8 tips to make your household budget go further
With interest rates on the rise, the inflation of food, petrol and services also trending upwards, and the average paycheck finding it hard to keep up with these rising costs, most of us are sharply focused on how we spend our money.
While it's hard to quickly increase your income, reducing your outgoings can be easier than you think by making smarter choices that could stretch your budget out further. Even small savings can quickly add up and make a big difference to your family’s budget.
So if you’ve got money on your mind and are looking for some easy ways to spend less on your household expenses without making any radical changes, read through our 8 tips to help your budget go the extra mile.
- Compare your options
With interest rates climbing, it makes more sense than ever to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your mortgage, personal loans and even your savings accounts. You could start by calling your lender directly and asking if there is a more competitive deal on offer, or better yet, compare the options out there and search for a provider that offers a better value interest rate or return on your money (remembering to factor in fees).
- Bundle your services
Being loyal to your provider can sometimes come with bonuses. Often internet or cable providers do bundled packages with mobile and landlines that could be cheaper than using different providers for each service. Shop around to see what's out there, you never know who might have a more competitive deal.
- Plan your meals
Whether it's meal prep for work or what’s on the menu for dinner of an evening; having a firm plan will help you budget grocery costs and make life a hell of a lot easier for you. By planning ahead, you can eliminate waste by using what you already have on hand and minimise impulse buys when shopping.
- Reevaluate your subscriptions
Whether it’s streaming services or smartphone apps, we are all subscribed to one thing or another. Many of us sign up for free trials and forget to cancel, or keep paying subscriptions we simply don’t use. Regularly review your bank statements for deductions and check your subscription settings on your phone and get rid of the ones you don’t need or use.
- Be more energy efficient
With energy prices on the rise, it pays to be more cautious with your consumption around the home. You might be surprised to find how much appliances on standby could be costing you, or how much extra you might be paying for having your heating on an extra degree or two. Try turning down your thermostat, air drying your clothes instead of using a dryer, switching off unnecessary lights and keeping unused appliances off at the powerpoint to see if you can cut down on your next power bill.
- Consolidate your debt
If you’ve got some debt under your belt and are paying through the roof on interest, it might be wise to consider a debt consolidation loan. Debt consolidation loans are useful for people who have multiple lines of credit and want to make one simple repayment. With less bills to pay, managing your cash flow and outgoings should make household budgeting simpler.
- Be petrol proactive
Much like everything else we buy on a regular basis, petrol prices have reached an all time high too. While it seems like you have little control over petrol prices, there are a few things you can do to purchase more affordable petrol. Fuel tends to be higher just before a weekend or public holiday, so filling up earlier in the week could mean more money in your pocket. Shopping around also helps. Compare your prices between service stations as there can be vast differences between them. And if all else fails, consider options like carpooling, public transport or walking to save more at the bowser.
- Recycle and reuse
It’s not just about being more conscious about the environment (but, yes it does help); recycling and reusing everyday items can save you a small fortune on your household budget. Make the switch to reusable containers for lunches, get rid of paper towels and wipes, bring your own shopping bags, use old rags to clean your home and be more aware of using what you need or even cutting back on things like beauty products or cleaning products. By using ¾ or even ½ the amount of product, you’ll likely get the same result, but it will cost you a lot less in the long run.
Give a few of these tips a try, and see if it helps you get more control over your household budget. At the very least it will help you spend more mindfully in times when the price of everything seems to be on the rise.