Having a home comes with a lot of advantages, especially for the modern family. You don’t have to deal with unhappy first floor tenants when your 3-year-old is running around upstairs, there’s no aggravating landlord popping up unannounced and your family has more than enough freedom to truly make it feel like home.
However, there’s also a lot of upkeep and all-around oversight that you have to take into account. From utility bills, monthly mortgage payments or even grocery costs, home expenses pile up quickly. If you’re looking for some easy ways to gain quick relief, test out some of these tricks to get your family’s finances in the green.
1. Consolidate Other Debt
Oftentimes, debt can cripple our abilities to budget effectively. Other debt may be taking away from extra money to put toward your monthly home expenses. Instead of struggling to make ends meet, consider accessing the value that your home has accrued over time and start living comfortably.
The perfect time to utilize this option is when resale values for homes in your area are rising. If you have lived in your home for more than five years and have made each of your payments in the sufficient amount on time, you’ve likely built enough equity in your home to cash in on it. You can then use this money to pay down other loans like credit cards, education or medical debt.
If you haven’t built up enough equity in your home to meet your goals, a personal loan is another option. Some personal loans will have much lower interest rates, especially when compared to medical debt, so you can pay off other loans with hefty fees to save money in the long run. No matter how you choose, paying down what you owe to loosen up your finances is a sure-fire way to save some money on your monthly home expenses.
2. Get a Smart Thermostat
You wouldn’t put straight cash through a paper shredder, would you? That’s essentially the idea behind heating or cooling your home with a traditional HVAC system. It’s time to bring your home into the new decade with smart technology that will save you a heap on your monthly utility bills.
By installing a smart thermostat, you’re capable of heating/cooling rooms that are used more frequently than others without squandering energy on other areas of the home that aren’t entered often. Or, choose specific times for heating/cooling so you’re not wasting money on an empty room.
3. Hire A Local for Yard Work
It’s convenient to have your yard work done with a call to your community landscaping service, and while it may seem like that’s the only option, there’s plenty of labor to go around. From yard work to snow plowing, the obligations change with the season. Luckily, Johnny who lives down the street is taking on some extra odd jobs in his free time to help save for college.
Check out sites like Care.com for up-to-date information on what’s available in your neighborhood. There also may be local charities with discounted offerings for services like yard work. Or, put an ad out on Craigslist to see what you get back. A simple Google search will open the door for all kinds of opportunities that will give your bank account a break.
4. Use a Budgeting App to Track Spending
Budgeting is no simple task and constantly monitoring your finances can lead to an unhealthy, slightly obsessive relationship with money management. Instead, download one of the many budgeting apps on your smartphone to do the heavy lifting for you.
Budgeting apps are useful in several ways. They track your spending habits so you can assess where you could cut back, present you with recommendations on where you can invest your money safely and can even set money aside on a weekly basis to help you build a sturdy rainy day fund. Monitor monthly expenditures like grocery or gas costs so you can plan ahead and be ready when mortgage payments or utility bills are due.
Whether you’re saving for an exciting family getaway or simply stockpiling to ensure your financial health stays in tip-top shape, utilizing an app is the perfect opportunity to save some serious dough.
5. Bundle Your Subscriptions
Last, but certainly not least, are your recurring subscription fees. It’s easy to forget about how many services you’re paying for when you set them to automatic payments. Instead of turning a blind eye, take a closer look at each of those services to see if they qualify for substantial savings.
For example, Disney+ is currently offering a bundle with both Hulu and ESPN+. So if you’re paying for either of those right now separately, it may be cheaper and more convenient to combine them in the bundle.
Additionally, keep an eye out for family plans. On Spotify, the family plan consists of 6 different individual accounts for one monthly fee.. Therefore, instead of paying for each account at a whopping $9.99 per family member, check out the family plan for a mere $14.99.
How do you minimize your monthly expenses? Share your insider tips here!