a household budget. This will greatly help you in managing your money and making sure that everything will be accounted for. You can use a household budget planner and household budget calculator for easier planning.
Buy things that are on sale
Save money by buying things during the sale season instead of paying for the full price. Watch out for annual sale or Boxing Day Sale. You can also visit an outlet mall for purchases at discounted prices.
Save on electricity
Unplug appliances when not in use. Replace incandescent bulbs with LED ones. Use a programmable thermostat so you can manage the heating and cooling settings when you’re asleep or away from home.
Lower your water consumption
Take shorter showers. Regularly check taps for leaks. Use rainwater for watering the plants. Use the dishwasher and washing machine only when they’re full.
Check your bills regularly
You can actually cut down monthly expenses by checking your bills for mistakes. There are cases of errors on receipts, bills, and monthly statements.
Master meal planning
Food accounts for a large part of the monthly expenses. To save money, plan your meals for the entire week and create a list of everything you need for that period. This will help save you a lot of time and money while grocery shopping.
Take a walk or ride your bike
If the office, school or supermarket is within walking or cycling distance, take a walk or ride your bike instead of driving your car or taking the public transport. This will cut down your transportation costs for the month.
Bring your own coffee and lunch for work
The cost of coffee may be little, but if you add everything up, you might be surprised at how much you’re paying for your daily coffee. The same holds true for your lunch. Instead of eating out or buying fancy coffee, make your own food and drink at home and bring them to work.
Buy generic brands
Health bills can be reduced by buying generic medicine instead of the branded ones.
Pay bills one time and avoid penalties by setting up automatic payments.
Leave the credit card at home
Sometimes, marketing tactics are too strong for our willpower. Avoid impulse buying by leaving your card at home.
Refinance your mortgage or car loan
There may be cases wherein refinancing will help reduce your monthly repayments without dramatically increasing the total cost of your loan. Do some research and see if refinancing will help cut down your expenses.
Negotiate for lower rates
Whether it’s for interest rates or loan payments, it doesn’t hurt to ask if there’s a better plan for you. As they always say, “if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.”
Do you have other household tips? Share your household budget planner ideas in the comments section.