How to Cut Your Household Budget and Stick to It

Verani Realty

Couple making budgetIf you are about to buy a home or recently settled into your new abode, you may realize that you need a better budget if you want to avoid financial stress.

Perhaps the down payment and closing costs impacted (or will impact) your savings, or maybe the costs of owning a home are adding up faster than your paychecks. It may be time to trim your spending and create a budget you can, and will, stick to.

Where do you begin? Here are a few tips for potential home buyers and new homeowners that are realistic and will help you make ends meet.

  • Eat out less. This really makes a difference. Eating out several times per week is much more costly than making dinner yourself. Make eating out a special treat.

  • Meet friends for drinks at your new home. Hold a cocktail/happy hour at home and you will save big time. For example, one bottle of wine can cost almost as much as a glass or two at your local bar.

  • Look for less expensive car insurance. Compare prices for auto insurance. Sometimes consolidating all your policies (car, home and life insurance) through one insurance company can lower your premiums.

  • Give up or limit daily extras, like specialty coffee on your way to work. Take it one step further: make coffee at home and bring it to work in a travel mug. Like refills? Bring several cups of coffee with you in a big thermos. Depending on how much coffee you drink this could save you a substantial amount over the course of a month.

  • Bring leftovers for lunch whenever possible, or make a sandwich and brown bag it.

  • Price out weekly grocery items at a few stores and switch stores if you find you can save money by doing so.

  • Cut out coupons and find coupon apps that work where you shop. Sign up for online coupons, like at retailmenot.com.

  • Order in. Picking up a pizza is far less expensive that going out to a full-service restaurant, and you still don’t have to cook that night.

  • Order items like toilet paper, diapers or paper towels in bulk online. Amazon offers deals on these items, and you can save a lot over time. If you already have Amazon Prime (a yearly subscription for deals on movies, books and shopping) it ships for free.

  • Seek lower interest credit cards and transfer high interest balances to them. Sometimes you can find promotional deals to help you save on interest, like getting one with zero interest for a year to 18 months. The caveat to this of course is not to add to your debt once you get a new card!

If you create a budget you can live with, you are more likely to stick to it and find the savings you need. Set realistic expectations, look at the ways you are spending and take action on anything you can do without or cut back on.

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