Don´t let the word “budget” discourage you! Actually, your budget may be more flexible than you think. Many “small” everyday purchases become large sums of money per year.
By following some of our recommendations you can save a lot of money on household expenses just by correcting certain habits. Let´s see:
Household electricity expenditure :
- Did you know that nearly 45% of the electricity expense on your bill is for heating or cooling your home? Maintain a temperature of approximately 20°C in summer and 25°C in winter to avoid excessive expenses.
- The use of energy saving bulbs is a benefit in energy saving as they last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and consume 4 times less energy.
- Invest in installing a thermostat that allows you to control the temperature of your home, both air conditioning and heating, and don´t forget to adjust it when no one is home.
- If possible, try to choose “Energy Star” model appliances – low consumption.
- Unplug appliances you are not using: microwave oven, computers, cell phone chargers, etc. Even when not in use, they consume energy that you pay for every month.
- Turn off the lights in the rooms when you leave them.
- Consider visiting stores that sell second-hand clothing. Search carefully as you may find real treasures there.
- Forget about this obsession with branded clothing. Look for clothes that fit you and don´t necessarily have a name tag.
- Buy your clothes when they are out of season as you will almost always find them with a 30% to 70% discount.
Water and Cleaning Costs :
- Install a low-flow showerhead.
- Check your house for water leaks.
- Don´t buy famous brand cleaning products, it´s better for your budget than buying generic products.
- If you put a plastic bottle filled with 2 liters of water into the toilet water tank you will significantly reduce water consumption for every time the tank is flushed.
- Create your own garden in your home garden or in pots where you can plant different herbs or vegetables and thus lower your supermarket expense.
- Compare the prices between one supermarket and another. Sometimes it is better to go to a more distant supermarket but with good prices, especially if you have to make big purchases.
- Pay attention to the special offers and promotions announced by the supermarkets and take advantage of them.
- Make your own coffee, especially if you´re a frequent coffee drinker. Do the math on how much it costs you to make your own coffee compared to what you spend in the cafeteria each week.
- Always leave your house with a bottle of water, so you won´t be tempted to stop and buy refreshing drinks on the way. The water in your house is almost free while buying it in a store you are paying not only for the product, but also for the transportation costs and the cost of the plastic. Avoid carbonated water. Your health and your pocketbook will thank you.
- It eliminates or at least limits the number of times you go out to party. Think about it: when you go out for tapas you pay for the food and drinks, the restaurant´s profit percentage, the service, the taxes and the tip! The cost of eating out is so high compared to eating at home that it can make a huge difference in your monthly budget.
- If you want to go out to eat with your friends, organize dinner at home! Suggest that you each bring a dish and share a fun night out at a very low price.
- If you have a car, have it regularly maintained and check the tyres frequently so that they don´t lose air and so that you don´t waste more fuel than necessary.
- Do the oil change to your car yourself! You can take a short course in mechanics at your location or look for a video on YouTube that shows you how to do it. It´s easy and will save you money!
- Arrange with family or friends to carpool to work or school. Fuel savings can be significant if you take this step!
- For short distances, use your bike or walk! It´s good for the environment, for your health and for your budget.
- If you can, avoid using the car. It is better to use public transport and leave the car for special occasions.
- Check your mobile phone bill carefully. See if you really need the plan you have, since sometimes we have a lot of unused minutes, extra text messages, etc. but we pay for them every month!
- If you have a mobile phone then consider discontinuing your landline service.
- Do you smoke? It´s time to cut back on that spending that only hurts your health and your pocketbook. Calculate how much you spend on this vice per year and you´ll realize that you could save that money!
- Do you go to the gym? A gym fee can be a pretty high expense for a service you could do for free at home or in a park or garden in your city.
- Consider how many hours of TV a day you consume and consider canceling your cable service. You can replace it with a Netflix membership, which is likely to be cheaper than paying for cable service.