It’s never a bad time to start planning for the future, become more conscious of your spending habits, and save more money each month. That extra money can make all the difference in paying off debts, saving for retirement, preparing for homeownership, or building vital emergency savings.
But knowing where to save isn’t always easy, even if you already use a budget. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of ten ways to save money at home to help you get started:
1. Become More Energy Efficient
Energy efficiency isn’t something many people think about, but it comprises a good chunk of your monthly household expenses. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average household spent $115 a month—or $1,380 annually—on electricity in 2019.
There are several steps you can take to reduce your energy consumption, including:
- Invest in efficient appliances and products: Energy-efficient products have come a long way, and smaller items like LED light bulbs, advanced power strips, and smart thermostats also make an impact. Look for ENERGY STAR labels for larger appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, and dryers.
- Become more energy conscientious: Whether or not you can invest in products and appliances, you can save more by becoming more energy conscientious. Switching off lights when leaving a room, utilizing natural light, taking shorter showers, unplugging unused electronics, and turning off the AC when not home are all ways to use—and pay for—less electricity.
- Weatherize your home: If your home lacks weatherization, you spend more on heating and air conditioning than you should. You can weatherize your home by using door sweeps at front and back doors, adding weatherstripping on windows and doors, sealing gaps and cracks around your windows, and insulating your attic door.
2. Look for Ways to Save on Food and Groceries
It’s no secret that a large chunk of your budget goes toward food. In 2020, the average U.S. household spent between $4,099 and $12,245 annually, depending on household income level. So, you can save a lot by reducing your grocery and food expenses.
Some of the easiest ways to save include:
- Never shop when you’re hungry: Have you ever gone to the grocery store hungry? Shopping hungry leads to impulse purchases, plain and simple. Chances are, you’ve spent more than you anticipated.
- Shop local deals: Most grocery stores offer weekly or biweekly ads that save more than you think. You can factor significant savings into your grocery list by checking these ads before you shop.
- Use coupons: Coupons can be used in addition to local deals and add up. You can find coupons in many ways, including mobile apps, newspapers, magazines, and online.
- Buy in bulk: Bulk purchases typically save you money, which is why stores like Sam’s Club and Costco are so popular. Compare unit prices to determine the best deal when looking for bulk items.
3. Remove or Downgrade Unnecessary Services
Are you paying for unused services or subscriptions? First, take an inventory of reoccurring services you pay for, such as gym memberships, streaming services, music platforms, and so on. Then, see if these services should go to the chopping block.
Additionally, review household expenses like cable, internet, and mobile phone services. See if there are any promotions or downgraded services you can utilize for extra savings.
4. Create a Budget
What would a list of the top ten ways to save money at home be without creating a budget?
Everyone should create a monthly budget, regardless of income or money management skills. A budget provides a clear look at your true spending habits. In addition, a budget helps you cut down the amount of times you eat out, find cheaper entertainment options, and root out excess spending.
Once you’ve built your budget and know where you want to start saving more money, stick to it. A budget doesn’t serve you if you don’t hold yourself accountable.
5. Use the 30-Day Rule on Large or Impulse Purchases
Do you need that new laptop, smartphone, or electronic device? Maybe, but make sure it’s not an impulse purchase. Impulse purchases lead to frivolous spending habits, especially when purchasing with a high-interest credit card. We recommend you hold off on big purchases if you can for 30 days to weed out impulse purchases.
If it’s not an impulse buy and you can wait, compare models and store prices to find the best deals. Or wait for a sale to cut down on the expense.
6. Do Small Repairs Yourself
Hiring contractors or repair services can be costly. While some things are better left to the professionals, there are many minor repairs you can handle yourself to save money. For example, depending on how handy you are, you could take on some household repairs and maintenance tasks like:
- Changing furnace filters
- Unclogging slow or stopped drains
- Annually flushing your water heater
- Emptying gutters
- Cleaning dryer vents
- Fixing leaky sinks
- Adding fresh coats of paint
- Power washing your home
7. Improve Your Debt Management
Carrying debt month-to-month will eat your budget, especially if you owe money to multiple creditors or have high-interest credit cards or loans. Therefore, we recommend you aggressively work towards paying off these loans, even if it makes things uncomfortable for a while.
When you can, pay more than your minimum payments to avoid interest charges, and try not to carry a balance on credit cards in the future. If you owe money to multiple creditors, consider debt consolidation options, like applying for a low-interest personal loan or a balance transfer credit card.
8. Brew Your Own Coffee
When it comes to the top ten ways to save money at home, here’s one many people don’t think of.
Brewing your morning coffee at home can save you a lot of money, especially if you frequently purchase coffee for $5 or more. Just think, if you’re buying coffee five days a week, you could be spending $100 a month (or $1,200 a year) or more on coffee.
If you don’t have time to brew a pot of coffee in the morning, consider investing in a faster option like a Keurig. While K-cups are generally more expensive than coffee grounds, they’re still far cheaper than buying a coffee at Dunkin’ or Starbucks.
9. Choose Cheaper Entertainment Options
If you’re spending a lot on entertainment each month, look for ways to cut back. For example, if you frequent the movie theatre, consider renting a movie at home and popping your own popcorn to save money. Or, look for free or low-cost family fun activities like a board game, crafty project, or card game.
10. Check if You Qualify for Assistance Programs to Reduce Monthly Expenses
The last item on our list of ten ways to save money at home certainly isn’t something to turn your nose up at. If you’re part of a low-income household or struggling to cover all your expenses, we recommend seeing if you qualify for state or federal assistance programs.
These programs are designed to help people save more on monthly expenses like food, rent, and medical insurance. If you haven’t done so already, check if you’re eligible for programs such as:
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP—more commonly known as food stamps—provides monthly assistance towards the cost of qualifying food items.
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): LIHEAP provides low-income households with one-time or emergency utility assistance for heating and/or cooling bills.
- Section 8 Housing: Section 8 helps low-income families, seniors, and disabled persons reduce rental expenses by paying a portion of a household’s rent directly to the landlord each month.
- Medicaid: Medicaid is a low-income health insurance program that provides participants with low to no-cost insurance. In Texas, you must meet income guidelines and be pregnant, responsible for a minor, blind, disabled, or a senior to qualify.
Power Finance Texas Can Help
These ten ways to save money at home go a long way, but financial emergencies or unexpected expenses still happen. Fortunately, Power Finance Texas has decades of experience helping consumers just like you get fast and easy to qualify for loans. Most applications are processed within minutes, and we provide simple financial solutions for every occasion.
Learn more about the types of loans we offer, and get started with a simple online application or by visiting one of our locations.