Updated April 3, 2014

Household Budgeting Tips: Beyond the Obvious


Whether it's a loss of income or increased expenditures for necessities, sooner or later, many of us need to tighten our belts. Growing accustomed to a smaller budget is a gradual process that may involve more than just the obvious tips about cutting out luxury items.

For those who are serious about cutting costs and want to go beyond the obvious, here is some simple money saving advice that can save you time, money, or both.

  1. Swap coupons. Have you ever felt frustrated that circulars contain so many coupons you don’t use? Well, here’s a way to use them after all: set up a coupon swap group with your friends. No two households shop the same, and this way, you can swap coupons you don’t need for some you use every week.

  2. Money-saving apps. For an innovative take on budgeting basics, try apps like Dollarbird or Budget Calendar. These apps allow you to track your expenses and forecast your spending on a calendar view instead of spreadsheets. Each costs $1.99 - a small price to pay for the ability to keep your budget on track whenever and wherever you like! Also, if you’re tired of ink-stained fingers from thumbing through the circulars, it’s good to know you can get free apps to do it for you. Grocery Smarts and Coupon Sherpa are just two of the free apps that provide you with a tailor-made selection of coupons for your favorite stores.

  3. Evaluate at least one bill each month. Instead of simply paying your bills, choose one and evaluate it. Ask yourself if you can curb spending anywhere by choosing a different provider or plan. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and talk to your providers or request quotes from the competition.

  4. Simple DIY. There are a few easy ways you can reduce normal household expenses by employing some simple do-it-yourself tips. One idea often overlooked is to shorten your dryer-vent hose. It’s not something you’d think of every day, but according to This Old House, you can save up to $25 per year on electricity by cleaning and shortening your dryer vent hose.

  5. Inquire about time-of-use plans. Some energy companies offer significant rebates to encourage the reduction of electricity consumption during peak times. For example, the energy cost during peak hours may be significantly higher than non-peak hours. Simply waiting to run your dishwasher at night could yield significant savings. Contact your local utility provider for more information on this topic.

  6. Look for off-season bargains. Most of us know to shop during sales, but did you know you can also save money by using services during the low season? For example, having your chimney swept in July or August instead of September or later could save you some money. Construction, landscaping and even heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractors have their busy seasons, so if you’re looking for routine inspections or maintenance, try to plan around those busy time to save cash.

Household budgeting isn’t always fun, but it can be easy and effective if you make a habit out of being critical of your spending habits and searching for innovative solutions.

This post comes from the editors of The Allstate Blog, which helps people prepare for the unpredictability of life.

More Articles in Money Tips


Comments about Household Budgeting Tips: Beyond the Obvious

  • Max Jones from Utah
    on May 25, 2017 7:26 AM said:

    I really like your tips about budgeting analysis, in particular choosing at least one bill a month to look at and see if you could save any money on it! I'm all about trying to save money, especially when it comes to something like bills, and I think that doing a little bit of budgeting analysis could be really helpful. I think that after we do budgeting analysis on our own for a few months, we could talk to a professional and see if there is anything else we could do to be more effective with our money! Thanks for the ideas!

Comments may be filtered for language. CreditDonkey makes no guarantee of comments' factual accuracy. These responses are not provided or commissioned by bank advertisers. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Visitors may report inappropriate content by clicking the Contact Us link.


August
23
2017

Capital One Quicksilver vs Chase Freedom Unlimited

Both Capital One Quicksilver and Chase Freedom Unlimited give 1.5% cash back with no annual fee. Which one is better? We break down the surprising differences.







About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.