Five Painless Ways to Trim Your Budget
>When adopting a change in your life, it is easiest to implement it if it fits in seamlessly. The same can be said when it comes to setting and sticking to a household budget. If you can sneak frugality into your daily life, it is less about cutting back, but is more about accumulating small savings for a big impact on your bottom line. Here are five fairly painless ways to trim your household budget:
Bring Your To-Go from Home
How much do you spend a month on things like a morning coffee or snacks throughout the day? We all know that brown-bagging it at lunch time is a far less costly way to eat, but snack expenses are notoriously crafty and succeed in hacking away at your bottom line. Brew your coffee at home and bring a mug with you. Set yourself up at work with a coffee press or a kettle, to make a midday coffee or tea. Pack snacks and keep them handy, so to avoid spending unnecessarily when hunger hits.
Bundle Services and Save a Bundle
As a rule of thumb, consolidated costs of any kind are more favourable to better budgeting, simply because you are directing finances to one point, without diversions and extra costs along the way. One way to trim costs is to look at some of your items, like cable and internet access for instance. A number of service providers offer deep discounts to customers who are willing to one-stop-shop with them and have all their internet, mobile, phone and cable services with one provider. It is worth doing some comparison shopping, and letting your provider know that you are shopping around. Many are authorized to meet or beat packages to entice you to stay.
Conserve Energy to Get More Green
Saving energy helps you do your part to “greenify” the earth, but also goes a long way to loading your wallet up with a different kind of green. Small, easy steps add up to big savings. Use a programmable thermostat to set the temperature back during hours that you are not home. Always turn lights off in rooms that you are not using. Depending on where you live, premiums are charged on energy depending on time of day. Make sure you are doing major energy-taking tasks like laundry or running the dishwasher during off-peak hours (usually in the early morning, evening and overnight).
What’s in a Name?
Switching from name brand products to no name products is a sure-fire way to reduce your bill at the checkout counter. For the most part, the difference in quality between products is negligible, but the savings can be substantial.
For produce, buy what’s in season, and shop locally if you can. Not only is the quality of the food likely better and you are supporting your local merchants, the prices are generally significantly less. Local growers don’t have the same transportation and storage costs that major suppliers do, and they usually pass the savings on to the consumer.
Share your budget cutting tricks in the comments section below.